"It's pronounced 'tickle,' like, as in tickle your taste buds," clarifies executive chef Simon Stojanovic, part of Miami Beach's Altamare team. He is referring to the small-plates concept TIKL restaurant, which will arrive in Brickell at the end of July. "With the style of food and the style of dining we're bringing, I guarantee that we'll be doing so with something new and interesting."
The style of food exactly? The Australian chef, known for his seafood, won't say explicitly. Instead, he's using the raw bar and grill approach to pull influences from wherever he pleases. "I'm very interested in Asian cuisine, just because of the differently flavorful and interesting tastes of places such as Japan, China, and Vietnam," he says. "I have a bit from each of those countries in addition to influences from Italy, from home in Australia, and elsewhere. It's not limited."
The much-anticipated menu will include small dishes, priced from $8 to $18, such as veal rillet with a slow-poached duck egg, pickled horseradish, and toast; and crisp snapper "wings" served with a refreshing Vietnamese bok choy salad.
In keeping with Stojanovic's interest in true Asian flavor, TIKL will enlist a Japanese double-robata grill to serve items, priced $6 to $18, like tender Korean skirt steak with citrus soy, kimchi and scallion; day boat scallops with butternut dashi, pumpkin seeds and lime zest; and Australian lobster tail with a miso-butter glaze to eggplant with Romesco sauce.
The restaurant also will offers a selection of skewers at $6-$8 that includes bacon-wrapped enoki with house-made guacamole, and local shrimp with shisito pepper and garlic butter.
"We realize Brickell has a lot of places to eat, but it's really the new South Beach, it's the new place to be for restaurants," says Stojanovic. "There was no where else we'd go."
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TIKL is designed perfectly to be a hub for the young professionals working late in the downtown financial district. Along with offering a nice happy hour from 4 to 7 p.m., the place will stay open until 2:30 a.m. most nights.
The scene is cool, yet unpretentious, and the menu is purposefully designed for patrons to come, have a drink, stay for some food. "Here, you will be able to come to unwind and enjoy a small dish, or come with a group of friends and share and try a lot of different dishes," said Stojanovic. "You can get without hardship as much as you like, or as little as you like."