Japanese-inspired tasting menu restaurant energizes CityCentre this summer

Add one more establishment to Houston’s growing list of tasting menu restaurants. ReikiNa will open this summer in CityCentre, the restaurant announced.

Led by chef Thomas Stacy, a former Uchi cook, and director of operations Andrew Herron, a front of house veteran who has worked at places such as Rosie Cannonball and Tiny Champions, ReikiNa takes its name from the Japanese words reiki (translated as “divine energy”) and sakana (snacks paired with sake). Similar to Uchi, ReikiNa blends Japanese flavors and techniques with European influences.

Stacy will serve an eight-course meal to 20 diners seated around a communal table. He developed the concept last year when he began serving 10-course meals in his home for groups of friends who didn’t want to eat inside a restaurant. The restaurant’s menu is expected to change approximately every two months.

Designer Cat Matthews’ plans for the space include an 11-foot communal table made from reclaimed barn side and plateware sourced from the Round Top antiques market. A release describes the atmosphere as “retro, mod-Bohemian French femme.” We’re not exactly sure what that means, but it sounds cozy.

Intimate tasting menus are not an inexpensive proposition, but ReikiNa doesn’t want to be seen as pretentious. The restaurant will not have a dress code, and the chef likes to tells diners that “rule number one – there are no rules.”

ReikiNa will preview its offerings with a three-night run of pop-up dinners that will benefit the Southern Smoke Foundation. Held April 8, 15, and 23, the eight-course menu will seat 40 people per night. Tickets, $150, are available via Resy.

Houston has seen a number of new tasting menu concepts open recently. They include Hidden Omakase, a 14-seat, Japanese-style restaurant in a Galleria-area office building; Degust, a Spanish and Mexican-inspired concept from chef Brandon Silva; and March, a Mediterranean-inspired fine dining concept from Rosie Cannonball chef Felipe Riccio.

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