Silver cats are legendary creatures in Japanese culture. The felines serve as a representation of prosperity and abundance for the workplace.
the Maneki-neko figurines are the waving cats you’ll see entering most Japanese businesses, and that’s what Houston chef Sherman Yeung named her Houston’s next restaurant after.
“I always liked Money Cats growing up,” Yeung says. “I know there are many variations of it, depending on which paw is waving and what color it is.”
Yeung’s parents immigrated to the United States from Hong Kong, and he comes from a Cantonese background, he says. “The Cantonese language is a dying culture, and that saddens me,” he shares.
While his family traditions are important, as a purveyor of Asian culture as a whole, Yeung decided to pay homage and amplify Japanese cuisine with this latest effort.
Money Cat is the second restaurant to come from Tobiuo Sushi & Bar owner. The upscale sushi restaurant will offer a more modern take on traditional East Asian cuisine.
Yeung’s title will double as both owner and executive chef, bringing plenty of experience from his culinary journey having worked at Uchi, Yauatcha and Izakaya WA.
Tobiuo fans can expect the same elevated feel at sister restaurant, but more direct acknowledgments to Japan, from cutlery to decor.
“We want everything to be a little more deliberate and intentional with Money Cat,” Yeung explains.
Citing his love for Houston restaurants like Nancy’s Hustle and Squable, which are modern European restaurants and new American restaurants, he calls Money Cat, “new Japanese,” which is his own take on those other restaurant terms.
Yeung doesn’t want the menu to be too intimidating for customers, so he plans to keep it simple with light menu offerings like sushi and sashimi plates, and large plates like Okonomiyaki, the tasty Japanese pancake.
Money Cat took months to prepare, and although excited, Yeung is just as anxious. His biggest hope with the new concept is that customers arrive with an open mind, ready to eat.
Silver Cat, Kirby Grove, 2925 Richmond Ave, Ste. 140, is expected to open later this year.