Wed. Dec 7th, 2022

In Miami’s red hot restaurant scene, where flash and hype don’t always match substance, Sexy Fish doesn’t disappoint. Opened this Spring in the Brickell financial district at the cost of between $20 million (TimeOut) and $35 million, depending on your source (the manager we spoke with), the cathedral-like dining room offers a stunning stage for a fine and fun dining experience.

Designed by Martin Brudnizki Studio, it includes works by Damien Hirst and 26 fish lamps from Frank Gehry, two bar areas, a DJ stand (because it’s Miami), an open kitchen, and a choice of traditional banquets, tables and high chair seating.

Servers and hostesses wear Versace-inspired outfits with lively and colorful prints providing a Tom Petty Alice in Wonderland-type experience where walls, the ceiling, and floors all meld together, and installations seem ready to come down and join you. Despite being a scene, acoustics work well enough so you can converse at the table without having to strain your hearing.

Of course the key to dining out for many of us remains service – more challenging than ever – and the food. Luckily, my first impression of velvet rope snootiness on the sidewalk was quickly overcome.

A pleasant hostess checked our reservation at the ropes and then led us into the restaurant and to our table, where they had already seated our dining companions (bonus points for not making them wait until the full party had arrived, something that should be banned).

The cuisine is Asian-inspired shared plates with generous portions. The dishes are brought in waves, but well-timed so there was always something on the table, but never more than three dishes at the same time.

Salmon Tartare ($21) was vibrant and light, served in a beautiful stone bowl with green onion, black and white sesame seeds and a mixture of Korean spices.

Wagyu Gyoza & Truffle ($43) was rich and decadent, stuffed with foie gras, pan-fried, and generously topped with Australian truffle.

The Scallop & Foie Gras Roll ($25) was a generous eight pieces, although the foie gras and scallop was a bit monotonous, probably the only dish we wouldn’t order again.

Tiger Prawn Skewers ($25) were adorned with a delicious chili and lime sauce. They were among the evening’s many stars, the only shortcoming was sharing three pieces between the four of us. The prawns were grilled to perfection. I wish we could have ordered by the piece.

Smoked Ora King Salmon ($45) was smoked and then wood-grilled, juicy with a delicious ginger dressing.

The Green Asparagus & Ponzu ($18) was generously portioned, and again showcased the restaurant’s chops on the grill, with an enjoyable citrus and smoky ponzu sauce dressed with bonito flakes.

Truffle Sweet Corn Fried Rice ($27) was adorned with Australian truffles, flavorful with sweet and spicy notes, yet another dish that was left bare.

Spinach ($15) was wilted with a delicious sesame ponzu, nice but not spectacular.

However, the best was desert. Warm Cinnamon Donuts ($16) came with a rich chocolate sauce and exotic curd. We considered ordering a second round.

Chocolate Meltdown ($16) featured a four chocolate molten cake, praline, but the star was the best-ever vanilla ice cream.

There was an extensive cocktail menu with some interesting diversions from my normal martini, for example Pumpkin & Spice, which brings together Hendrick’s gin, pumpkin & chai cordial, falernum, all spice syrup, and Fever Tree club soda.

While Sexy Fish provided a winning evening from every angle – even the bathrooms, the key was the fantastic and knowledgable staff who elevated this restaurant to one of our favorites.

Sexy Fish is open Sunday through Wednesday: 12:00pm to 12:00am (last seating 10:30pm) and Thursday – Saturday: 12:00pm until late.

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