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Photograph: Salar Abduaziz

This stunning Omakase restaurant just opened in Coral Gables

Shingo brings elevated Japanese design and high-quality seafood to the neighborhood

Virginia Gil
Written by
Virginia Gil

The proliferation of Omakase across the city continues with Shingo, a shiny new spot that opens in Coral Gables tonight. Chef Shingo Akikuni’s eponymous restaurant is located inside the iconic La Palma building, a historic property in the midst of a renaissance as it prepares to welcome Thomas Keller’s Bouchon at some point this year.

First, though, is Shingo, and there’s a lot about it you’ve likely encountered before. The unassuming entrance, the restrained elegance of Japanese design, the intimate experience and perhaps even the chef, who some might recognize from Michelin-starred Hiden where he previously worked.

There’s also quite a bit different and new about Shingo. For its apparent simplicity, Shingo’s aesthetic took years to conceive and come together—the 850-square-foot space was entirely designed and constructed by expert woodworkers in Kyto, who then deconstructed it and reassembled it in Miami. This includes building the Hinoki-wood, L-shaped counter, a striking reminder of Japanese culture. The material, which is considered sacred, only grows wild in Japan and Taiwan.

The smaller bits are unique and memorable too, like the adorable chopstick holders fashioned in the shapes of various food (mine was an oyster) and the ceramic plates dotted with flamingos, palm leaves and other tropical motifs, which were specifically made for the Miami restaurant by Kyoto-based ceramicist Shin Murata.

Photograph: Courtesy Shingo

None of it is meant to distract you from the food—which is very good. Shingo’s 18-course menu comprises a seasonal variety of fresh sushi and Yakimono dishes, such as the Binchotan-charcoal-grilled eel topped with caviar and fresh wasabi (it will turn eel haters into lovers with a single bite). Ingredients are imported from Japan as well as sourced locally in Florida.

Shingo, which opens tonight, serves dinner Tuesday through Saturday with two seatings per night (6pm and 9pm). The 18-course omakase experience is $180 per person and an optional wine and sake pairing is available for an additional $95 per person. Reservations are a must and can be made via their website.

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