The first U.S location of a Japanese restaurant with a weird ‘racoon’ for a mascot comes to South Beach
By Miami Herald
Tanuki is a hip Japanese space, the first U.S. location of this Moscow-based chain. While respectful of traditional Japanese cuisine and serving textbook sushi and sashimi, they also serve playful, new-style Pan-Asian dishes. The weekend dim sum brunch with green tea French toast is just one of their cultural riffs. A giant statue of a tanuki (raccoon dog) is in the center of the room of their new South Beach spot. Tables outside flank 11th Street.
Get the fuku “lucky” buns with steamed cottony dough folded around house-cured pastrami with sauerkraut, pickles and mustard. Call it an Asian Reuben. Or try the crab summer roll in butter lettuce with avocado and rice noodles with nutty sesame aioli dipping sauce. The squid ink rice cracker topped with a dab of creamy risotto, eel and custardy uni (sea urchin) blends the flavors of sea and earth in one bite. Raw scallop slices are topped with truffle and panko crumbs. Raw snapper slices are heightened with jalapeño on a small nest of katafi (fine, crunchy phyllo shreds).
Order a sushi boat with eight pieces of sushi, eight sashimi pieces and two rolls. A la carte maki include yellowtail with truffle and spicy daikon radish, avocado and tenkasu crumbs for a play of textures. The Miami roll with snow crab, avocado and slices of fresh strawberries with aioli is a kind of Cuban Elena Ruz with rice instead of bread. Vegetarians can order the beet and goat cheese maki with truffle and walnuts, served with a bright citrus vinaigrette.Share a bamboo steamer of dim sum made by the Chinese chef, Wei.
The warm green tea fondant is an Asian spin on a lava cake. It’s dusted in matcha green tea powder with a molten center that oozes out into a scoop of green tea gelato.