KYU Miami Offers Delectably Creative Libations
KYU Miami was opened in February 2016 in Miami’s Wynwood Arts District by owners, Chef Michael Lewis and General Manager Steven Haigh. The Asian inspired wood-fired grill features a diverse menu and is committed to green practices. KYU was named a James Beard Semifinalist for Best New Restaurant 2017 and “Best Restaurant in Florida”by TIME.
I recently had the chance to attend a fantastic dinner there and I will definitely be back soon!
Our meal began with the “Tom KYU Gai”, a cocktail and soup hybrid. Reminded me of one of my favorite authentic thai noodle spots but the kick of gin is really unexpected and turned into a fun appetizer to prep the palette for a delicious meal.
Next we tried another “Mind Blown” cocktail, the bell pepper infused “Pelea De Gallos”. Colorful mango chilli garnish gave a hint of what to expect with this spicy cocktail, with just a hint of sweetness. A hearty slice of rich hamachi followed, on a bed of earth salad which surprised me by including mint. It really gave it a fresh twist on a standard hamachi with jalapeño. Delicious. It was one of my favorite items that we had the chance to experience. It also paired beautifully with the “No Way Rosé” sangria which was fruity and fragrant and not to mention, catches up on you. Great opener for a hearty meal.
The star of the show; the Brisket Lettuce Wrap. Perfect baby butter lettuce used to sandwich dense but tender slices of perfectly cooked brisket. Delicate morsels of melt in your mouth fat in each bite. Choice of a smoky bbq sauce or a sesame seed infused sauce that gave the hand wrap a little kick. TIP: Use the herbs and pickles that come with the platter as well, if you dare add any more flavor, and you have the perfect little pocket sized sandwich in a leaf. An explosion of flavors. Bravo to KYU for taking such simple ingredients and combining them with a street food slang that really make this dish memorable. We paired the wraps with the “Its Cobblering Thyme” Blueberry Jam infused gin cocktail which had such a comforting depth, and added to the smokiness of the brisket. Great pairing.
As we started to wind down our meal, we tasted the “Duck Duck Juuse”. If you get the opportunity to try this, take a sip of the duck jous, let it coat your mouth. Then take a sip of conjac and let it warm everything up. Go from one to the other, back and forth. I could drink a bowl of the duck jous on its own.
By far my favorite dessert item was the “Mom’s Coconut Cake” with coconut ice cream. By far the best coconut cake I’ve ever had. Cream cheese frosting in between the 4 moist layers of coconut cake. Topped with shaved coconut and toasted coconut. I’ll be ordering a whole one for my birthday this year…so so good.
Overall the food is the standout star at KYU, casual comfort food but still multidimensional enough to satisfy any foodie. The cocktails were expertly crafted and took enough risks with the ingredients to warrant the wait to get one and the trip Wynwood. The cozy and modern ambience of the restaurant and buzzing of happy patrons doesn’t hurt either. Bravo KYU, bravo.