Nikko by Sunshine: Kangaroo Curry, Edible Penguins, and Live Goldfish

When we eat, we use all our senses, which is why food has to be visually appealing as well as delicious.

Master chef Sunchai "Sunshine" Naknoon is a firm believer that one should "eat with your eyes" at his new restaurant Nikko by Sunshine. At his new Brickell Bay restaurant, expect to see some surprising dishes -- with some whimsical touches.

After a 17-year career as master chef at restaurants like China Grill, Sushi Siam, and the Sheraton Bal Harbor Beach Resort, "Sunshine" opened a sushi bar at the Fort Lauderdale Hilton Hotel and Resort. Nikko by Sunshine is his first foray into the Miami market.

The menu is a mix of sushi, sashimi, curries, and noodles. The Bangkok-born chef adds playful artistry and food carvings to the dishes -- even incorporating live goldfish swimming in martini glasses into the displays (Please, no goldfish swallowing. The little guys are there purely for decoration).

Other edible cuties include goldfish, palm trees, and baby chicks. In fact, each dish has a "spin" to it, whether it's carrot flames rising from the sushi rolls, towering fried noodles, or traditional intricate fruit sculptures.

Chef "Sunshine" told Short Order that he wanted to do something different at his restaurant, so he incorporated these edible sculptures made from eggs and vegetables -- including an Angry Bird. "I was trying to make a fish, but my four year-old son kept insisting it was an Angry Bird," he says. "So it turned into one."

If veggie sculptures aren't exotic enough for you, check out the "specials" board, which features dishes like rattlesnake rolls (made with fresh rattlesnake flown in from Texas) and ostrich basil. Today's item is a kangaroo curry ($23). "The way we cook it is special. We make it with a fish curry. If you haven't tried it, you have to," Sunshine says.

The exotics aren't on the menu every day since the meat can be difficult to procure. "If I get rattlesnake in, it sells out that day." Nikko by Sunshine is open Monday - Saturday fro lunch and dinner from 11:30 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. daily.

Follow Laine Doss on Twitter @LaineDoss and Facebook.

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