Kulture, the newest concept from Houston restaurateur Marcus Davis, opened its doors in Downtown Houston this month. Marcus, best known for popular restaurant concepts like The Breakfast Klub, Reggae Hut, and his unyielding love for replacing the letter “c” with “k” in common phrases, has delivered once more! Under the tutelage of Chef Dawn Burrell, his newest concept is inspired by the abounding cultures of the African and Caribbean diaspora.
Kulture’s close proximity to Discovery Green and the George R. Brown Convention center lends itself to a ton of foot traffic. The restaurant offers convenient self-parking located in the attached Partnership Tower garage located on Rusk. Pro-tip: The restaurant validates parking for a maximum of 2 hours. One thing I really liked was the garage elevator drops you off at the back, interior door of the restaurant. I didn’t even have to walk outside.
Kulture’s modern décor boasts of warm earth tones and mahogany wood. The natural light provided by the wall-to-wall windows is any food photographer’s dream. That being said, I will have to go back during daylight hours for better food photos. General Manager, Tony Thomas gave us a grand tour of the facility including the soon to be curtained off VIP space, and the 2nd floor private area that holds up to 12 guests, family-style.
Kulture is referenced as both a “southern” restaurant, as well as a Caribbean restaurant. Though I’m not sure which label is most fitting, I can attest to the fact that the food is damn good!
The menu consists of small and shareable plates, salads, and entree-sized portions. In my opinion, the magic lies with the small and sharable plates. Guests will find items like the Black-Eyed Pea Hummus served with Akara (bean fritter). Kulture’s version of Akara is more chip, or flatbread, than fritter. The Mac & Cheese is quite scrumptious. Its cheddar and gruyère based béchamel = liquid gold. Chef Burrell’s Mac & Cheese is topped with a cheddar cheese tuille that could easily be bagged and sold in stores!
Most noteworthy was the Calas & Collards Dip. A baked dish of seasoned collards and melted cheese, topped with a breaded crumble served with African-inspired rice fritters. This dish knocked my socks off — leaving me speechless and skeptical at the same time. How could something so simple, be so delicious?
The closest description of the dish that I can give would be spinach dip, but instead of spinach, insert perfectly seasoned collards. I’ve never really liked collard greens, but you couldn’t tell by the way I fought with my dinner dates over the last spoonful.
Our final menu item was a beautifully fried, and perfectly crisp Whole Branzino Fish. It was quite perfect and a bit unexpected. But then again, in African and Caribbean cultures receiving a whole fish is quite common. Especially in countries like Jamaica. Be warned though, the Branzino contains a ton of bones. If eaten too fast you will chock and need a friend to pat your back!
The Sweet Potato Bread Pudding with Butterscotch Caramel sauce is the best thing since the 80’s crack cocaine epidemic. Not too sweet, super moist and the bed of sauce was ooey-gooey goodness.
In conclusion, it’s probably best to visit Kulture now, before everyone else. The menu prices are affordable, the location is perfect and the service is impeccable. As a blogger, I am honored to share my experience, and proud to support black business.
Kulture is open from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Wednesday and 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Thursdays and Fridays at 701 Avenida De Las Americas, situated on the bottom floor of Partnership Tower. Stop in for lunch, happy hour, or dinner, and keep a lookout for the debut of their much-anticipated brunch menu!
Black-Eyed Pea Hummus & Akara – $8
Calas & Collards Dip – $9
Collard Green Purses – $8
Mac & Cheese – $12
Crispy Branzino Fish – $22