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A meal at Miami’s NAOE consists of an approximately $160 to $200 set menu, which includes a four-item bento box followed by numerous courses of nigiri sushi and dessert. Everything is omakase, meaning that chef Kevin Cory decides what you’ll be eating, though special requests may be made a minimum of seven days in advance of your reservation. Hostess Wendy Maharlika will ask you about any allergies before you begin eating. The menu consists of a significant amount of raw fish, it’s definitely a restaurant suited to more adventurous eaters. A vegetarian menu is not offered.
The bento box is filled with mostly cooked items that offer a variety of textures, flavors and temperatures. It comes with a small bowl of miso soup, and the restaurant tries to use as many organic and natural ingredients as possible. When we dined at the Forbes Travel Guide Five-Star restaurant, we started off with thinly sliced cobia sashimi and poached octopus heads with minced shiso leaf; Japanese mountain potato topped with unfiltered miso, garnished with a whelk in its shell and a few mizuna leaves; rice studded with pickled daikon; and chawanmushi, a Japanese egg custard flavored with shiitakes and poached cobia.
Following the bento box portion of the meal, chef Cory will offer you individual pieces of nigiri sushi, which he’s brushed with his special blend of soy sauce. They’re meant to be eaten with your fingers instead of chopsticks. If you’re still hungry, you can request additional sushi or repeat any of the courses you previously enjoyed at a cost of $3 to $12 apiece.
For dessert, you’ll first receive a palate cleanser of fresh and organic fruits that might include kiwi, watermelon, cantaloupe, cherry and raspberry doused in a traditional sauce of sugar, dashi and rice vinegar. Following this you’ll receive two slices of moist sponge cake and a quenelle of the restaurant’s mystery ice cream.