Tanuki: Fusing Asian Food with Creativity and Flare
Tanuki is a contemporary Asian-infused restaurant located in Miami Beach with lots of flare and style. The drinks and food have so much character, and you never know what work of art is being concocted in the kitchen by the skilled hands of their executive chef, Drew Andrade. They offer decorated cocktails, unique appetizers, great sushi, and an Asian inspired menu composed of picturesque dishes.
My husband and I decided to stop by Alton Road and check out Tanuki last weekend. As soon as we walked in, we were greeted by a large statue of a playful white bear with a douli (often called a bamboo hat or rice hat). I loved it! It was a fun, grabbed our attention, and became a great conversation starter, It was also a nice reflection of the Chinese, Japanese, and South Asian cuisine being served. Tanuki is open and airy, with a little bit of edge. I loved the modern twist on the red and gold accents throughout the restaurant. The walls were adorned with grafitti, swords, and other forms of art. It felt like a really chic Asian restaurant, It had such a cool vibe.
Tanuki is known for their creative drinks that come well-decorated with fruit or flower embellishments. It was early in the day, so my husband and I ordered fresh grapefruit juice. While most restaurants only dress up cocktails, Tanuki made sure not to make our drinks feel left out. Our grapefruit juice came in a really funky glass with swiveled edges. I shouldn't have been surprised because it went perfectly with the restaurant's edgy, urban appeal.
The restaurant promotes sharing and serves their food in a tapas style format. So, we happily chose several options. We had the "Chef's Sushi Plate," "Crispy Brussel Sprouts and Quinoa Bowl," "Spicy Tuna Poke Bowl," and "Crispy BBQ Pork Belly Bao." The "Chef's Sushi Plate" (picture to the left) comes with an assortment of fish (including salmon, snapper, tuna, and white fish). My absolute favorite was the aburi salmon sushi. It was sweet and savory, and the flavor popped in my mouth with each bite! You know my food is good when my eyes roll back in my head and I tell my husband, "you've got to taste this!" I could eat the aburi salmon every day. The "Crispy Brussel Sprouts and Quinoa Bowl" was really delicious. As most of you know, I am not a huge egg fan, so I went straight for the brussel sprouts and quinoa. It was so good that I quickly scooped a couple more spoons onto my plate. I later found out that they use truffle vinaigrette to add an extra punch of flavor. The "Spicy Tuna Poke Bowl" is a bowl of sushi rice, avocado, daikon, beets, butter lettuce, pinkled ginger, and a pouched egg. The ingredients are extremely fresh and they complement each other very well.
The highlight of the day was the "Crispy BBQ Pork Belly Bao." Let's take a moment of silence for one of the best pork sandwiches that I have ever had! The pork belly was so juicy that it almost melted in my mouth. It had a hint of sweetness and works so well with the kinchee hollandaise sauce. I don't even eat pork that often and this dish blew my mind. In addition, my husband likes to tell people that he doesn't eat pork at all and he cleaned his plate. Shhhh! Don't tell him I told you, he'll only deny it. However, trust me, he loved it!
We didn't have dessert. However, I've been told that you should try the green tea fondant, mango chia, or yuzu lime pie. I'll have to give it a shot on my next visit.
Tanuki also offers a happy hour every day from 5 pm - 7 pm. Guests are given the opportunity to enjoy a list of beverages, including beer, sake, and cocktails. It's a perfect opportunity to get a great drink and start trying the menu.
Would I recommend it: Yes, I think that it's a great Asian infused restaurant to try food with great detail and flavor. Take a group of your friends or family, and enjoy yourself!
1080 Alton Rd, Miami Beach, FL 33139