Chotto Matte is translated from Japanese as “wait a minute” and used when you want close friends to wait for you a little bit. However, you won’t want to wait long to experience this exciting addition to the Miami Beach culinary landscape. Chotto Matte opened mid-April located just off Lincoln Road adjacent to the 1111 garage/retail complex
Owner and founder Kurt Zdesar and the NZR Group offer authentic Nikkei (Japanese-Peruvian) cuisine in a vibrant setting. They carefully chose South Beach as the London based restaurant’s first location in the U.S.
Chotto Matte is contemporary, urban, and chic. You enter through a dramatic white pivoting wall with a single rectangular window sparking your curiosity of what lies within. Chotto Matte is projected in white on the building’s exterior. The 219-seat restaurant features a large floating ceiling with a fully retractable roof which remains open unless detectors signal rain.... alfresco dining in all its elegance. Wood ceilings, hanging gardens, stone, steel, and tinted glass add a potpourri of architectural elements. Indoor palm trees and a 19-ton Sicilian boulder encompassed by the bar add to the spectacle. A bright mural by local graffiti artists adds a Miami signature.
Executive chef Jordan Sciare and head chef Jimmy Gallagher are at the kitchen’s helm sharing impressive credentials, the former previously with London’s Nobu Park Lane and the latter previously with Gastόn Acurio’s La Mar at Mandarin Oriental. They are impassioned with an emphasis on quality and use natural and locally produced ingredients.
The Chotto Matte culinary experience might start with a signature cocktail.Crafted cocktails include a “Tokyo to Lima” section paying homage to both cultures and classic cocktails exist for the traditionalist. An extensive list of bubbly, wine and sake are available by the glass or bottle at a comfortable range of price points. Creative non-alcoholic cocktail options are available. I chose the Holy Water. Composed of pisco, sunflower sake, and citric extract juxtaposing sweet and tangy, it arrives in a silver chalice and is flamed tableside.
Chotto Matte’s extensive menu bursts with bold natural colors and gustatory sensations. The menu is divided into nibbles, hot and cold appetizers, tostadita morada (variety of combos served on purple corn tortilla), Nikkei sushi, sashimi, Nikkei robata barbecue, Anticucherίa (traditional Peruvian marinade) barbecue, sides, and desserts. Three nine course tasting menus are also available. Dishes are intended for sharing and placed in the center of the table by attentive service staff offering careful descriptions of each dish.
We started with miso soup traditionally and flavorfully prepared presented in a visually pleasing black lacquer bowl.
Our hot appetizer, ebiharumaki, a fried Japanese spring roll filled with shrimp and shiitake mushrooms was accompanied by a shiso ponzu salsa. Crispy exterior encaseda unique pairing of ingredients with a robust dipping sauce.
Our cold appetizer was Nikkei sashimi. Delicate pieces of yellowtail and varietals of cherry tomatoes are garnished with jalapeņo, cilantro and yuzu truffle soy to create a symphony of softness and zestiness.
Our selection from the robata grill was Salmon Nipόn. Flaky salmon was grilled to perfect internal temperature and dressed with a yuzu teriyaki glaze.
Vegetables Japoneses was our mixed vegetable tempura. Onion, red pepper, eggplant, carrot, sweet potato, avocado and green beans were lightly and crisply coated and accompanied by a carefully balanced dipping sauce.
Our soft-shell crab sushi roll was pleasingly colorful. Eight pieces are generously arranged and artfully wrapped in paper thin cucumber. Textural elements of crab and tobiko together are sensational.
Our finish was a sweet and savory salted caramel chocolate fondant. Served warm with orange, vanilla ice cream and a mandarin sauce it was indulgent.
Chotto Matte offers a global dining experience. The open air and evolving sophistication of Lincoln Road is enhanced by this London based import.
Chotto Matte is located at 1664 Lenox Avenue, Miami Beach, FL 33139
Reservations taken by phone or Open Table
Takeout at a future date
Hours: Seven days a week
Lunch: 12 p.m. to 3 p.m.
Dinner: 6 p.m. to 2 a.m.
Weekend brunch and happy hour will debut at a later date.