One of Austin’s long-awaited new restaurants is finally opening. Japanese eatery TenTen, which first announced in April 2018, makes its debut January 13 in the newly refurbished Miller Blueprint building at 501 W. Sixth St.
According to a release, the concept comes from a team of longtime restaurateurs, including Nova Hospitality founder Jack Zimmerman and Philippe Moullet, a vet of the international Zuma/Roka Restaurant Group. Pat and Sara Lee, the husband-and-wife team behind popular local chain PhoNatic, also partnered on the project.
The kitchen is being helmed by executive chef Jon Oh, whose resume includes stints under culinary heavyweights Jean-Georges Vongerichten, Marcus Samuelsson, and Geoffrey Zakarian. Executive sushi chef Yasuo Fujimori and executive sous chef Harvard Aninya round out the team.
Diners can expect a variety of shareable plates focused on sushi and robota, a Japanese cooking method similar to barbecue in which food is cooked over charcoal. The technique will lend smoky depth to offerings like mushrooms in wafu dressing, bronzino with ginger and cucumber, black cod with miso and yuzu, and teriyaki pork ribs with pecan and chili.
The sushi menu boasts maki like spicy tuna with serrano peppers, hamachi with jalapeño and cilantro, and king crab with Fuji apple and avocado. The nigiri includes such decadent options as A5 Wagyu with sweet soy and scallion, salmon toro with tomato and red caviar, and hamachi belly with chili ponzu.
The ingredient forward approach of the cuisine extends to the beverage program, where the team updated classic cocktails with Japanese flavors. Wasabi adds bite to a Caipirinha made with rum, honey, apple, and pineapple while a delicate spritzer keeps the octane low with Cocchi Americano aperitif, jasmine tea tonic, and peach purée.
In addition to the boozier selections, the bar also carries a curated wine list and an extensive sake collection featuring sought-after pours like Tozai “Snow Maiden,” Fukucho “Moon on the Water,” and Kuboto Senju “1000 Long Lives.”
Los Vegas-based designer Lisa Escobar outfitted the minimal space with plenty of texture. Curved banquettes and a lighting system from Austin-based Ketra gives movement to the main dining room while art by Ysabel Lemay — known for her dreamy floral photography — adds a touch of color.
Starting January 13, TenTen will be open daily. Hours are 4:30-10 pm, Sunday through Thursday and 4:30-11 pm, Friday and Saturday with extended bar hours for drinks only.