Planned Japanese restaurant finally opens in downtown Austin

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One of Austin’s long-awaited new restaurants is finally opening its doors. Japanese restaurant TenTen, which was first announced in April 2018, debuts Jan. 13 in the newly renovated Miller Blueprint building at 501 W. Sixth St.

According to a statement, the concept comes from a team of longtime restaurateurs, including Nova Hospitality founder Jack Zimmerman and Philippe Moullet, a veterinarian with international restaurant group Zuma/Roka. Pat and Sara Lee, the husband and wife team behind popular local channel PhoNatic, have also joined the project.

The kitchen is headed by executive chef Jon Oh, whose resume includes stints under culinary heavyweights Jean-Georges Vongerichten, Marcus Samuelsson and Geoffrey Zakarian. Rounding out the team are Executive Sushi Chef Yasuo Fujimori and Executive Sous Chef Harvard Aninya.

Diners can expect a variety of sharing plates focusing on sushi and robota, a Japanese cooking method similar to barbecue in which food is cooked over charcoal. The technique will lend smoky depth to dishes like mushrooms in wafu vinaigrette, ginger and cucumber bronzino, black cod with miso and yuzu, and teriyaki pork chops with pecans and chili.

The sushi menu features makis like spicy tuna with serrano peppers, hamachi with jalapeño and cilantro, and king crab with Fuji apple and avocado. The nigiri includes decadent options such as A5 Wagyu with sweet soybeans and scallions, salmon toro with tomato and red caviar, and hamachi belly with ponzu pepper.

The kitchen’s ingredient approach extends to the beverage program, where the team has updated classic cocktails with Japanese flavors. Wasabi adds bite to a Caipirinha made with rum, honey, apple and pineapple while a delicate spray keeps the octane low with the Cocchi Americano appetizer, jasmine tea tonic and peach puree.

In addition to the boozier selections, the bar also offers a curated wine list and an extensive sake collection with sought-after pours like Tozai “Snow Maiden”, Fukucho “Moon on the Water”, and Kuboto Senju “1000 Long Lives”.

Los Vegas-based designer Lisa Escobar outfitted the minimal space with lots of texture. Curved banquettes and a lighting system by Austin-based Ketra bring movement to the main dining room while art by Ysabel Lemay – known for her dreamy floral photographs – adds a pop of color.

Starting January 13, TenTen will be open daily. Hours of operation are 4:30-10 PM, Sunday-Thursday and 4:30-11 PM, Friday-Saturday with extended bar hours for drinks only.

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