Two new chefs known for their innovative takes on Japanese cuisine are headed for Miami.
Japanese master chef Masaharu Morimoto and Austin-based Hai Hospitality founder Tyson Cole have each targeted Wynwood to open new locations for their signature restaurants in the coming months.
Known to many as a competitor on Iron Chef and Iron Chef America, Morimoto will open Momosan at 415 NW 26th St. on Friday, December 18. With more than a half-dozen locations across the country, the restaurant is best known for dishes that incorporate both Japanese and Western ingredients.
As with each Momosan establishment, noodle dishes and ramen will take center stage at the Wynwood location, served alongside a curated selection of beer, wine, Japanese whiskey, and sake.
"I am also excited for the dishes we created exclusively for Wynwood, like the kama meshi, a rice dish that is prepared tableside for guests," Morimoto tells New Times. "The menu will also include some signature dishes from my Morimoto restaurants, including our tuna pizza and tuna tartare, which showcase culinary techniques not associated with the Momosan brand."
A traditional Japanese rice dish cooked in an iron pot called a kama is one of several dishes that have been created especially for Momosan Wynwood. Other offerings range from Japanese bar snacks like duck-fat fries and jellyfish sashimi ($5) to beef gyukotsu ramen and A5 Wagyu served a variety of ways ($16).
"In Miami, diners will be able to choose from Wagyu steak, ishiyaki Wagyu, Wagyu kushiyaki — even Wagyu pho," Morimoto promises.
In January, the James Beard Award-winning Cole will launch his Austin-based Uchi at 252 NW 25th St. Translated from the Japanese word for “house,” the concept is known for its modern, nontraditional approach to Japanese cuisine.
At Uchi, Cole says, his focus is to create the "perfect bite" with each dish, while also expanding the intimate and personal experience of omakase dining from the sushi bar to every table.
"Early in my career as a sushi chef, I loved trying to create what I call the 'perfect bite' for guests," Cole tells New Times. "After years of making sushi in front of guests and experimenting with many different recipes, a favorite was always my 'Hama Chili.'"
The popular dish combines bites of raw yellowtail snapper with Thai chili, orange supreme wedges, ponzu, and olive oil. A single bite marries spicy, sweet, and savory elements, an experience he says became the format for many other similar combinations in his quest to create the "perfect bite."
In addition to its core menu of signature rolls, sashimi, agemono (tempura), and yakimono (grilled items), diners are encouraged to experiment via three different types of omakase, including a ten-course chef's tasting menu or a six-course tasting that can be tailored to vegetarians.
In addition, chef de cuisine Edward Sura — who previously served as chef de cuisine at Hai Hospitality's Uchiko in Austin and honed his technical skills working at Chicago's NoMi Kitchen — has prepared both seasonal and core menu items that will be unique to the new Miami location.
"Our menu will always be evolving based on the freshest and seasonal ingredients," Sura tells New Times. "When we open, many of the specials featured will be unique to Uchi Miami, including the hirame crudo, a seasonal dish of fluke sashimi accented with a persimmon relish, shaved heirloom carrots in a carrot vinegar, smoked marcona almonds, and olive oil."
Uchi's daily 5-to-6:30-p.m. happy hour will highlight a curated selection of small tasting plates, sushi rolls, nigiri, and dessert. Cocktails incorporate Japanese spirits from the Shiro Ryu with green tea-infused vodka, coconut, Thai basil, and matcha or the Uchi G&T made with Roku Gin, yuzu cordial and tonic ($16).
Momosan Wynwood. 415 NW 26th St., Miami; momosanwynwood.com. Sunday through Thursday 5 to 10 p.m., Friday and Saturday 5 to 11 p.m. Opens Friday, December 18.
Uchi Miami. 252 NW 25th St., Miami; uchimiami.com. Opens in January 2021.
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