A fresh and unexpected restaurant newcomer will open its first location in Texas at the Shops at Legacy in Plano. Shumi Japanese Cuisine will take the location at 7161 Bishop Rd. #G2, next door to Jasper's and in the space previously occupied by Naan Sushi, which closed in the spring.
Unlike many restaurants that come to DFW, Shumi is not a chain. It's a small, carefully nurtured concept with two branches in New Jersey.
The concept was founded in 1986 by Tokyo-trained chef Kunihiko "Ike" Aikasa, who presides over the original in Somerville, New Jersey, about 45 miles west of New York City.
A second location was opened by David Seo, who trained under Aikasa, then opened Shumi in Ridgewood, 50 miles north, in 2017.
They happened upon the Plano location while on a scouting trip of the area. "I've always been interested in Dallas," Seo says. "I visited to do research on the market and got lucky to find the Shops at Legacy."
He feels confident he can introduce dishes and techniques DFW does not currently have.
"Our concept includes an open sushi bar, without the case that usually blocks the customer from the chef," he says. "The idea is that you can watch how we prepare it, as we caramelize it with a blowtorch, you can smell the aroma. You can listen to the story and culture, taste it, and make it a great experience."
Seo uses his training in interior design as well as his creative and visual abilities to execute the flavor, texture, and presentation for which Japanese cuisine is known.
His vision is a Japanese restaurant with a focus on omakase, the chef-driven dining experience, which he offers in two options, with either 14 or 21 items.
As for the menu, appetizers include standards such as edamame and tempura, but also galbi, AKA Korean grilled ribs, and unique creations such as fried oyster salad, with tempura-fried oysters set on a bird's nest of fried matchstick potatoes.
Entrees include Katsu curry, with a fried pork cutlet over rice, and bento boxes including a vegetarian box with a cucumber-avocado roll, wakame salad, mushroom tempura, and an intriguing-sounding tofu katsu. Teriyaki offerings including beef, chicken, salmon, and tofu.
Specialty rolls include soft-shell crab, lobster, and their signature shumi roll with spicy tuna topped with caramelized spicy mayo, eel sauce, sushi ebi, scallion, and furikake crunch.
Individual sushi items include tuna, yellowtail, miyazaki beef, monkfish liver, squid, and yellow clam.
They also have four kinds of ramen, ranging from the classic tonkatsu to one with miso broth.
Seo and "Ike" are aiming for a September opening, and are so committed to seeing it through that they're relocating to Texas. "As soon as I saw the Dallas market, I felt like we had to have a restaurant here," Seo says.