Abe Ng, founder and CEO of Sushi Maki.
Why he’s Food 50: His entrepreneurial sense and son-of-immigrants work ethic make his brand of sushi restaurants swim ahead of the school.
Abe Ng grew up in Coral Gables’ Canton Chinese restaurant, which his parents founded when they emigrated from Hong Kong. After graduating from Miami Palmetto Senior High and Cornell University’s School of Hotel Administration, Ng founded Sushi Maki in 2000 and has built it into one of South Florida’s most successful restaurant chains. (He also oversees his family’s three Canton Chinese locations now.)
In addition to standalone restaurants in Coral Gables, Brickell, South Miami, Palmetto Bay and Kendall, Sushi Maki has presences in Miami International Airport, Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport, American Airlines Arena, Baptist Hospital, Cleveland Clinic, Barry University, Florida International University, Miami University, 10 Whole Foods markets in South Florida, and beyond. It operates a nearly 10,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art commissary in Medley, where a fleet of 12 refrigerated trucks shuttles sushi to bar mitzvahs, weddings and hotel brunches throughout the region. Ng manages to keep Sushi Maki’s profile high by serving top-rate, eco-friendly ingredients at down-to-earth prices and by giving the brand a voice that’s young, friendly and unpretentious.
Where to find him: Sushi Maki (multiple locations), original at 5812 Sunset Dr., South Miami, 305-667-7677.
Sushi Maki CEO Abe Ng’s top dishes in town:
1. Branzino at Strada in the Grove, 3176 Commodore Plaza, Coconut Grove; 305-444-1312.
2. Creamy Shrimp Sauce at Samurai, 8717 SW 136th St., Miami; 305-238-2131.
3. Stone Crabs and Fried Chicken at Joe’s Stone Crab, 11 Washington Ave., Miami Beach; 305-673-0365.
4. Short Rib Soup with Radish at Myung Ga Tofu & BBQ, 1944 Weston Rd., Weston; 954-349-7337.
5. Blackened Pompano at Captain’s Tavern Restaurant, 9625 S. Dixie Hwy., Pinecrest; 305-666-5979.
6. Salmon with Lentils at Joey’s Italian Café, 2506 NW Second Ave., Miami; 305-438-0488.
7. Short Rib Pizza and a Michael’s Genuine Home Brew at Harry’s Pizzeria, 3918 N. Miami Ave., Miami; 786-275-4963.