Can this new Nikkei restaurant make Lincoln Road cool again? It just might.

Owner and founder Kurt Zdesar and the NZR Group bring their London Nikkei restaurant called Chotto Matte to a hidden corner of Lincoln Road. Executive Chef Jordan Sclare directs the Miami culinary team which includes Lima, Peru-born James Gallagher of Blue Ribbon Sushi.

The space:


A stunning cavern located in the back of the 1111 parking building. Designed by Andy Martin Architects (AMA) the 219-seat restaurant and bar features Shou Sugi Ban wood ceilings and lush, hanging gardens created by Raymond Jungles. A large skylight cut out of the ceiling is inspired by a Japanese roof style known as ‘Irimoya’ and delivers year-round al fresco dining, with a fully retractable roof. The centerpiece is a 19-ton Sicilian boulder that divides the sushi bar and cocktail area while a funky mural created by local graffiti artists  Marcel Katz and Ahol Sniffs Glue adds Miami whimsy.

The scene:

A bustling dining room packed with well-heeled tourists, families dining with toddlers at 9 p.m. and local socialites.

Be prepared to eat:

Contemporary Peruvian and Japanese with colorful tweaks. The menu is epic with lists of anticuchos, hot dishes, cold dishes, sushi/sashimi and larger Peruvian specialties. A robata grill counter, and sushi bar provide culinary theater while the hot kitchen churns out composed dishes. Prices are in keeping with a high-end spot with small plates $8-$16, and larger plates $17-$39.

Octopus at Chotto Matte.

Start things off with crisp yucca chips and a creamy avocado dip.  So go for a parade of plates like the paper-thin vegetables, the ebi harumaki (shrimp spring roll with mushrooms), nasu miso (sweet miso aubergine), salmon teriyaki and octopus with purple potato.

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Lamb chops at Chotto Matte.

Lamb chops come smothered in a Peruvian chili miso while the “Lomo al parilla” bring beef filet in a spicy teriyaki and pomegranate salsa sauce. Creative sushi rolls include the Sato maki wrapping yellowtail and salmon with a romano pepper and lime soy and the Salmon Picante roll with salmon, aji amarillo, pickled cucumber and Chotto-soy emulsion.

Desserts include mochi ice cream, a banana parfait and salted caramel fondant.

The Bottom Line:

A Peruvian-Japanese collage of flavors in a homey but slick Lincoln Road setting.