June 17, 2024

Molihua – Houston Southeast’s Newest Asian Spot to Dine

When you think of the Texas Medical Center, you probably think of world-class health institutions. However, this Houston Southeast neighborhood is also home to world-class sushi and dim sum. Located on the second floor of the luxe Blossom Houston Hotel on Bertner Avenue, Molihua — which means jasmine in Chinese — is serving up some of the best and most innovative Asian cuisine in an elegant setting befitting the two Michelin-starred chefs who helm it.

Chef Hideki Hiwatashi and Chef Ho Chee Boon (seated)

The culinary team at Molihua is led by Chef Ho Chee Boon, who brings over 35 years of experience at several of the world’s most renowned Asian restaurants, including as executive international chef at Hakkasan Global, Turandot in Moscow, Breeze in Bangkok and East Ocean in Hong Kong. Chef Hideki Hiwatashi, who brings more than 30 years of rigorous Japanese culinary training to his role at Molihua, having specialized in the art of kaiseki cuisine, joins Chef Ho.

“It brings me great joy to introduce Molihua to Houston’s dynamic epicurean scene, where we hope to enchant guests with a harmonious fusion of traditional Japanese and Asian flavors within a stylish ambiance,” says Chef Ho. “Our commitment to using carefully sourced, high-quality ingredients ensures that each dish boasts a unique flavor profile, setting us apart in the realm of culinary excellence. I became a chef not only out of my love for food but for the power food has to bring people together. Molihua is more than what is on the plate, but a way for all of us to connect and further our understanding of one another.”

Blossom Houston Hotel, a chic new spot from Crescent Hotels & Resorts, offers more than a place to stay. It’s a destination with luxe rooms, a spa, event spaces with high-end amenities, and a rooftop pool overlooking the Medical Center. Whether you’re taking a staycation here or just dropping by for dinner at Molihua, this is an exciting new destination in the district.

Stepping inside the restaurant, you’re greeted by contemporary décor embracing the essence of the jasmine flower and offering several seating options, including comfy booths, two-tops, bar seating, and a private dining room. The menu is a delight, with fresh seafood showcased in a variety of ways, from the cold sushi, sashimi, and maki rolls to the hot, crispy prawn tempura. Start with the crab and Kaluga caviar (if you’re feeling extravagant) or the simple steamed edamame. Hearty appetites can choose from the char-grilled Chilean seabass or the Japanese A5 Wagyu steak, seared tableside. Sides include grilled veggies and your basic steamed rice, but the best is the garlic butter shoyu fried rice. Tempura dishes are nicely coated and cooked, and the nigiri is sea-fresh, or freshwater-fresh, in the case of the unagi (eel). Caviar is ample in several dishes such as the afore mentioned crab and Kaluga starter, as well as the ikura, steamed rice wrapped in seaweed and liberally topped with salmon roe. Wash it down with a lychee rose martini, and you have quite a meal. Open for dinner Tuesday through Sunday, Molihua plans to open for lunch soon.

by Marene Gustin

Credit photos to: Brian Kennedy