Shuji Hiyakawa is set to open his namesake restaurant next month in the Cynergi Building on North Miami Avenue at NW 27th Street, adding a variety of cooked dishes to established omakase and poke bowl operations at his Wabi Sabi by Shuji.
The concept is a partnership between Shuji and restaurateur and art dealer Alvaro Perez Miranda, along with executive sushi chef Masayuki Komatsu, formerly of Blue Ribbon Sushi Bar & Grill.
At Hiyakawa, Komatsu and Hiyakawa will concentrate on a broader range of Japanese cuisine, including agemono (deep-fried dishes), yakimono (grilled or pan-fried), shirumono (soups), zensai (appetizers), and sushi, as well as sake, beer, and wine. Hiyakawa will also offer a $100-per-person omakase menu, whose chef selections from each category will create an ever-changing progression.
Guests will have the option of including cooked dishes in the tasting menu, and an early draft shows items such as pork katsu with shredded cabbage, roasted duck breast with miso mustard, and the savory egg custard chawanmushi served with uni. Dishes will range from $19 to $40, with the upper end covering luxe items such as Wagyu and seasonal fish flown in from Japan.
The restaurant will specialize in kappo cuisine, which is said to have originated in Osaka in the early 20th Century and arose as people began to eschew formal dining in favor of a more convivial setting without compromising the quality or seasonality of a traditional kaiseki meal.
"It’s a face-to-face style of dining, with the chef enabling you to enjoy the moment and the ingredients," Hiyakawa says. "The menu will always be changing, and we'll be focusing on applying those — agemono, yakimono, mushimono, or steaming — to anything I can find that is seasonal or from Japan."
The restaurant's interior was designed by Bea Pernia, who worked with Miranda to create a space that's minimalistic and whimsical. The space includes a small entry lounge furnished with blue-cushioned banquettes, natural oak paneling, and industrial-style concrete floors. The main dining room features overhead wooden slats and backlighting to create a setting reminiscent of a seashell. The dining room's centerpiece is the sushi bar, which is designed as a stage for diners to view the chef's creativity.
Hiyakawa. 2700 N. Miami Ave., Miami; 305-890-7228; wabisabibyshuji.com/hiyakawa. Opening spring 2020.
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