26 SUSHI & TAPAS is one of those hidden gems in Miami. It is a beautiful restaurant with a lovely cherry blossom tree in front of it. 26 Sushi & Tapas celebrates the global flavors of Miami through cuisine that creatively combines traditional Asian Fusion dining with Latin influences.
With roots in crafting contemporary dining for the Kosher guest, 26 has now experimented with new ingredients and cooking techniques that celebrate Miami’s culturally rich flavors while staying true to its Kosher beginnings.
Praised for its unique fusion-style dining and creative mixology, it’s no wonder that 26 continues to draw in visitors locally and from around the world.
A wide range of sake and wine selections is vital for a sushi restaurant, enriching the dining experience through perfect pairings. Chef insights on these pairings add authenticity. This article explores Sushi Amane chefs’ condensed recommendations, offering valuable perspectives from this exclusive Tokyo-style restaurant.
Liza B. Zimmerman (L.B.Z.): Is sushi best paired with wine or sake?
Chef Tomoyuki Hayashi (T.H.): Generally, sake pairs best with sushi, because sake is made from rice but there are occasions when a piece of sushi is better off paired with wine.
L.B.Z.: Or does the pairing depend on the fish and preparation in question?
T.H.: The right choice depends on the preparation of the fish and what spices or seasonings it is prepared with. For example, while I do not do this, some sushi chefs choose to use an olive oil marinade for their fish, which might make the piece of sushi pair better with wine.
L.B.Z.: How do you choose between wine or sake?
T.H.: As sushi is Japanese cuisine, I choose sake of course!
L.B.Z.: What types of wines go best with multiple types of sashimi?
T.H.: I would recommend Chardonnay because it brings out the flavors of the fish.
L.B.Z.: Are there types of sake that are also good with numerous sashimi/sushi preparations?
T.H.: Numerous types of dry sake pair well with many sashimi and sushi preparations.
L.B.Z.: How do you help consumers understand the synergy of these pairings when they may not be that familiar with some of the fish preparations and some of the sakes?
T.H.: Pairing Sake with different pieces of sushi is very similar to balancing the flavors in the piece of sushi itself. For example, if the sushi has a strong fish taste, I will use a stronger tasting sake. In the same way, if a fish is oily, I season it with vinegar, or if it has a sour taste, you can season it with sweetness.
L.B.Z.: Are there any types of specific flavors and textures that go better with one or the other types of fish and preparations?
T.H.: The taste of the rice flavor in sake is good, but if that sake has a high rate of polished rice, then it can generally become a sweeter, more full-bodied drink, which pairs better with many types of sushi.
L.B.Z.: Are almost all the sakes you pair with your dishes dry?
T.H.: Our sake pairing contains a few different types of sake but many of them are dry, and one of my recommendations is off-dry sake.
L.B.Z.: What types of dishes work with off-dry or unfiltered sakes?
T.H.: Off-dry sake is good for dishes that have a strong taste such as Uni and eel, whereas unfiltered Sake is good for Sushi rice.