Novikov Miami Spice via Eleanor Hoh aka Wok Star
Who better than Eleanor Hoh, aka Wok Star to review new Japanese/Chinese hot spot, Novikov? MIAbites welcomes guest contributor, Eleanor, who is a cooking teacher, entrepreneur and blogger who loves to share healthy and fun cooking techniques without recipes and measuring. She is known as an avid supporter of the Miami food scene where she offers honest opinions on good non-traditional Chinese food preparation and restaurants.
Alright, so now we have a Russian opening a Chinese/Japanese restaurant in Miami that’s world famous. Love it, bring it ON!
Unfortunately, on my visit, I didn’t get a chance to meet owner, Arkadiy Novikov but hope to one day soon. I want to get into his head what his thoughts were with his restaurant concept and to date his other 50 concept businesses around the world. I did find out that he graduated as a chef and is into environmentally friendly products. I like that. But to do it with flair and style and to succeed worldwide is another story and Novikov is on the right path.
Their London outpost attracts celebrities and such and so will Miami I’m sure, but it doesn’t detract from the fact they serve excellent quality Chinese Banquet style food. It’s very rare to find that anymore, so we are lucky we get to experience it. So, don’t wait too long to visit.
About the decor…
Theatrical, whimsical comes to mind! A beautiful sculpture with colorful swirls, twirls and red flowers at the entrance immediately sets the ambiance of the space!
The designers did a fantastic job, the artwork and colors are right up my alley. Red is dotted throughout, it’s not only my favorite color but it represents prosperity, good luck, happiness, good health in the Eastern philosophy. Don’t just go and sit at your table, stroll around to see EVERYTHING.
My favorite areas are of course the counters lined with fresh produce and fish with yes, you guessed it, RED backdrop! Red makes the impeccably arranged vegetables and fish stand out and are available for sale. His concept was to resemble Asian markets and, in this case, a very upscale one. I miss fresh markets terribly, I used to adore going food shopping with my mom. What a nice touch, there’s nothing like the aromas and freshness with the display of vegetables and fish.
Their stainless-steel kitchen is immaculate, tidy and very organized. Don’t miss the hanging Peking Ducks, they were the highlight of my lunch!
Look up, those lampshades remind me of Asian hats, with different shapes and configurations. Bright purple and white orchids make this humungous space a lot cozier.
There’s also a very Zen sushi bar with a magnificent wood table with red accent cushioned chairs. Around the back wall are red banquettes and an area for private dining for 12.
NOW, About the food…
I was invited to preview their Miami Spice Lunch menu, so it was perfect to have my friend from Miami Drink Scene join me, so we could have more variety. Delighted with pickles as we sat down. Pickles were traditional at good restaurants in Asia, helps to open your appetite.
We started with the Shrimp Cilantro Dumplings, Saffron Sweet Corn Dumplings set our palates tingling, wow! Good wrappers are an indication of what’s inside. You could taste flavors of each ingredient, how did they do that? Definitely order these as your appetizers.
Our lunch entrée choices included a beautiful presentation of Wok Salmon with Black Bean Sauce, and the Robata Hangar Steak melted in your mouth and was perfectly grilled.
The highlight for me was their Crispy Peking Duck! At first, I was like, don’t mess with my Peking Duck. Never before have I had Peking Duck with a crispy crust but still tender. The contrast was exquisite. The San Pei Chicken with Aged Soy Sauce came in a cute clay pot.
Dessert choices include Key Lime Tapioca and Umeshu Black Forest.
About the cocktails and sakes…
What a gorgeous bar area with lit up counters. Fancy cocktails are the IN thing and they definitely made some exotic ones with an Asian twist, like their signature Wasabi, Apricot and Lychee Martinis. Sakes are encased in a glassed area which means they are very premium, exclusive ones, I love this display.
About the service…
As I asked our server, Eduardo about certain dishes, his explanations were so detailed I asked if he was a chef? Of course, he was, so interesting that he is now a server. He had a lovely personality and smile which I think is so important. If you’re going to have a complete experience at an upscale, elegant restaurant like Novikov, a server can elevate your experience no end. And their charming General Manager, Alex Manuel circled back several times to make sure we were taken care of.
I definitely want to return and try their a la carte menu and already know a few dishes I want to try!
300 South Biscayne Blvd
Miami, FL 33131
305 489 1000