From French style cafés like Miam in the trendy Wynwood District to unicorn poop ice cream over at Cream Parlor and spiked donut holes at The Salty Donut, Miami is a city that loves to eat. If you’re in the mood for a bit of wood fired east Asian inspired cuisine then there is no better place to head than KYU.
Chef Michael Lewis and general manager Steven Haigh crafted an amazing menu that is largely inspired by their jaunts around the world. Lewis has called London, New York and even the Bahamas home. As a perfect example of KYU’s global inspired dishes, after biting into a fabulous dish called Thai style crispy pork “guy” we just had to ask our server (Reece, who was beyond incredible during a busy lunch rush) where the name came from. Reece informed us that the succulent pork cubes got there name because when the chef was living in Thailand, he and his wife would often go out and get street food from the “pork guy,” so they named the dish in his honor.
KYU’s menu features a number of unique options, including the ability to purchase a tree for $5 via a non-profit called Trees for the Future. One of our favorite unusual dishes at KYU is the full head of roasted cauliflower which is served with a delicious goat cheese and shishito herb vinaigrette. The sauce is zippy to a T because it also includes a bit of jalapeno, cilantro and a dash of jalapeno juice which gives the cauliflower a real kick.
Speaking of shishitos, those tasty little morsels arrive at your table grilled and with a lovely lime soy sauce for dipping.
In addition to KYU, here’s a list of other neat little local spots we love in Miami.
Eating all of KYU’s divine slow and low barbecue dishes made us a bit parched, so we went ahead and ordered one of the restaurant’s specialty cocktails. We were tempted to order the duck duck jus (for that drink, KYU’s smoked duck jus is popped alongside a tastebud tantalizing pairing of Remy Martin 1738) solely for its creative name. Instead we opted for the it’s cobblering thyme.
It’s cobblering thyme shakes together a bit of house made blueberry lemon thyme jam, Hendrick’s gin and combines it with cream sherry, Aperol and cardamom. Yep, it’s just as refreshing as it sounds. Although, after we placed our order, we were secretly tempted to order another round once we spied the footnote for the drink known as the Guatemalan tradewinds… “Limes were hurt in the making of this cocktail, twice.”
Once we were rehydrated, we dove into KYU’s grilled octopus. Seeing as how octopus dishes can easily come out overcooked and rubbery, we were thrilled to see that KYU’s team had cooked our eight legged friend just right. We’d gladly order this dish again.
Let it be said that no matter how full we might be, we really can’t resist any form of baos on a menu. (The soft shell crab baos at King Bao in Orlando, Florida are one of our all time favorites and the five spiced tofu baos at LONgTIME in Brisbane, Australia really knocked our socks off. Oh did we forget to mention just how moist and fluffy the pork belly buns at China Live in San Francisco are?) Needless to say, next up on the table were KYU’s soft shell crab steam buns and its crispy pork belly steamed buns.
Both sets of buns were just as savory as we’d hope they’d be. We washed them down with KYU’s spunky take on traditional Thai iced tea. (Reece informed us that they place a bit of sugar and cinnamon on the glass rim which gives it a bit of extra oomph.) Whether you’re looking to get your brunch on or just an approachable upscale dinner venue that will whet your appetite, KYU’s killer menu and commitment to green practices delivers.
Address: 251 NW 25th Street
Miami, Florida 33127
Hours: Lunch – Monday Through Saturday 12:00pm to 6:00pm, Dinner – Monday Through Saturday 6:00pm to 11:30pm, Sunday 11:00am to 10:30pm
Phone: (786) 577-0150
Prices (All in USD): Snacks $7.00 to $17.00, Mains Meant for Sharing $8.00 to $98.00, Specialty Cocktails $14.00 to $17.00