Downtown Miami and Brickell are still in the midst of massive regentrification. Some areas however, are still sketchy. Nearby, one such area is the newly developed River Yacht Club, located on the Miami River. The River Yacht Club, at 401 SW 3rd Avenue, offers an undoubtedly premier experience and is quickly becoming one of Miami’s waterfront indoor/outdoor dining destinations. The club offers guests sophisticated environments with waterfront docking facilities, art installations, amazing views, DJs, a private club, lounges, and, well, you get the idea …
But, personally, I wouldn’t go for a walk in the surrounding neighbourhood at night, just yet.
In March of 2017, Miami’s newest Japanese dining concept opened within the complex of the River Yacht Club. The new restaurant is called Dashi, which calls itself a progressive Japanese restaurant, helmed by Executive Chef Shuji Kiyakawa. Chef Shuji is a protégée of Iron Chef Morimoto and was also the executive chef at Kuro at the Hard Rock Hotel.
Similarly, the restaurant has the same “million dollar” coveted views, in a glass enclosed space, featuring a modern and minimalist blue and white sensibility. The design mixes light woods and nautical themed inspired accents. Seating between 70-80, the restaurant is open for dinner Tuesday to Sunday from 6-11pm.
The menu is divided into cold options, salads, hot options, soup and udon, sushi and sashimi, maki, small cold plates and small hot plates. The fish is flown in from around the world. The chef’s creations are unique and elevated than most Japanese restaurants that you will find in Miami. Not only are his presentations beautiful, but he tempts all the senses. If you are a traditional sushi aficionado, then, of course, you may be disappointed, but if you come here not expecting that level of perfection, I don’t think you will be.
You should note that although the menu offers the requisite and aesthetically-designed sushi, sashimi and protein options, it would be wise to try one of the udon options. Dashi is the Japanese word for, “broth”. The chef is the third generation udon maker in his family that hails from Fukuoka, Japan. He grew up in his father’s noodle shop and I have to say it was the best bowl of udon I have ever tasted. We tried two types, the beef udon, which has a rich, deeply scented broth with the most tender braised short ribs, and luscious, thick noodles. The spicy seafood udon is made with clams, shrimp and scallops.
Another outstanding noodle dish, as well as visually stunning, is the Cha-Soba Salad, a thinner noodle, served cold with shiitake mushrooms, asparagus and edamame.
The wine list is varied with choices from around the world. There are also sakes, Japanese whiskeys and beers and the cocktail list offers special creative libations. I enjoyed the Tanto, created with Stoli Elite, raspberry, lychee, lemon and Tyku Black premium Junmai Ginjo. They pipe in the music from the River Yacht club, and the DJ provides a sexy, sophisticated and relaxing vibe.
If you don’t mind the drive down to this area you will be rewarded with a beautiful evening filled with unique Japanese flavours in an upscale environment and breathtaking views. Try to request a table near the floor to ceiling windows.
Valet parking is provided.