More than a restaurant, this is a place to chill, swim, bask in the sun and people watch while tasting the hot and steamy flavors of Miami Beach.
By Brenda Benoit
Entering Nikki beach was like stepping into another world, one with an international vibe that could be located anywhere along the coast of any chic beach resort. We decided to walk in and pretend, just for a moment, that we were in another tropical country where it was ok to eat in a bathing suit and walk around half naked as your body imbibed the rays of the sun.
We had a quick breakfast that morning, saving precious stomach space for lunch. That was a good decision as the portions at Nikki Beach were huge.
For starters I had a mojito, which is a Cuban recipe for a cocktail that is both deadly and delicious. The mojito was born in Havana, Cuba and there are many variations of the drink. It usually consists of five ingredients: white rum, sugar, lime juice, sparkling water and mint. It was a breezy day but still hot and this drink was a blessing: so soothing, so refreshing.
We had the Nikki Beach Roll next – lobster, crabmeat, crispy wonton dressed with spicy mayo, eel sauce and masago. The sushi and the spicy mayo were good but I would not say that the overall dish was extraordinary. It definitely was not good-looking sushi but it was tasty.
The Langostino & Baby Lobster Zarzuela took our breath away. It was made to order, infused with Madras curry, shaved garlic, diced onions, vine ripe tomatoes and parsley. The seafood was seared in extra virgin olive oil and perfumed with anisette (anise-flavored liqueur), then simmered with cream for a gentle finish. This dish can be prepared without curry if preferred but why omit the curry? It was the best part!
Talk about a food fight. Miss Issa and myself were frantically trying to chew, gnaw and suck the juices out of these delectable pieces of seafood. A Zarzuela is a Spanish dish made with seafood and they are many variations. Using cream and curry in this version was pure genius.
The Zarzuela was served with a delicious Linguine that featured diced tomatoes, red onions and parsley. The linguine was divine mixed with the sauce from the zarzuela.
They were at least ten desserts on the menu with the Coconut Ginger Crème Brûlée and the Warm Chocolate Lava Cake looking especially attractive but there was simply no more space for anything else.
Nikki Beach restaurant is one of the few dining destinations in South Beach to actually offer a beach and oceanfront restaurant. Nikki Beach offers an eclectic menu ranging from wood burning oven pizzas, salads, sushi rolls, seafood, fresh whole lobster and gorgeous Châteaubriand. Cocktails and desserts offers are also extensive and exotic.
Nikki Beach in Miami is the hidden jewel of South Beach, located at One Ocean Drive along the lovely Atlantic Ocean amid swaying palms trees and warm breezes. You can even take a walk (or a swim) on the beach right after lunch!
It is far from inexpensive but how much would you be willing to spend on a unique beach experience that will leave an everlasting impression in your memory?
Nikki Beach Miami Beach
One Ocean Drive
Miami Beach FL 33139
Brenda Benoit was born in the city of St. George’s in Grenada and grew up in Caracas, Venezuela. She has been living in Miami for over 20 years, loves to cook, eat and to try new restaurants & cuisines - always with her camera as a companion. She's a dedicated cookbook collector and is in the process of writing one of her own.