I went to Yakashi Restaurant in Toronto with an open mind, and wallet, to try their “fine dining” omakase experience.
Icy-N-Spicy in Miami Beach is a real crowd pleaser. Friendly, creative and reasonably priced. I can’t think of a better spot to cool off with a cold treat while you stroll the beach.
El Jardin in San Diego, California is definitely worth a visit to try Chef Wilkins high-end, refined, yet approachable Mexican cooking. She is breaking some boundaries when it comes to Mexican food, and I couldn’t be more delighted.
The most difficult dinner reservation to secure in Miami is surely the 8-seat omakase experience at Hiden Restaurant in Wynwood. Located through a hidden door at the back of a taco shop awaits a secret restaurant that is booked months in advance.
Mandrake Restaurant in Miami Beach is a new Asian fusion inspired dining experience in a theatrical space.
James Beard award finalist Brad Kilgore opened his latest venture, Kaido in the heart of the Miami Design District. The focus is on fresh, local ingredients and equal emphasis on great cocktails.
Back by popular demand, my personal favourite list of Miami restaurants for 2018/2019 in no particular order, as well as new openings I want to try.
You do not have to indulge in a fine dining experience to receive outstanding food. One of Toronto’s hottest new restaurants, Sara, has a kitchen bursting with ambition, inventive and creative food in a serene, yet casual environment.
Go to Limo for the view of Cusco, Peru, the ambiance, the Pisco sours, and the chill out music. Beautiful day or night, and one of the town’s better dining options.
Last year I had the opportunity to eat at a gastronomic dinner in Miami, where the special guest was Chef Mitsuharu Tsumura, who cooked an exquisite Japanese-Peruvian fusion meal. He has been voted the 7th best restaurant in the world this year on the San Pellegrino’s list. So I had to return to his restaurant in Lima for another “Nikkei” experience at San Martin 399, in the Miraflores district.
At Astrid Y Gaston in Lima, Peru everything was well-choreographed and extremely professional. It is a great experience for foodies and I wouldn’t hesitate to highly recommend this fine dining Peruvian cuisine.
Maido in Lima Peru serves “Nikkei”, a Peruvian cuisine with Japanese influences brought to Peru through Japanese immigrants. It’s voted the 7th best restaurant in the world on the San Pellegrino 2018 list.
Sushi Erika in Miami is always packed, with absolutely no social media, just word of mouth. I always order the Love roll, a spider roll topped with torched salmon, and drizzled with truffle oil.
Toronto’s Frilu Restaurant is a modern, casual eatery, serving fine dining, with warm, gracious hospitality and showcasing playful, creative and dramatic food.
At Konjikin Ramen in Toronto you can taste the traditional methods used to provide their flavour packed broth and his delicious noodles. Every single step is painstakingly considered.
Toronto’s Kaiseki Yu-zen Hashimoto offers a culinary expression of art, with meticulous preparation and beautiful presentations. From artistically carved vegetables, to the finest uni and freshest and best quality sashimi, it’s an evening of very fine and precious cuisine.
Momofuku Kōjin in Toronto is a new frontier for David Chang of Momofuku fame. He has given Chef Paula free reign to showcase her cooking skills, which are innovative and extremely satisfying.
Fuwa Fuwa in Toronto is whipping up some airy, jiggly, delicate and tasty delights. The pancake is also not too sweet and relies on the toppings to give the perfect balance.
I say be adventurous, and you will be treated to a super cool, bohemian, urban vibe. Pinky’s Ca Phe in Toronto is a hidden treasure that serves exciting food with unique, bold, healthy, and distinctive flavours.
Godspeed Brewery is a cool place to meet friends for a beer where the food is surprisingly good, with a small menu of about twelve items. Well done, and Godspeed!
If you value attentive, smart service in a sophisticated setting with playful and tasty food, I think you will enjoy Akira Back in Toronto.
Toronto is getting some new, cool places to dine. You should add Mira to your list, for a fun, crowd-pleasing, and appealing evening.
The menu offers a creative and contemporary take on the dishes.
Wabi Sabi by Shuji in Miami is an intimate eatery that’s elevated sushi and poke bowls. They had us dancing in our seats, and that doesn’t happen too often. Congratulations to the chef!
