I don’t have enough adjectives to describe the reaction I had when walking into Sexy Fish, the new import from London England, that opened in 2015 and became a favourite of celebs and VIPs. Extravagant would be an understatement, ornate, opulent, and over the top might be a few. It certainly was sensory overload.
The restaurant is the brainchild of restauranteur Richard Caring, the man behind the infamous private members club, Annabel’s in London, and he is also a shareholder in SoHo House. A man with deep pockets and deep connections could only pull off this extravaganza.
It is a lot to take in, so let’s begin at the beginning. Velvet rope entry, a bouncer and attendants all in colourful outfits of Gucci and Versace give you a warm pre-check outside. If you pass this you get to enter the “temple” of overwhelming excess. And surprise, you are greeted by a trio of gorgeous and friendly hostesses, led by Elizabeth Dolz. Yes, I said friendly which is highly unusual for Miami. You won’t know where to look first, from the original artworks of Damien Hirst, to the 26 fish lamps designed by Frank Ghery, or the works by Michael Roberts. Each server is in a colourful glam outfit. The amazing floors are made of an agate that is lit from underneath, from thhe stairs to the most amazing bathrooms you will ever see. In the back where the VIPs sit is a show-stopping tank with a colourful assortment of tropical fish, that stretches across the entire wall of this dining room, and houses one of the largest live coral reef tanks in the world. In fact, the restaurant is ocean-inspired throughout with ten-foot-tall mermaids, and even the bathrooms have over the top onyx sinks sitting on mermaid tails, and a sculpture of a full-size mermaid posing at a pink onyx makeup table. I also checked out the men’s bathroom (as did all the other women who were brave enough) and spied 007, “Daniel Cragg” at a urinal, as well as an amazing carved onyx octopus.
There is a resident DJ and I’m told if you come on weekends (if you are lucky enough to score a table.. good luck on that) you will experience live dancers, late-night entertainment and performances as well. Suffice it to say it is worth coming just on the visuals alone, but,
if you have deep pockets, the food doesn’t disappoint either. The menu is large, two pages, and a bit overwhelming. Our adorable server Sophia helped us navigate it with some of her favourite selections. From yellowtail sashimi to caramelized black cod in a spicy miso. We tried the signature crispy duck and watermelon salad with pomegranate that is a hit in London. I found that dish a bit disappointing. The signature nigiri was a better option but extremely expensive. You must order a minimum of two pieces. The wagyu with foie gras and mountain peach was excellent but a costly $36 for a bite, as was the prawn, burrata and caviar at $28. At least the signature maki came with more pieces and the soft shell crab and nuoc cham was more filling.
There were seafood plates, caviar, tartare, salads, skewers and gyoza. The menu also offered tempura, meats, rice and fish and seafood dishes. Your bill can climb upwards of $1,000 if you throw caution to the wind. Is the food sensational and brilliantly prepared… I wouldn’t say no. But if you are coming for the full experience, the gracious hospitality, the artistic displays, the excellent scene and people watching you will not be disappointed.
There is a huge bar that wraps around when you first enter and the mixologist is impressive. My cocktail was delicious, and was a creative interplay on flavours, depending on which part of the glass I drank from, the yellow, green or red sides all had different taste profiles, which was a brilliant concept. The bar offers all classic cocktails as well as inventive craft cocktails. The bar also holds the world’s largest Japanese whiskey collection as well as the largest Dom Perignon selection in the United States. I never checked out their wine list but I am sure it carries a lot of big labels.
The one thing that impressed me the most was the warmth, friendliness and graciousness of every employee from the moment we pulled up to the restaurant, to every server, manager, and bus person on staff. Kudos to GM David Tang, for having the best employees with the best attitude in South Florida.
Sexy Fish is an amazing addition to Miami’s culinary and hospitality scene. The excitement is certainly growing in Brickell. In this year of imports, Sexy Fish has become the new “it” destination.