Friday night dinner at Sakura 736 — a chic new eatery — where Japanese & Peruvian food fuse fabulously, creating a unique culinary experience.
Sakura 736 is just one of those places: cool, sexy and laid-back. It totally matches the vibe of the Magic City, but its food is a different story. It’s not just unique, it’s something that’s hard to find in the 305.
Its cuisine is called “Nikkei” — an interesting and artful fusion of Japanese & Peruvian foods. If you’re wondering how the unusual combination came to be, I’m right there with you. Thank God for Google…
Apparently, back in the 1800’s, a lot of Japanese families immigrated to Peru in search of a better life and a country said to be “filled with gold.” Since then, the two cultures have beautifully blended together. Sakura is a generous reminder of that historical harmony.
That nugget of information made my dining experience all the more enjoyable…
I started Spotlight with two creative drinks: the Word of Wisdom and Seppuku. I loved the presentation of both, but an Owl drink? I mean, WHO can resist a copper owl mug filled to the brim with vodka, pear brandy and spiced tea? The Seppuku, which is tequila-based, was muy caliente, made with yummy ingredients like Fresno chili, watermelon and agave. I’m a sucker for anything savory, so it’s black-salted rim was magic in my mouth.
One of my favorite dishes of the night was the Classic Ceviche (made with fish, red onions, Peruvian corn and sweet potato.) The Leche de Tigre they cure it in makes it extra special. Nothing like a marinade with moxie.
The scallops — named Hotate A La Parmesan on the menu — were pretty impressive, too. The presentation was appealing and the scallops were served in a mind-blowing parmesan sauce. If they served it in a cup, I’d definitely drink it. Lol.
The Sakura Roll was the most artistic dish of the night, made with lobster, tempura, cucumber & asapargus. Its pink spicy mayo was used to create sushi art; more specifically, the frilly leaves of a Sakura Tree (we call it a Dogwood). The restaurant and its signature roll are named after the tree, which is said to represent the fragility and beauty of life.
What’s sushi without a little sashimi? I’ve tried tuna before, but not toro, which is the pale, fatty cut of the fish that comes from its belly. Although I loved it, I feel like it’s an acquired taste — but don’t worry, there are plenty of other raw selections.
If you love quinoa, the Quinoto is interesting (made with quinoa, Peruvian corn, cheese and a gi-normous prawn.) I say “interesting” because I don’t find quinoa particularly worth inhaling, mainly due to its healthy reputation; but in this case, it added great texture to the plate and pairing it with a oversized prawn was perfect.
Before the mains, another round of drinks arrived. Both the South of Fifth and Sakura Maru packed an elegant punch, which of course (if you know anything about me,) I LOVE #LushesAreUs
The #SouthOfFifth, garnished with a lychee, is made with strawberry-infused sake and St. Germain. The #SakuraMaru (my favorite adult beverage of the night) mixes bubbly with yuzu, zamaca and cherry blossom.
I tried two main dishes — the savory Lomo Saltado (think Chinese stir-fry with sirloin) served with jasmine rice and the unusual Paiche (an Amazonian river fish) breaded with garlic panko and served with baby bok choy and wild mushrooms. As a side, I munched on little fried balls of heaven called: ‘Papitas Ocopa” or as we call them here, fried potato balls. Speaking of fried…
For dessert, I gobbled up a Peruvian specialty called Picaron (fried doughnuts.) The originals are made with squash and sweet potato and were created by Peruvian Royalty. If they’re good enough for royalty, well, they’re good enough for moi.
Sakura 736 is an alluring spot with exciting & unique food. It’s great for a date or a get-together with friends. And, if you’re a true foodie, you’ll definitely want to put this on your must-try radar and that’s why it’s one of my Favorite Things. Cheers!
736 1st Street
Miami Beach, FL. 33139
Make a reservation: www.sakura736.com or 786-607-0199.
Dinner Hours are 5pm-11pm