Just off Lincoln Road’s main drag, the bright white neon sign for Chotto Matte beckons like a beacon. Head down the side alley to the side door and enter a dark exotic world, with an electric atmosphere to celebrate the flavors of the Nikkei cuisine right here in Miami.
The front lounge area is festooned with cherry blossom trees up to the ceiling.
A huge atrium opens up in the center flooding the center bar with light where two full walls of wildly colorful murals by Miami’s international art sensation sleepy eyes Ahol, take on a hypnotic effect. The world of art and high cuisine is always watching.
The restaurant Chotto Matte is a welcoming, vibrant, and contemporary environment. The food is a feast of popular Peruvian ingredients — tropical fish, quinoa, aji Amarillo peppers—molded by Japanese techniques. Multiple chefs at the restaurant prepare the ceviche in a particular style that dates back to the turn of the century.
The restaurant embraces natural colors and mouth-watering taste sensations, a delicious combination of both Japanese and Peruvian ingredients and cooking style, as Japanese sushi and sashimi, and Peruvian ceviche are central to their gastronomy menu.
At the bar, La Catrina Rosa cocktail made with Código 1530 Rosa Tequila, Hierba Luisa (lemon verbena leaves), raspberry, chili, and lime is something to lust after once you try it. Yummy enough but the real kicker is in the presentation. It comes in a glass of crushed ice with a frozen black skull (made of edible black currant liquor) on top. Then the mixologist poured a raspberry-colored drink on top partially melting the little skull and turning the drink a bloodier color. Vile and delicious!
Other choices include Daisy in Black with Código 1530 Blanco Tequila, Velvet Falernum, Yellow Chartreuse Grand Marnier, kumquat, and lime or the Midnight in Lima with blackberry smoke.
The food menu is expansive, ranging from appetizers, sashimi, sushi, robata grills, and tempura. Available are sharing menus set at different pricing tiers and include a complete lineup of small plates curated into various selections. There are vegan options too.
The first dish I tried was Shishito Peppers, steamed to silky perfection and tossed with a gingery dressing. Next, Spicy Tuna Crispy Rice, with the fish sitting atop a fried rice square—an unusual presentation.
The best of the night was the Yellowtail “Nikkei sashimi” with lots of flavorful tangy toppings that made this fish dish deluxe a real winner. The BBQ broccoli and cauliflower was a veggie delight, with small florets still a bit crunchy and smokey with sauce.
A Black Cod Aji Miso was served in one large piece but a friendly waiter saved us by expertly separating it into bite-sized pieces, as meals are served with only chopsticks.
Sliced beef over fried rice rich with peas and other veggies was rich and filling, but we still had room for Chef’s Choice Dessert, a chocolate shell ball in a large black dish. The waiter came over with a warm caramel sauce and drizzled it on top. Within seconds the shell melted on top like a volcano, exposing the rich vanilla bean ice cream inside.
An evening at Chotto-Matte will give you an experience you will want to repeat. The mix of a contemporary urban environment, a spectacle, and great cuisine, and Miami vibes make this restaurant a very special concept. It is all about quality, ingredients, and flavors.
The name Chotto Matte means “hold on a second” and the diverse, darkly sophisticated atmosphere of the place embodies that, as you will want to hold on to the full experience here.
If you want to visit, Chotto Matte is at 1664 Lenox Ave, Miami Beach. Online at: chotto-matte.com/miami
Spectacular eats at Japanese-Peruvian restaurant, Chotto Matte