Midtown Houston welcomes new Pan-Asian eatery

Midtown Houston has evolved into a diner’s delight, and now there’s a new player in town – Maba Pan-Asian Diner at 510 Gray.

Maba serves Asian food with a twist, said Tammy Nguyen, who opened the restaurant on Dec. 21, 2016, with her husband, Chef Wayne Nguyen, and business partner, Chris Cardenas. Maba’s cuisine is called Pan-Asian because the menu is infused with Vietnamese, Chinese, and Japanese flavors.

“We chose Midtown because Chef Nguyen wants to be in a neighborhood that appreciates good eats and welcome unique cuisine,” she said. “We want Maba to be a Midtown hotspot where people meet their friends for a glass of wine and fine dining without the fine dining price.”

Maba is already seeing repeat customers, thanks to the great food and friendly staff. Rave reviews continue to pour in from customers on social media, including five-star reviews on Yelp.

Diners like Stephanie G. of Houston, who wrote: “Absolutely loved this place. The food was amazing. We started off with a bottle of Pinot Noir which was very soothing along with the Pho fries and pot stickers. Both were amazing. We could not believe how much the Pho fries actually tasted like Pho. Then we had the fried chicken and fried rice combo … absolutely amazing. Wayne out did himself. We will definitely be back again and again.The service is Top Notch.”

Local artists have lined the walls with their original artworks, giving the business an art gallery feel. “Our walls are reserved for artists,” Tammy Nguyen said. “You can support a local artist by purchasing the art.”

Chef Nguyen is originally from San Francisco and moved to Texas to attend college, his wife said. “He fell in love with Texas and never left. He has been in Houston close to two decades. He has loved cooking since he was a kid, watching his mom cook.”

He traded his career in finance to pursue his passion for cooking after meeting his wife, who also hails from a restaurant family.  

Maba’s signature dishes include Seared Whole Lemon Grass Tilapia, Grilled Chicken Summer Vermicelli, Wonton, Pho Fries, Osso Buco Szechuan Salad, and Brussels Sprouts.

“You will taste authentic Asian ingredients like fish sauce, mint, and basil throughout the menu but you will find the taste to be anything but traditional Asian,” Tammy Nguyen said. “Some items will surprise your palette with a playful use of Western ingredients.”

The menu, which includes about a dozen appetizers and 16 entrees, is reasonably well priced. Appetizers go from $4 to $9, and entrees are $8 to $18. Customers order at the counter, and a server will deliver selections to both the indoor and outdoor seating areas.

The restaurant also serves beer and wine, with wine going for $6 per glass and $20 per bottle.

Maba is open weekdays from 11am-10pm, and from noon-10pm Sundays. For more information, visit online, call 832-834-6157 or check out the restaurant’s Facebook page.