Blue Ribbon Raises the Bar on Asian Cuisine

Sushi and fried chicken are two of our favorite foods. Any menu that has either one is sure to excite us. At Blue Ribbon Sushi Bar & Grill inside The Plymouth Hotel, our excitement reached a new peak. The Asian eatery, which has sister locations in Los Angeles and New York, features both items along with an array of other mouthwatering goodies to quell your appetite.

Our love for Blue Ribbon Sushi Bar & Grill dates back to before our first visit. We stumbled across the restaurant at Soho Beach House, where Blue Ribbon had a popup that was as much of a feast for our eyes as it was for our mouths. Super-fresh maki, crispy fried chicken and melt-in-your-mouth poke were among the bites we bit into and subsequently devoured.

Devour is exactly what we did to all the food when we had a proper dinner at the restaurant, too. Blue Ribbon is a restaurant that’s worthy of multiple visits for two reasons. The first: Blue Ribbon’s menu is expansive; you’ll have to come in quite a few times to even make a dent in the offerings. Secondly, Blue Ribbon’s menu is delicious. It makes such a good first impression that you’ll want to come back for more (and more and more …).

Our meal started with a duo of appetizers: Poke and Chips and Ebi Shumai. The former, with its colorful presentation, is vibrant on the plate as well as on your palate; the meaty, marinated tuna makes this a filling dish. Just as filling are the dumplings: These plump pouches of shrimp hit you with flavor as soon as you pop them in your mouth.

We’re happy to report that the fish at Blue Ribbon continues to be a highlight for us. The Kanpachi Usuzukuri (amberjack) was something we refused to put down. Had the plate not been taken away, we probably would have licked it clean. Similarly, the Spicy Crab Roll lasted about one minute before we found ourselves fighting each other for the last bite; it has a clean flavor and lots of heat that makes your taste buds dance.

That Blue Ribbon Fried Chicken, though. We can’t stop raving about it. We don’t know what we love more: The crispy breading, the actual bird or the wasabi honey. All three elements make for a dish that earns its crowd-favorite reputation. Seriously, slather that wasabi honey everywhere and dig in. Order some Oxtail Fried Rice to go with it, and you have yourself a palate party.

Since the dishes here are pretty sizable, you probably won’t have room for dessert. But if you do, there’s a little something for everyone on the dessert menu. Our fave was the Ginger Bread Pudding, which will have ginger lovers on Cloud 9. It’s a hefty plate that’s definitely meant for sharing. For diners who prefer something smaller that won’t require hours in the gym, the Mochi and Key Lime Pie are solid choices.

If you haven’t been to Blue Ribbon yet, you need to change that. Although it’s on South Beach, it’s away from the hustle and bustle of main arteries like Collins Avenue. Odds are you’ve probably walked past it without knowing it. But now that you know about it, don’t make the same mistake twice: Blue Ribbon lives up to the hype.

Blue Ribbon Sushi Bar & Grill is located at 336 21st Street inside The Plymouth Hotel on Miami Beach. For hours of operation and more information, please visit their official website or call 305-800-0404.