It’s hard not to see brunch as quintessentially American in design—hearty breakfast foods served until late afternoon with ideally three different beverages, at least one of them quite boozy in nature. In reality, brunch originated in Victorian England when Sundays were meant for early morning churchgoing. A traditional Victorian breakfast was heavy on the meats and protein, which was too rich for a man named Guy Beringer who woke up in 1895 with a hangover so nasty that it led him to pen an essay entitled, “Brunch: A Plea.” In this essay, Beringer extolled the virtues of a combination breakfast and lunch served later in the day. Beginning with coffee and tea, lighter fare then led into the heavier meat dishes, and thus, brunch was born. Brunch took 35 more years to catch on in the states, where it was touted as a “tasty party meal.” With almost 90 years to perfect our robust Sunday meals, it’s no surprise that Houston’s renowned climate of culinary diversity has developed fresh takes on the standard classic. One of these takes comes from Kuu in Memorial City, with their Japanese brunch menu debuting on October 14th.  

Chef Adison Lee honed his culinary chops at the infamous Nobu in Los Angeles under the guidance of master chef Nobu Matsuhisa. Known for its creative sushi rolls with elegant plating, soft shell crab tempura, and miso black cod with chili prawns, Kuu has crafted a brunch that is a departure from the standard fare while upholding their traditional Japanese roots. Chef Lee explains, "With our new brunch menu, I created lighter options with dishes like our Snow Crab Cake topped with a 60-degree egg, and Imo (Japanese Yam) or Smoked Salmon Salads, which are not as heavy as traditional American brunch." Designed to be served in a sharable, tapas style, Kuu’s brunch still ticks all the boxes for a decadent Sunday brunch. 

Here in the south, brunch classics include dishes such as eggs Benedict, grits, biscuits and gravy, French toast, pancakes, huevos rancheros, hash browns, and plenty of bacon and sausage. Some familiar offerings at Kuu can be found in their unique take on French toast with a rich, custardy kick of kiwi and their crispy snow crab cakes topped with a velvety 60-degree egg. Their truffled fried rice hits the spot for comfort food along with the yaki (smoked salmon) salad. The wagyu beef giyoza is perfect for sharing along with the pork belly and seafood pancake. A surprising and welcome new addition to a typical brunch menu is the creamy uni (sea urchin) pasta. If the more daring seafood offerings aren’t your bag, check out the imo (Japanese yam) salad with purple and white yams, cherry tomato, and microgreens in a sweet-and-salty peanut dressing. A seasonal snack bar will also be open to incorporate lighter fare like seaweed salad, edamame, yogurt, bite-sized desserts, and fresh-squeezed juices. And not to worry—they also have mimosas!