Miami has some fabulous restaurants but they have always been lacking in the sushi department. Most restaurants may make “fancy” rolls but their fish is not of the highest quality and their rice is cold and hard. If you want sushi at Naoe, you have to sit through a long excruciating dinner until they serve the sushi.
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, located at 161 Ocean Drive, inside the Marriott Stanton. I can’t comment on the dining room as I went straight to the “Den”, a small private room that is hidden behind a door, holding about 18 seats. It is here that the chefs create an Omakase experience for you. There are two menus offered, a $120 or a $150 options, with the latter doing a tuna tasting. We went with the first option and we still had two tuna offerings in our selection. We started our meal with two salmon amuse, then a sashimi selection, a grilled king crab with kani miso, ten pieces of the chef’s selected sushi of the day, one hand roll, the best tamago I have ever had (creamy), miso soup and some Japanese cheesecake. I did order one item off the menu, an Instagram worthy strawberry shaved ice with condensed milk that literally melts in your mouth.
The sushi is traditional, of the freshest quality and was superb. The food is well executed, pure and melts in your mouth. There is a zen simplicity of design in the plating. I LOVE sushi – one bite of clean flavours, mouthfeel and texture, and if it is done properly, it has a silkiness and meatiness to it. Protein and starch nestled together in a perfect harmony. The seafood and fish are sourced locally or flown directly from Japanese fish markets. I thought the price is reasonable compared to what you would pay in Japan or New York for a similar meal.
There were some great cocktails, like the Haru (Spring in Tokyo), with Mizu lemongrass, shochu, umeshu, yuzu, matcha tea and egg white. Or there is a nice selection of sakes and a few wines.
Come for a sublime and memorable experience.