Sherman Yeung took ownership of Tobiuo Sushi & Bar in 2019. Yeung plans to open another restaurant inside Loop 610 serving Japanese cuisine, called Money Cat, later this year. (Photos by Asia Armour/Community Impact Newspaper)
This hobby pushed him to take up a part-time job at Uchi, an upscale sushi restaurant, and Yauatcha, an upscale dim sum restaurant. Eventually, he quit his white-collar job and worked full-time as a line cook until he reached his ceiling there.
“Inevitably, I wanted more,” Yeung said. “I wanted to expand my knowledge and experience with other cuisines.”
Although he had no formal culinary training other than his restaurant experience, Yeung said he was fueled by his desire to learn, his passion for food and a duty to preserve culture.
He first arrived at Tobiuo Sushi & Bar in Katy’s Cinco Ranch area as a line chef. He was trained on sushi by former prep cook Jiolo Dingayan, who grew to become the pastry chef, kitchen manager and somewhat of the creative director for the restaurant’s dessert menu, Yeung said.
When the opportunity came in 2019 for Yeung to buy Tobiuo from the previous owners—who opened the business in 2018—he took on the challenge. Dingayan said he stayed on after the change in ownership because Yeung asked everyone to share their opinions about the restaurant’s direction. Dingayan told him he wanted to create a pastry program, and Yeung let him explore that goal.
The program has since come to fruition as one of the most renowned aspects of the restaurant, both Yeung and Dingayan said, aside from the specialty fish that is imported straight from Toyosu Market in Japan to make nigiri and sashimi.
Yeung said his vision for the restaurant is to remain culturally driven and unique.
“[Katy] is a very diverse [market], and as a result, it has so many different restaurants and cuisines to experience,” he said. “I feel like it is my duty to contribute to that by adding the flair of Japanese culture to the city.”
Specialty desserts at Tobiuo are artistically crafted by Jiolo Dingayan, the chef who curates Tobiuo’s pastry program. Dingayan said he draws inspiration from his Asian heritage, his childhood experiences and elements of nature. He describes the desserts as “nostalgic dishes with a new experience.”
Tobiuo Sushi & Bar, 23501 Cinco Ranch Blvd., Ste. H130, Katy
Hours: Sun.-Thu. 11 a.m.-9:30 p.m., Fri.-Sat. 11 a.m.-11 p.m.