Everyone is familiar with Miami’s great Latin eats, but did you know the city is also home to a robust scene of upscale and delicious Asian restaurants? From Japanese food to Chinese and Indian bites, here is the ultimate guide to Asian dining in Miami.
Located on the rooftop of the glamorous Fontainebleau Miami Beach, Hakkasan Miami gives you a lesson in pure luxury. The modern Cantonese restaurant is an import from London, where it has won multiple Michelin stars. The chefs here create fabulous spins on Chinese favorites. You spoil yourself with pan-fried foie gras dumplings, crispy Peking duck topped with caviar, charcoal-grilled cod drizzled with champagne, and stir-fried grouper finished with shaved black truffles.
In Japanese, Hannya means “wisdom” and that’s exactly what you leave with after visiting this exciting spot for traditional Japanese food and Vietnamese brunch. You grab a stool at the sushi bar to watch the chefs in action (and the aquarium of lionfish!), but then move to a seat at one of the restaurant’s high-top, communal tables. Once comfortable, you savor some only-in-Miami specialties like conch sushi, made from the marine mollusk that’s so popular here, or the fresh South Miami roll, a play on the California roll, made with salmon, crab, cream cheese, avocado, spicy mayo, cucumber, masago, and sesame seeds. For a weekend brunch, you dive into a steaming bowl of Vietnamese noodle soup called pho.
Owned and run by a family that originated in Mumbai, Bombay Darbar serves up authentic Indian food that you never forget. This white-tablecloth restaurant is usually packed with South Floridians hungry for their tikka masala fixes. When you sit down, you don’t expect to have a lot of space on the table for long: You soon cover every inch with bowls and plates of spicy dishes like mango chicken curry, lamb chops roasted in a tandoori oven, and saag paneer. You sop it all up with fluffy naan bread sprinkled with garlic and cilantro or the Peshawari version, which is stuffed with mixed nuts and raisins. Elbow room is overrated here.
Akashi is one of the oldest sushi bars in Miami and still holds a place among the city’s best Asian restaurants. The chef at the restaurant’s multiple locations, Larry Chi, has been working with raw fish for decades and his expertise shows. He flies in massive whole fish from all over the world every day and then slices into tiny pieces so you can savor each subtle morsel in one bite. You discover most of the Japanese food here is traditional, with crispy delicacies like tonkatsu, a breaded and fried pork loin, while some other dishes have pan-Asian twists. You order the yukke, a raw beef appetizer which comes with a spicy, Korean kimchi sauce, but make sure to save room for the puffy donuts that are fried up like the street food of Thailand.
Of all the Asian restaurants in Miami, Azul at the Mandarin Oriental hotel features some of the most inventive and border-blending meals available. You ask for an intimate table on the outside terrace for a dramatic view overlooking Biscayne Bay and the city skyline, or a seat at the chef’s table, where you can watch the action take place in the white marble open kitchen. The adventurous, foodie-side of you finds a lot to love. Your caramelized pork belly comes with Korean kimchi and Thai herbs, and your significant other’s Wagyu short ribs are served with dried fish (Japanese dashi) and Worcestershire sauce.