Dashi: A Tasty Riverfront Escape

Within River Yacht Club — a Miami riverfront restaurant, bar and yacht club — you’ll come across one of the best Japanese dining experiences in the 305: Dashi. Ex-Kuro Executive Sushi Chef Shuji Hiyakawa is leading this “restaurant within a restaurant” concept, which serves up progressive Asian fare paired with an incredible view. Sit down and strap in for a delicious meal that you’ll be thinking about long after you’re done eating.

There’s a lot of food to choose from: cold items, hot items, salads, udon, maki, sashimi … odds are everyone in your party will find something to their liking. If you’re feeling adventurous, though, we strongly suggest letting the chef order for you. Our tasting experiences have been hit or miss, but Dashi knocked it out of the park the entire meal.

When your evening starts with a smoking (literally) Daily Oyster, you know you’re in for quite the night. After slurping up the Kumamoto oyster — loved the bright acidity — we moved on to a trio sampler of White Fish Tiradito, Ocean Scallops and Hamachi Ponzu. While we were torn about which of the first two we enjoyed more, there was no doubt that the hamachi was our favorite. In one bite, you get so many awesome flavors; you just want more and more.

Neither of us is a huge soba fan — in fact, we hate the noodles — but we’re willing to give them another shot after trying the amazing Cha-Soba Salad. This unassuming salad caught us by surprise with sweet mushrooms, crunchy asparagus and a miso dressing that brought the dish to life. The Daily Tempura — shrimp and a variety of root vegetables — is a formidable alternative if you prefer something a little more indulgent. You can’t go wrong with fried anything.

If you’re not full by now, the large plates will finish you off. Our Seasonal White Fish (tilefish) had a lovely flakiness and a depth of flavor that made our eyes perk up. Just when we thought the meal couldn’t get any better, the Rosemary Smoked Lamb (served medium rare) blew our minds. Although the lamb is crazy delicious on its own, we added some of the house-made wasabi into the mix and we’re pretty sure we saw God. Everything that came with the lamb amplified the bite to the point of leaving us disoriented– it was so good that we needed a cigarette after.

Seeing how Chef Shuji was the executive sushi chef of our other favorite Japanese restaurant, the sushi was as great as expected. As mentioned earlier, there’s an extensive selection so it’s just a matter of preference; we particularly enjoyed the fatty tuna and salmon, though.

No doubt you’ve heard about the Udon here: Chef Shuji is a descendant of three generations of udon makers, and the dish has gotten a lot of press — and deservedly so. The Beef Udon with braised short rib is hefty and tasty; it’s a meal on its own. If it’s one of the only things you eat, go for it. Otherwise, you’ll find yourself struggling to find the stomach space for it (like us at this point in the meal).

The same goes for dessert. There’s plenty of variety to satisfy any sweet tooth: Yuzu Ice Cream, Sesame Chocolate and Maple Tofu Panna Cotta. But only order them if you really want something sweet. We found ourselves so impressed by the savory items that we’d rather expend the calories on more lamb and soba. It’s up to you, but either decision is the right one at Dashi.

Although the restaurant is off in a distant corner away from the hustle and bustle of Brickell’s main arteries, it’s worth the journey. It’s one trek we don’t mind making again (and again), and you’ll feel the same way once you experience its mouthwatering menu.

Dashi at River Yacht Club is located at 401 SW 3rd Ave in Brickell. For hours of operation and more information, visit their official website or call 786-870-5304.