Nikkei cuisine isn’t new to Miami. Restaurants that fuse Peruvian and Japanese cultures can be found in just about any neighborhood around here. That’s why it takes a lot to stand out above the rest. Miami Beach’s Sakura 736, with its fun flavors and beautiful presentations, is one of the restaurants that’s doing things right.
At Sakura 736, which is located in the former Red Ginger space, patrons can experience the best of two worlds. Those who like the Peruvian/Japanese fusion will find plenty to like, as will guests who prefer one over the other.
Raw bar selections are extensive, including various sashimi, maki and oysters; you can expect to get a good photo out of whatever you choose. Plating is pretty, and items like the Sakura Roll with tempura lobster roll are no exception. Of the raw bar choices, the Ceviche Sakura was our favorite highlight; the hints of passion fruit livened up our palates.
The main menu features just as much variety. Two must-haves: Hotate a la Parmesan and Paiche. The former is a scallop in an addictive Parmesan sauce that had us fighting over the last bite. And the paiche — a delicious Amazonian freshwater fish — wowed both our eyes and our taste buds. We couldn’t decide which we liked more, which is why we recommend you get both dishes.
When we write about restaurants, we typically stick to talking about the food. Sakura 736’s libations, however, are worth a few sentences. We had three, and we’d order each one again. If you’re on your best behavior, make sure your one drink is the Words of Wisdom, a delectable Absolut Elyx cocktail with a kick (thanks to the spiced tea and pear brandy). The owl glassware is a hoot, too.
During our visit, there were only two desserts — Picarones (aka Peruvian donuts) and a Suspiro (aka Peruvian meringue) — but we were assured that more were coming soon. The donuts were our favorite; we’re suckers for them, and the cream cheese and honey dipping sauces had us munching away despite the lack of stomach space.
In the end, we left satisfied. Despite the abundance of Peruvian/Japanese fusion restaurants in Miami, it’s hard to find a place that’s actually good and worth returning to. Thankfully, Sakura 736 has made that search a lot easier.