Anyway, our meal at NAOE began with a bento box. BENTO BOX, you say?! Yes. A very glorious bento box. It only had 4 compartments. But, it had a billion things inside. Each compartment could be a review on its own but I'll try to keep it short and focus on what really blew my mind... which was basically everything. First, we ate the Pressed Rice with Shimeji mushrooms. It was a good introduction to wake up my tastebuds for the next 2.5 hours of flavor bombs. The Organic Tofu with Abalone Liver Sauce and Walnuts was pretty badass too. It's super soft and light with a rich taste. Next, I enjoyed the Cured Yokawa(?) (baby Tuna) with Scallop Mantle and Wasabi from Shizuoka. As you can see, things are starting to get a bit intense. The tuna was on the tender side with a nice light flavor to compliment the fragrant shiso leaves, which smelled of anise. Chef Cory also prepared fresh wasabi right in front of us. He took a wasabi stem and started grinding it. The final product, compared to regular store-bought wasabi, was less dense, lighter in color, moist, less pungent in flavor and smell, and more pleasing to eat on its own.
The first was a Sesame Tofu with Organic Dates and Sapodilla with Lime Zest. The tofu was perfectly nutty. And, it went well with the sweet, fruity fudgy taste of the dates. The Sapodilla is kind of like a small pear. The three different flavors of the fruits amalgamated into a single cocktail of mind-numbingly good zesty flavor to compliment the tofu. Lastly, I enjoyed the Shutuk(?), which were Innards of Skipjack Tuna marinaded in Sake, Honey, and Mirin for 6 months. 6 MONTHS. I tear up every time I think about it. It was beautiful. I really appreciated the Sake/Mirin taste. (Mirin is a popular Japanese rice wine condiment). But, the innards were totally awesome. Thanks to the marinade, the innards had a subdued bitterness with a sweeter and more aromatic scent. The tuna was chewy and full of flavor. I enjoyed feeling adventurous with this delicacy.
Next, we had the Soft-broiled Sanma (Pacific Saury) from Japan. It was so good that I almost ate the whole fish including the bones! The skin was perfectly crisp and the meat had a gorgeous buttery, oily, taste. When I have these types of oily fish, I love drenching it in lemon juice to give it some awesome zesty elegance. The fish also came with Broiled Eryngi (King Trumpet Mushroom). It was flavored with Safflower oil and Himalayan salt. The Safflower oil provided a flowery, herbaceous taste. The Eryngi was stunningly good. I don't even like mushrooms but I devoured these. They were so juicy! I don't know why but it reminded me of those large white asparagus stalks. FUN FACT: Safflower oil is nutritious and helpful in mitigating chances of heart disease.
Wow! This post is getting quite long but I still have stuff to talk about! Next, we got some fresh Kumamoto oysters from California. These oysters are sweet, creamy, and extremely buttery. After a few seconds on your palate, its got a slightly briny taste at the finish but is accompanied by a fresh citrus and wasabi flavor.
Finally, we were served a plate of Octopus from Portugal, Steamed Monk Fish Liver, and Lightly Poached Maine Lobster. BRUH. This is basically all the umami of the sea. The Octopus, we were told, only grows up to 5 inches. And, the Monk Fish Liver was glorious. It's considered to be the foie gras of the sea thanks to its luscious, buttery taste. In contrast to foie gras, it's low in cholesterol and fat.
Anyway, thanks for reading! Look out for Part 2 soon.
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661 Brickell Key Dr.
Miami, FL 33131
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