Breaking Travel News investigates: Monkitail, Miami

Breaking Travel News investigates: Monkitail, Miami

There are certain restaurants where you have to prepare yourself to spend a lot of money.

Not in a showy way, but simply because the quality of the food is of such a high standard, and the portions are so generous, and the service is so good, that it’s the only way to really enjoy the place.

Monkitail, in Miami, a Japanese sushi restaurant, is just such a place.

Located at the Diplomat Beach Resort, the venue is in two parts – a more casual, bar-type area, and the restaurant itself.

All dark woods, low lighting, and just at the right volume Café del Mar music, the moment you enter you feel you’re somewhere special.

The menu is vast, and it is hard to know where to begin.

We opted for the Chef’s Tasting Menu, a ten-course experience which you select yourself, at $65 each.

Add in taxes and booze and you’re somewhere north of $100 each, but my god it’s worth it.

“Tasting Menu” is also something of a misnomer: each of these dishes is almost a starter size, which is why about half way through we started to feel pretty full.

The beauty of this tasting menu, however, is the fact you get to choose yourself.

So, if don’t fancy eel, for example, you’ve got 22 other options - and that’s just from the sushi and sashimi selection - including various tuna (yellowtail, toro), sardine, snapper (Goldeneye, red), octopus and oyster.

So far so good.

But it is the hot dishes that really make Monkitail standout: so delicate, so fresh, so perfectly prepared and served.

Whether it was the tempura shrimp taco, spiced up with daikon and radish, and cooled down with slice of cucumber; or the so tender it falls off your fork beef short rib (for two), which is a chef’s recommendation; or the broiled seabass, with truffle soy and peashoot, firm and white with a light crisp skin; all were excellent.

Each one is perfectly presented and of a size where you can really appreciate the dish, rather than just a “taste”.

There’s even a game section, with venison, quail, turkey, and lamb.

The concern, of course, with a menu this size is how to keep up the standard throughout, better surely to concentrate on just a few dishes and do it well?

But Monkitail somehow pulls this off, there really wasn’t a duff dish.

In the end we were defeated, crying off the dessert.

But it was worth every penny.

More Information

Monkitail sees celebrity chef Michael Schulson bring his modern Japanese fare to Hollywood with the opening his seventh restaurant.

Schulson’s menu is a contemporary take on the classic izakaya, featuring sharable small plates and sushi as well as an array of specialty cocktails and sake. Tucked away beyond the main dining room is Nokku, a cocktail lounge offering tunes, specialty crafted cocktails and sake late into the night.

Head over to the official website for more information.

Adam Coulter