MIAMI (CBSMiami) – You’ll feel a world away at Chotto Matte — the newest restaurant experience on Lincoln Road.
From the open kitchen to the explosion of color in the bathrooms, the retractable roof, palm trees in the floor and all centered by the humongous Lava Rock projecting to the ceiling in this urban, yet modern space. It’s something to behold.
“The rock is from Sicily. It’s a 19-ton Sicilian rock flown over and it was airlifted into the restaurant. It’s a live volcanic rock and it’s a centerpiece of the restaurant,” said Executive Sous Chef Josh Walls.
And you can’t miss the mural created by 2 well known Miami based graffiti artists which fills the interior walls.
“The great thing about it, it’s like a hand stretched canvas, it’s not like a wall. It’s amazing when you see how it’s incorporated. It’s kind of a mashup,” Walls said.
This successful London based restaurant has made its US debut here in South Florida, with plans for another in Canada soon. The food is called Nikkei cuisine a combination of Japanese and Peruvian food.
“This came about when the Japanese came to South America and one of the places they used to stay at was Peru, and over the years they started a colony and they were named Nipanese people,” Walls explained.
Back in the kitchen Chef Walls prepares several of CBS4’s Lisa Petrillo’s dishes for tasting, including the Nikkei gyoza made with prawns and pork belly. They dip the dumplings in the sweet potato puree and red pepper ponzu sauces. Just perfection!
“The secret here is we make them fresh every day so they’re great. The outside texture is on the crunchy side and then it smooths with steamed dumpling inside,” said Walls. “We’ll get back to those in a minute,” said Petrillo, eyeing another one.
Next, a four-piece Aburi that’s flamed to release the fat in the fish.
“See how it’s more succulent? That’s what happens when the fat is released,” said Walls.
“There’s a real difference after they are torched for sure,” said Petrillo.
The pork Belly bites have been braised for 4 1/2 hours with Peruvian anticuchos sauce.
“It’s nice and crispy on the outside,” said Petrillo.
“Then we add tomato salsa for balance. It’s a big bite. It’s a really good bite,” said Walls.
Chotto Matte is open 7 days a week for lunch and dinner. On weekends it’s open until 2 a.m.
For More info visit: www.chotto-matte.com/miami