Openings

London's Chotto Matte Serves Peruvian-Japanese Cuisine on Lincoln Road

London's Chotto Matte Serves Peruvian-Japanese Cuisine on Lincoln Road
Courtesy of Chotto Matte
A copse of lanky palm trees stands at the center of Lincoln Road's newest restaurant, Chotto Matte. They sprout through the ceiling and stop just short of a retractable sunroof, which closes precisely eight seconds after a raindrop is detected.

The Peruvian-Japanese eatery, based in London and planning a third location in Toronto, opened on the west end of Lincoln Road this past April near 1111 Lincoln Road, a mixed-use structure that serves as both a parking garage and retail and restaurant space. Located next to hot spots such as Juvia and Shake Shack, Chotto Matte specializes in Nikkei cuisine, in which flavors from Japan and Peru become one.

The restaurant is a product of founder Kurt Zdesar and his London-based hospitality group, NZR. In Miami, James Gallagher, former chef de cuisine at Blue Ribbon Sushi, runs the kitchen as head chef, slinging sake dragon rolls and yuca frita. He is overseen by corporate executive chef Jordan Sclare.

"Over the last decade, I’ve seen Miami emerge as an artsy, high-energy, and dynamic city,” Zdesar says. "Lincoln Road used to be a bespoke destination for its unique brands, and we are excited to bring back a taste of that."
click to enlarge COURTESY OF CHOTTO MATTE
Courtesy of Chotto Matte
Most striking about the 219-seater is a large floating ceiling inspired by a Japanese roof style called irimoya, which facilitates year-round outdoor dining. If it rains, a sunroof-style ceiling retracts over the dining room. The front door might throw you for a loop too. When the restaurant isn't open, the main entrance is disguised as a long white wall. During operating hours, it sits ajar, revealing the restaurant's cynosure, a 19-ton Sicilian boulder at the border of the sushi bar and cocktail area.

"The hive of activity, open air, and sophistication of the 1111 district on Lincoln Road is where we want to be,” Zdesar says.

Open for lunch, happy hour, and dinner, Miami Beach's Chotto Matte offers a mix of robata dishes; sushi and sashimi; tempura and sautéed items; and various small plates such as ceviche, guacamole with yuca chips, and pork, shrimp, and yuca dumplings.
click to enlarge COURTESY OF CHOTTO MATTE
Courtesy of Chotto Matte
Prices range from $4 to $125, though many dishes hover between $10 and $20. To get the best out of Chotto Matte, the restaurant offers four tiers of the chef's tasting menus ($50 to $85). Highlights include canchas, branzino and sweet potato ceviche, warm beef filet tataki, Nikkei sashimi with yuzu truffle soy, black cod in a yellow chili miso, octopus with purple potatoes, and smoked lamb chops.

For dessert, indulge in mochi ice cream in flavors such as mango, Thai basil, green tea, and vanilla and chocolate chip. Or consider the Ecuador 64: two scoops of vanilla ice cream doused in hot chocolate sauce.

Chotto Matte. 1664 Lenox Ave., Miami Beach; 305-690-0743; chotto-matte.com.
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Clarissa Buch Zilberman is a writer and editor, with her work appearing in print and digital titles worldwide.
Contact: Clarissa Buch