Thursday, January 29, 2015

Top 5 Must-Try Foods from Yakko-San

When going to a new restaurant, there is one important rule that you must follow for guaranteed dining success: always go for the house specialties. Many times, this can be a hard thing to figure out on our own, leaving us to rely on our friends' past experiences, media reviews, intuition, or - worst case scenario- the waiter, to find out what those star dishes are. Fortunately, dish selection is my specialty and today, I'm starting a new "Dish Guide" section in the blog to help you navigate the best options upon trying a new restaurant!

We are starting the section with Yakko San, a favorite hidden gem of mine located in an unsuspecting shopping plaza in North Miami Beach. This Japanese eatery has been around for more than 11 years now and has become a go-to place for chefs, industry insiders and locals alike. Their menu offers more than 100 dishes including soups, tempura, sushi and noodles, but here, I narrow it down to my top 5:

1) The Tako Yakki
The Tako Yakki, one of my favorite dishes at Yakko San, is a typical comfort food from Japan that consists of grilled balls of batter with octopus chunks inside. This is a very popular fast food snack in Japan, that is incredibly hard to find here in Miami, so if you are curious about it, this is the place to try it. My only warning is that they are very HOT inside, so make sure to pinch them with your chopsticks and let them breathe for a good 5 minutes before eating to avoid burning your tongue.
A Japanese dinner is not the same without an ice cold Sapporo!
2) The Ocean Drive Roll
Despite the reference Miami's most touristy (and trashy) street, the Ocean Drive Roll is most definitely another must. The combination of tuna, avocado, spicy mayo and cilantro is magical and will make the back of your tongue tingle with delight!

3) Ahire (aka: fish jerky)

If you've never tried Ahire before, this is the place to do it! This fish jerky dish is completely home made, and is so much fun to eat! Just grab it with your chopstick, dip it in some spicy mayo, close your eyes and enjoy. The flavor is sweet and fishy (in a good way) and the chewy texture makes it simply addicting! 

4) Yakki Udon with Pork
Hmmm, if you are a noodle lover, then this is the dish for you! These hot white wheat noodles are  sauted with ginger shreds, mushrooms, cabbage, carrots, scallions and bok toy, and served together with your choice of pork, shrimp, chicken or beef, giving it the most amazing texture combination possible. You'll go from chewy and sticky, to crunchy and spicy, all in one delicious bite. Put your chopsticks to the test with the Yakki Udon, and make sure to slurp loudly to show your gratitude to the chef!

5) The Cheesecake & Ice Cream Roll
Last, but most certainly not least, is one of the latest addition to my favorite dessert list: the cheese cake and ice cream roll. The thick roll of creamy cheesecake covered in batter is very lightly fried and served with your choice of ice cream and wafers for added texture. The dessert is perfect, not too heavy and not too sweet, and pairs nicely with the green tea ice cream, which is made with real matcha  powder! 

Yakko San: 3881 NE 163 Ave, North Miami Beach

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