Mendin and Friends Dinner Series at Habitat, Miami delivers inspiring, well executed and appealing dishes.
I was truly impressed with the culinary excellence, meal is opulent and rich tasting.
Miami’s St. Roch Market is a contemporary multi-vendor food hall where the curated food and beverage program is accompanied by a high quality, hospitality driven experience.
Finally, Miami has a worthy sushi counter with Tokyo trained chefs. Michelin starred in New York and with a location in Kuala Lumpur, the Azabu Miami offshoot has debuted, and it’s a sublime and memorable experience. The sushi is traditional, of the freshest quality and was superb.
Sherwood’s Bistro and Bar in the Little River district of Miami is a uniquely charming place with reasonably priced, simple food.
StreetXO in Madrid serves dishes that are creative, boldly flavored and fun to eat. It is the kind of food that has no limits, with dishes you’ve never heard of before. It’s street food with a twist, drawn from the inspiration of Asian food stalls.
With the opening of Etaru, people in Hallandale, Florida and surrounding areas can now dine at an upscale, Japanese, contemporary Robatayaki restaurant, with a beautiful waterfront setting.
1-800-Lucky in Wynwood, Miami is a buzzing marketplace is already a hangout for locals and tourists alike. It has always been difficult to find good Asian food. Now you can find it under one roof. Just be prepared for crowding and lineups. But that makes it part of the fun.
Just when you thought you were all caught up with the latest restaurants in Miami, here comes a new list to keep you busy this season. Watch for my upcoming reviews.
Zen Restaurant in Toronto aims to preserve the culture of Japanese cuisine, providing excellent service and beautifully prepared dishes using fresh, unique ingredients. It exceeded our expectations and lit up my umami sensors.
Dashi in Miami’s River Yacht Club serves beautifully presented dishes that tempt all the senses with equally beautiful views. I don’t think you will be disappointed!
Using the best ingredients and some serious skills, Skippa in Toronto is a success story about how hard work can pay off. Each course had a different layering of flavours.
One of the reasons I think Lake Inez in Toronto is jam packed and so popular is the hands on approach of the owners, who constantly come by to see how everything is going.
The Norman Hotel is elegant and sophisticated and the staff is courteous, respectful and well-trained. It offers 24-hour concierge service, high-end interiors, and great personalized customer service. A stunning new addition to central Tel Aviv.
Bazaar Mar by Jose Andres at SLS Brickell offers a vibrant overwhelming mix of sophisticated and whimsical cuisine, in a playful, Mediterranean interior. The emphasis is on fresh fish from local and Caribbean waters. It is a meal to remember.
Tanuki in Miami is lively, and colorful, with graffiti-covered walls, reclaimed wood and yellow leather banquets with blond wood tables and digital lights accenting a long wrap around bar. Samurai swords decorate the walls. The central focus of the room is a seven-foot statue of a Tanuki, a Japanese talisman said to bring good luck.
Blue Ribbon Sushi has a brand new spot inside the Plymouth Hotel at 336 21st Street in Miami. Here they will service the hotel with an all-day food and bar program as well as a poolside menu.
I am a big fan of the Pubbelly Group and in particular their sushi restaurant. I was happy to hear they were opening at the Brickell City Center at 701 South Miami Avenue. It is so refreshing to see malls like Bal Harbour and Brickell City Center opening quality restaurants.
Shoushin Restaurant in Toronto only uses the best, purest and most authentic ingredients. The chef’s methods are very exacting and you can taste the difference, with wild caught fish and handmade wasabi.
The first cold day in Toronto I immediately ran to Kinton Ramen on 396 Church Street. They have about 5-6 locations throughout Toronto and are part of the Guu and Kinka Family of restaurants. My favourite place is Ja Bistro.
Ja Bistro in Toronto has good dishes with a modern twist, served up in a beautiful but simple unpretentious manner. The fish is fresh and of high quality.
STK in Toronto is a large, impressive, even sexy restaurant in the former Studio Cafe. This is a place to mingle, meet and greet.
