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 Armor/Community Impact Newspaper)
Tobiuo Sushi & Bar owner Sherman Yeung followed an “unorthodox” path to becoming a self-employed restaurateur. He developed a passion for cooking as a hobby in 2016 while working in corporate marketing.
This hobby led him to take part-time jobs 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 hit 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 his duty to preserve culture.
He first arrived at Tobiuo Sushi & Bar in the Katy’s Cinco Ranch area as a line chef. He was trained in sushi by former prep cook Jiolo Dingayan, who became the pastry chef, kitchen manager and somewhat creative director of the restaurant’s dessert menu, Yeung said.
When the opportunity presented itself in 2019 for Yeung to buy Tobiuo from the previous owners, who opened the business in 2018, he rose to the challenge. Dingayan said he stayed after the change in ownership because Yeung asked everyone to share their opinion on the restaurant’s direction. Dingayan told him he wanted to create a baking program, and Yeung let him explore that goal.
The program has since materialized as one of the restaurant’s most renowned aspects, Yeung and Dingayan said, aside from the specialty fish that is imported directly from Japan’s Toyosu market to make nigiri and sashimi.
Yeung said his vision for the restaurant is to remain culturally and uniquely unique.
“[Katy] is very diverse [market], and as a result, there are so many different restaurants and cuisines to discover,” he said. “I think it’s my duty to contribute by adding the flair of Japanese culture to the city.”
The specialty desserts at Tobiuo are artistically designed by Jiolo Dingayan, the chef who curates Tobiuo’s pastry program. Dingayan said he draws inspiration from his Asian heritage, 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, Katie
Opening hours: Sun.-Thurs. 11am-9.30pm, Fri.-Sat. 11am-11pm