At Dashi, Chef Hiyakawa is Deftly Dishing Sushi on the Miami River

You’d think given Miami’s proximity to the ocean we’d have a bounty of exceptional sushi spots—think again. Sushi Deli is no more (RIP), Myumi has six seats (and it’s summer), and NAOE is well, NAOE. Sometimes you you want to splurge on a full omakase experience, with equally pristine views of the Miami River. Whichever way your palate feels like swaying, Dashi is sure to satiate and please.

If you’re wondering why you’ve yet to hear of Dashi, it’s because of its clandestine location…inside River Yacht Club. Yes, this is a restaurant within a restaurant (Inception, anyone?). No, it’s nothing like River Yacht Club. The thumping techno and reggaeton and costumed dancers and champagne sparklers remain outdoors and distinctly separate from Dashi. A sleek and minimalist gray wood-clad interior sets the scene for an equally exceptionally crisp and austere dining experience.

Chef Shuji Hiyakawa is at the helm here, quietly handling fish with the type of raw dexterity you’d expect from a protégé of Iron Chef Masaharu Morimoto. The menu proffers plenty to chopstick and spoon, from hot and cold starters and salads to vigorous soups and udon to—of course—a plethora of fresh and exotic sushi and sashimi, as well as less exciting but crowd pleasing maki options. We opted for the $125 omakase tasting menu and let Hiyakawa steer the sushi ship. Pro tip: repeat after us—while you may or may not get the exact same lineup, you’re in for a delectably unpredictable journey nonetheless. Or if you want to have your meal be predictable and eat as we did, order up the Ocean Scallops with Russian osetra caviar and yuzu; the Hamachi Ponzu with cucumber, cilantro, and shio-kobu, and White Fish Tiradito with sudachi, olive oil, and micro herbs. And that’s just the beginning…

A Cha-soba Salad with shiitake, asparagus, and edamame is vibrant and mouthwatering. White Fish Kara-age is lipsmacking good. Ever popular Sea Bass Miso with scallion and hoba is the opposite of overdone and underrated here. Kakiage Udon is both unctuous and herbal thanks to bright tempura vegetables, soulwarming broth, and slurp-worthy noodles. And then of course there’s the Sushi; options like sea bream, golden eye snapper, toro, mackerel, and island jack fish. Fish sits atop an impeccable orb of seasoned rice and held intact by kelp, sugar, and two kinds of vinegar—just as it should be. Ask for soy sauce only if you want to disrespect the chef and self-sabotage your experience.

For a sweet ending, it’s a tie between the Yuzu Ginger Crème Brûlée and Whiskey Ice Cream. Repeat after us (again) and have both, or save it for next time since Dashi will be at the top of your list for great sushi from now on.

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