No Boos Here

Sushi hits a new high

Moving rapidly beyond typical SoBe family appetites, we scarfed two special tempuras: sea urchin and rock shrimp with creamy spicy sauce. It proved an unintimidating introduction to urchin. Wrapped in nori and coated in light, crisp batter, the cigar-shaped roll tasted not fishy or squishy but like deep-fried custard. The urchin, along with a tempura shiso leaf and creamy shiitake mushroom, came not with the usual dashi dipping sauce but with infinitely more intriguing piles of sea salt, pepper, and tangy-sour yuzu ponzu: big fun. The latter's batter was less like crunchy tempura batter than soft pan-fried breading and was, frankly, not as good for that reason. But the rock shrimp themselves were relatively huge specimens, fried to ideal juicy succulence. And their topping was a vast upgrade in sophistication, as well as heat (the chef's Peruvian years coming through, with a bang) of standard sushi bar "dynamite" mayo.

Finally it would be a major mistake not to try some of Nobu's signature new-style sashimi, particularly if your party includes people who won't eat raw seafood or meat (two beef items are available as well as fish). According to Matsuhisa this style was invented when a lady who had ordered standard sashimi (well, standard at Nobu, meaning garlic, ponzu, and other seasonings not found in the traditional Japanese prep) sent her plate back because the fish was ... raw. The chef responded by pouring hot olive oil over the fish, partially cooking it. The lady ate every bite.

Actually this technique was not exactly invented but adapted from Peruvian home cooks, who pour hot oil over steamed fish to seal the surface and retain juices -- the same reason why American home cooks sear pot roasts. But why quibble? It works great. The delicately thin slices psychologically seem cooked but retain the moistness and melting tenderness of raw fish or beef.

Steve Satterwhite

Location Info

Map

Nobu Miami Beach

1901 Collins Ave.
Miami Beach, FL 33139

Category: Restaurant > Japanese

Region: South Beach

Details

305-695-3100. Open 6:00 p.m. to midnight Tuesday through Thursday and Sunday; till 1:00 a.m. Friday and Saturday. Closed Monday.
1901 Collins Ave (at the Shore Club), Miami Beach

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Now, how about how you've heard that the Estefans and the Madonnas are hogging all the tables. Don't worry. SoBe's Nobu is modeled after Nobu Next Door rather than Nobu -- meaning walk-ins are encouraged; reservations aren't even taken for fewer than four folks on weekends (six, weekdays). So arrive before 8:00 p.m. with a friend or two, even on a Saturday, and you're in free. Well, okay, not free. But it'll be worth every cent.

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