For me, the restaurant was hit and miss, and more on the miss side of things. The rolls were beautiful looking, but not at all traditional.
We could choose from two tasting menus – a fifteen course plus four desserts, or a twenty course with five desserts. We chose the larger menu to get the full experience. Each dish was artfully presented and explained to us as well as the history of its origin.
The Chef is Japanese but classically trained in French cooking. He worked with Jamie Kennedy as a sous chef at Crush Wine Bar, and you can tell when you eat the twice-fried French fries. This neighbourhood bistro is a French restaurant with a modern flair and some global influences.
Did you know Shanea is a contributor to SocialMiami.com? Click through to see some of her latest reviews.
Patrons are in for a treat! Kaori is Miami’s first 360-degree cinematography dining experience. The space is so aesthetically pleasing, with cutting edge technology, art, music and scents. The food presentation is most beautiful, a complete knockout in the terms of creativity.
Set in a former auto body shop, they have kept the original garage doors – hence the name. The place looks cool and there was quite a buzz. That may die down once the excitement of a new place opens, especially when they are not delivering a good product.
Zuma, for years, has been a favourite restaurant of mine. They serve weekend brunch from 12-3, at a cost of $95, $135 and $350. We tried the first two options and quite frankly the $95 option is the way to go. The buffet is HUGE. Please come hungry.
20 Most Delish Dishes in Miami – El Cielo, Beachcraft, Pubbelly, Myumi Food Truck, Pinch Kitchen, Le Zoo and More. I tried to do a top 10 list, but I just couldn’t narrow it down! The truth is, I have dined out every night for 3 ½ months … I’ve tried a lot of dishes, to say the least!! Here’s some of my favourites (including honourable mentions (I know, I’m bad …)).
We started with some rolls, like the NaiYaRa Roll, which was probably my favourite. It contained salmon belly, cucumber, avocado and truffle oil. The presentations were all pretty, but if you know good sushi, you are mostly getting pretty rolls. Is the quality of the rice or the fish transporting? No. It is more designer rolls, which is fine.
Hidden in a dingy market where the staff is not so friendly and the place has lots of rules – no phones, no takeaway, no second orders – the Chef works sushi wonders.
The best rolls for me weren’t even on the menu but thanks to an insider I knew what to order. Now I can share this information with you …
The best part about Myumi, a charming food truck in Wynwood, Miami is the sushi, it’s so fresh tasting and the chef explains where each piece comes from. It could be Alaska, Japan, Boston, Florida , Scotland etc. The menu rotates based on availability. The meal is quite traditional, there are no gimmicky surprises.
We only went for lunch but I can’t wait to go back for dinner later next week to try the American Southern barbecue technique of slow cooking, and smoking. We saw the chef select some wood that was piled on the side so he can start smoking some meat – he said takes up to 14 hours.
Here is my list of restaurants that I want to try this year, or that I have already tried and enjoyed.
The menu is divided into four sections. Crudo, small plates, rice and large format dishes. There is also a section called Binchotan service, where they grill meats, fish and seafood table-side.
Best old favourites and new loves.
We tried a newly opened restaurant in the RBC Water Park Place called Muki. It is located in Toronto’s Harbour front area at Bay and Queens Quay.
Of course everyone wants to try The French Laundry at least once in your life. So go ahead, beg your concierge or use a connection to try and get you in. We have been twice and I wouldn’t go back again.
A 30 minute ride to Etobicoke to a little strip plaza to visit a gastronomic temple of Japanese delights was a highlight of summer dining thus far for 2015. Sushi Kaji is by far the best Japanese meal I have had in Toronto. However I have not dined at the Japanese cultural Center yet.
Yorkville has a new contemporary Japanese Restaurant called Kasa Moto. It is owned by the Chase Hospitality Group. The restaurant is in the former Remy’s space and is quite large with a huge capacity.
We were excited to try this new spot in Manning and Harbord formally the home of Ici Bistro. The restaurant is tiny with only 22 seats, and that includes the bar and high tops.
I didn’t know what to expect as I had not been to Punta Mita before. I know the resort was over 16 years old. Well I was not disappointed. The grounds are magnificent, with lush foliage, and wonderful sculptures throughout.