Our Top 5 Reasons to Visit Tanuki

Tanuki, one of Alton Road’s most recent additions, has brought its unique mix of Pan-Asian cuisine to Miami Beach. This is Tanuki’s first U.S. location, and after our excellent dinner there, we wouldn’t be surprised to see more outposts pop up soon.

Here are five reasons we’ve fallen in love with the South Beach eatery.

1. Funky Cocktails: If there’s one word to describe Tanuki’s drink offerings, it’s creative. If there’s another word to describe them, it’s delicious. We haven’t seen drinks like these anywhere else. And while you might think throwing what seems like the kitchen sink into every drink would backfire, that’s not the case at all. For example, the Tanabata has a quirky list of ingredients — vanilla infused gin, umeshu, bee pollen syrup, passion fruit yuzu foam and chia seeds — but they mix together seamlessly. When you visit Tanuki, you can’t NOT drink.

2. A Killer Happy Hour: While we’re on the subject of drinks, let’s talk about Tanuki’s happy hour. Every day from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m., guests can enjoy a number of bites and adult beverages between $5-$8, including beer, sake and cocktails. Our suggestions for bar bites: the buns. Both the Soft Shell Crab Fuku Bun and Chicken Fuku Bun are tasty ways to complement your drinking experience at the bar.

3. Stellar Starters: Tanuki’s dishes are meant to be share. As our waiter put it: “These are Asian tapas.” During our most recent visit to Tanuki, we took that concept to heart by ordering a spread of appetizers, including a New-Style Sashimi with hamachi that’s super fresh. The Sea Urchin Rice Cracker was another favorite with a fluffy cracker and a lot of subtle flavors going on. Don’t miss the pan-seared Shrimp Gyoza either — A+ for presentation and taste.

4. Yummy Sushi: We go mad for maki, and we had plenty to choose from during our visit. Truffle lovers will thoroughly enjoy the Truffled Yellowtail. which wraps up mixed greens, avocado, cherry tomato, truffle vinaigrette and fish in a nice little package. The highlight of the night for us, though, was the Crispy Tom Yum. A combination of shrimp, tobiko, sesame seeds, scallion and Tom Yum sauce, this roll is a texture and flavor party with a satisfying crunch that comes with each bite.

5. Dessert: No adjective needed. One of the first things you’ll notice about dessert here is the prevalence of green tea. The ingredient appears in a few of the restaurant’s desserts, including the signature Green Tea Fondant. Although they were out of the fondant when we went (all the more reason to come back), we did get our green tea fix with the Green Tea Panna Cotta, which surprised us. Green tea and panna cotta aren’t something we’d typically pair, but the flavors work very well together. For non-green tea lovers, there are options like Mango Chia and Mochi to end your dinner on a sweet note.

Tanuki is located at 1080 Alton Rd on Miami Beach. For hours of operation and other information, visit their official website or call 305-615-1055.