KUNG-FU PANDAN COMES TO MIA
Renowned Chef Brad Kilgore has created an intimate cocktail bar and lounge that is gorgeous, inviting, and based on a humble concept: having a great time in the company of great food. The whole theme revolves around the sea urchin; if you doubt that, just look above the bar at the 1,200 golden butterfly knives that represent the sea creature. The cocktail menu was curated by celebrated mixologist Nico De Soto, and it experiments with Asian influence in classic cocktails. I ordered the Kung-Fu Pandan Goes to Japan, a fun frozen mixture that consists of Aquavit, coconut, pineapple, Pandan, Red Bean, and Wakame. Every sip that I took resulted in a refreshing sensation due to its minty, herbal, and sweet balanced flavor!
AN (AMA)ZING SECRET
To experience AMA, the reservation-only hidden speakeasy, my guest and I were led to a seemingly innocent wall, which in seconds magically revealed a small, elevator-like space. Once inside, we were handed glasses of a mint green sake punch, which we were to sip on in the tranquil area. After, a door slid open, and we were in. The exclusive speakeasy is stunning: The floor is an eye-catching shimmer of blue and gold, vintage Japanese Pachinko arcade machines light up in the corner, and a black and white photo of “Sea Diving Women of Japan” covers the wall. “Ama” actually means “Sea Woman,” which refers to the Japanese women who dive into the sea to retrieve pearls from underwater oyster beds— AMA is Kilgore’s ode to them.
FONDUE FOR TWO
KAIDO’s signature dish is unsurprisingly, the Uni Fondue, and we just had to try it. In this yummy starter, the uni (sea urchin) is served as a type of velvety orange sauce that is combined with Aged Parmesan, making for a creamy, salty, and cheesy option to dip your sides in. The sides? Soft Bao buns, veggies, shrimp, scallops, calamari, and more. If that’s not enough flavor for your taste buds to tackle, spices and chives also accompany the plate. Next up was the Lemongrass Duck Sausage. This dish is Vietnamese-inspired, and includes Vietnamese spices and Kaffir Lime-Creme Fraiche. The duck was impeccably done, with that signature slightly blackened Robata taste. The lemongrass that the meat is skewered with, is to be credited for a lot of the flavor, and the Lime-Creme Fraiche worked well with the dish, adding a creamy, sweet addition to the load of flavors that were enticing me to keep taking bite after bite.
THE CHERRY ON TOP
For dessert, we had the Graffiti Chocolate: black sesame, and tamari soy. It arrived as a peculiar sphere that had triangular points jutting out of it—kind of like the huge ball at Disney’s Epcot, but it was actually designed that way to represent the Miami Design District’s iconic architecture. Once I dug into the sphere, a delicious wave of soft chocolate spilled out. Dark cherry ice cream came with the dessert, and once they were combined, the result was simply sugary and divine. KAIDO is not just a bar—it’s an experience of culinary creations and mixology masterpieces. Come here when you’re craving something wildly different!
151 N.E. 4 1ST ST. UNIT 217, MIAMI
By Aaliyah Pasols