Makoto has been on my must-try list of restaurants for quite some time now. I feel that, ever since it opened its doors at Bal Harbour Shops four years ago, this Stephen Starr sushi resto has been eluding me... Every time I made plans to try it, somehow they fell through! This past weekend I decided to finally try it with one of my best friends, who happens to have lived in Tokyo and is both a sushi connoisseur, and an extremely picky foodie.
One thing you must know about my approach to trying new restaurants is that I always make it a point to find their "signature dish". You know, the one that will stand out from the rest and will make me want to come back for more over and over again. If you’ve ever had Yardbird’s Fried Green Tomato BLT or Hillstone’s Thai Steak and Noodle Salad, you’ll know exactly what I’m talking about. Let me tell you, this one-hit approach of mine does NOT apply to Makoto. You see, at this place, every single dish that I had was worth coming back for! Though I was just there last night, I’m still savoring each and every single bite. It is that special.
|Crispy Rice Tuna + Roasted Pineapple Margarita|
We started off with some cocktails and tried the very recommended roasted pineapple margarita. The spicy rim and roasted-pineapple-infused tequila gave it a distinct taste that paired perfectly well with our first appetizer, the incredibly popular Crispy Rice Tuna. Let me tell you, this dish was BRILLIANT. The rice was crunchy and chewy at the same time, the perfect texture to combine with the tuna, and topped with a thin slice of poblano chili, which just tickled your tongue without quite kicking it. A total hit! This was followed by the beautifully presented Kobe Beef and Truffle Carpaccio, which, from the name, you can probably already guess that it was nothing short of fantastic. A very elegant dish topped with tiny chopped garlic and a thin slice of ginger that balanced it nicely and gave it some texture.
Lets talk about the main dish, shall we? The Makoto Ramen was heavenly. Despite the fact that ramen is usually considered a comfort food in Japan and often found at fast food joints, Makoto puts a nice twist on it, making it gourmet by adding perfectly tender short rib to it. This, plus the noodles and the pickled cabbage on top made it an incredibly savory dish. If you order it, make sure to separate a few pieces of the short rib to appreciate it on its own. It was so soft and fatty that it just melted in my mouth. I want more already!
|Kobe Beef Carpaccio with Truffle Oil|
I have a feeling that, just like me, once you go to Makoto you'll want to try every single dish that passes by in front of your table, but I urge you: as difficult as it might be, leave some space for dessert. And not just any dessert. THE dessert: Fruit Toban Yaki. 100% homemade, this beauty consists of fresh fruit, served in a bowl full of white chocolate passion fruit sauce, ginger graham cracker crumble, marshmallows and a scoop of mango sorbet. I know it sounds like a lot of flavors, but trust me, they blend in perfectly together. This dish has officially entered my top 3 best desserts in Miami.
At the risk of sounding repetitive, let me conclude by saying that Makoto is most definitely one of the top restaurants in Miami, and one of my new faves. The food has a level of sophistication and creativity that you would expect from a Stephen Starr restaurant, and the price is very reasonable for the quality and the amazing experience and service. Needless to say… I will be back for more soon!
|Makoto Ramen with Short Rib|
|Charcoal Roasted Robata Corn|
|Fruit Toban Yaki|
Makoto: 9700 Collins Ave, Miami Beach, FL 33154