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.
Pubbelly Sushi is located on the fourth floor of the mall and the space seems brighter and larger than their original popular Sunset Harbour space on Miami Beach. The ceilings are high and there are angled mirrors along the brick walls, accented by brightly painted murals and a large square bar in the middle of the restaurant with seats all around it. There are multiple TVs on, playing sports. As a matter of fact one of our guests commented that she thought it reminded her of a sports bar. At the same time, very loud music plays in the background. I found this all a little much. There is outdoor seating and it is definitely quieter if you choose to sit outside in the mall.
The Brickell City Center is a 500,000 square foot mixed use development space which includes shops, restaurants and a VIP movie theater. The Pubbelly Group choose to open another location here and they have been packed from the moment they opened. The menu is similar to their other location, with shareable plates of Asian-fusion food, sushi rolls, sashimi, robota grill and vegetables. My two favourite rolls are on the menu, the Big Eye Tuna with spicy tuna, arroz pegao, truffle oil and sea salt (however, I think it was prepared better at their original location), and the Tostones Con Ceviche, with a hamachi ginger soy, cilantro and red onion. Tostones are made with plaintains and fried into little pancakes to serve with the ceviche. The location has incorporated a more urban sophistication. You won’t see shorts with flip flops here. But it has a casual yet trendy vibe.
We also enjoyed the heirloom tomatoes and burrata (not very Asian) with pearl onions in a basil ponzu. Their truffle corn is also a classic from Sunset Harbour. It is covered in cotija, truffle cream and yuzu and is delicious. The Japanese eggplant was swimming in too much miso and soya sauce. The wedge salad which is made with baby iceberg lettuce, in a creamy ginger dressing with radishes and beets, was a hit. The rock shrimp tempura can be done traditionally or buffalo style. We went with traditional, and this version was fine but nowhere near the caliber of Nobu. The butter krab roll in soy paper and the rock shrimp tempura roll are also good bets. Most of the menu is familiar and similar to the first location but there are a few new options. New to this location is the Heat Roll paying homage to the Miami Heat. The Garlic Hamachi Roll is also new. For people who like cooked food, there are a lot of grilled options like lamb chops, octopus, beef, cod and chicken.
Chef and Owner, Jose Mendin along with executive Chef Jorge Mijangos and sushi Chef Yuku Ieto will please many people with their creative spin and flavour combinations as well as the craft beers, cocktails, wine and sake selection. The place is still modern and cutting edge and will service shoppers and people living in the neighborhood. They are open 7 days a week for lunch and dinner. Sunday through Thursday 11am-11pm. Friday and Saturday 11am-midnight.