INTO THE JUNGLE
Walking into Chotto Matte on Lincoln Road feels like you are entering pure exotic lavishness. The environment is enchanting and stunning, with fine details like wood ceilings, hanging gardens, and palm trees, in addition to more obvious central pieces like the 19-ton Sicilian boulder that divides the sushi and cocktail bar. Murals by well-known Miami graffiti artists Ahol Sniffs Glue and Marcel Katz dance across the walls, and the floating ceiling with a retractable roof, lined by bright purple lights, adds a tinge of romance to the atmosphere.
THE NIK-KEY TO SUCCESS!
Chotto Matte specializes in Nikkei cuisine, a mix between Peruvian and Japanese, and my waiter informed us that the menu works around shared plates—perfect since we arrived a party of two! Nikkei Gyoza was placed on our table with five pork, shrimp and cassava dumplings placed over aji amarillo and sweet potato puree. The dumplings were soft and explosive with their flavor, especially when paired with the fiery aji amarillo. Itching for some barbecue due to the exquisite smells wafting from the kitchens, I was finally granted my wish when the Pollo Den Miso was served. Grilled blackened on their Robata grill, carrots and daikon lied on top, with a yellow chili salsa on the side for ample amounts of dipping. The irresistible tender chicken mixed with the sauce was enough to have me already thinking about my next dine at Chotto Matte!
MORE MOCHI PLEASE
Considering the innovative flavors I had enjoyed thus far, I was ecstatic to see what was cookin’ for dessert. A Mochi trio, with Mango Thai Basil and Vanilla Chocolate Chip, had me overjoyed, as Mochi is my favorite. The Japanese treat was pillow soft, and as I let the Mango Thai Basil melt in my mouth, I was impressed to actually taste traces of basil in the appetizing ice cream. The Brûlée de la passión then arrived with pieces of almond cake, guava sorbet, and of course, the crème brûlée, crowned with blueberries and raspberries. I enjoyed hints of lemon that worked with the honeyed berries, and taking spoonfuls of the refreshing guava sorbet along with the cake was certainly a choice I didn’t regret. As I exited the restaurant, I read a purple LED sign above the hostess stand: “Come as You Are.” I had, and I left Chotto Matte even better!
1664 LENOX AVE., MIAMI BEACH
By Aaliyah Pasols