About a year and a half ago, international chain Tanuki opened its first U.S. location on Alton Road. This past October, the South Beach spot debuted an Asian-inspired brunch.
The 3,500-square-foot restaurant, which serves more than 80 items during lunch and dinner, offers a small but mighty brunch menu that's available from noon to 4 p.m. Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.
The concept is owned by Bulldozer Group, a restaurant investment company with holdings in Dubai, Russia, Ukraine, and Kazakhstan, with nearly 60 locations in Moscow alone, and generally serves sushi 24 hours a day seven days a week at most locations. However, Tanuki's South Beach location, which shares the name but has some different investors, doesn't feel like a massive chain, especially during brunch service.
The meal begins with sharable dim sum plates, presented on a compact wooden cart stacked with steaming baskets of food. Servers allow diners to view each option, from dumplings to sushi and sashimi, before selecting items for the table ($6 for three pieces).
Then patrons choose from seven brunch plates. Tanuki recommends the roasted vegetable and crispy quinoa salad ($14), in which cold quinoa is topped with a poached egg and shishito vinaigrette, resulting in a pleasantly strong smoky aftertaste. Also try the crispy Brussels sprouts ($13), topped with a fried egg and drizzled with truffle vinaigrette.
Benedicts ($16 each) bring either salmon, served on a bed of crispy rice and garnished with avocado and kimchee glaze, or crispy barbecued pork belly with spinach, shishito pepper, and cabbage inside a warm bao bun.
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There is no formal dessert menu, but the green tea French toast ($15) — garnished with mixed berries, whipped cream, yuzu miso caramel, and hazelnuts — will satisfy any craving for sweets.
Because brunch would not be complete without booze, bottomless Prosecco ($20) or mimosas and bellinis ($25) are available. There is also a house bloody mary with a dash of wasabi ($10).
During brunch, Tanuki offers its massive lunch too, including sushi, sashimi, dim sum, and noodles ($12 to $35).
Tanuki. 1080 Alton Rd., Miami Beach; 305 615-1055; tanukimiami.com. Noon to 4 p.m. Friday, Saturday, and Sundays.