Featured Book

Featured Articles

Travel Safety

Featured Advertisers

Hotel Savoy Prague

Sea Kayak Advenures



Search By Country:

Search Now:



Shoji Sushi Restaurant Review

A shocking, true confession! I’ve harbored a secret for years. I’ve been sushi dining for eons, but the thought of eating raw fish, yuck, made me squeamish. A raw slab of fish plopped atop clumpy white rice served on cheap china held no appeal. That was then, this is now. I recently discovered the delights of naked fish and feasted on all sorts of raw delicacies at the new Shoji Sushi restaurant on Collins Avenue in South Beach.

Copyright Dindy CoFor years, I played it safe with shrimp tempura and California rolls. Boring. Was it the gorgeous presentation on hand-blown glass plates that enticed me to try raw fish? Did the dramatic purple flower contrasting perfectly with the red sauce on Shin’s Crispy Noodles tempt me too much? Was I supposed to eat the flower? Perhaps, it was because I was well aware of dedicated Master Chef Shingo Inoue’s Zen philosophy toward cuisine? The creative approach to seasoning? I’ve got it; it was the two Sakatinis (sake-based martini) and one Gingertini (vodka-based) that threw me over the edge indulging into what became a sushi/sashimi extravaganza.

Inoue approaches his culinary profession parallel to a Japanese gardener approaching the care of his Zen garden. The Zen gardener and Inoue envision their tasks as a delicate ecosystem to be cared for with precision. The Zen concept of simplicity and beauty permeates Inoue’s cuisine. To Inoue the "art" of sushi -making is an active link to the consciousness, requiring the practitioner to be aware of every movement and making each motion concise. Okay, enough philosophy, how is the food?

ICopyright Dindy Co didn’t jump into the raw world until the third appetizer. Hey, do I know how to be a glutton or what? At first, I feasted on Edamame, which are steamed, green soybeans with sea- salt served in a bamboo, lidded basket. Bite off the tips and suck out the beans; sip your Gingertini. What could be bad? Shishito, tangy, tasty peppers served whole appeared, no problemo. Still sipping and eating, I gazed into the immaculate kitchen and sushi bar. Nice, very nice. The bigger than life crab-like sculptures attached to the ceiling add an element of funkiness. By incorporating Japanese and North American sensibilities throughout its décor, Blue Design Group of Miami Beach created a serene yet au courant environment. In other words: upscale and trendy. Above the bar three TV’s show old Japanese sci-fi flicks. Cool and fun.

My moment of truth arrived in the form of Carpaccio, slices of raw grouper creatively presented on a black plate with lemon, palm, a unique sauce and onion. It was apparent that Shoji elevated sushi dining to a new plateau; it was now or never. But wait, I have another true confession; I don’t know how to use chopsticks. Shamefully poking the fish with a fork, I brought it closer and closer to my mouth; second thoughts raced though my brain. Yes, no, yes, no. Suddenly, flashing like a neon sign in my mind was my motto--you only live once; at least I think you do. What’s the Zen gardener’s philosophy on reincarnation, anyway? I gingerly slid the raw fish into my mouth. With great trepidation I allowed my taste buds to work. Fabulous new flavors and textures flooded my senses. Where had Shoji Sushi been all my life? Totally delicious! I plowed into whatever fresh fish swam my way. Salmon with ginger, cucumber, Chinese mustard, lemon, and salmon roe? Yes. Snapper served with sake, citrus, sweet peppers, red onion, cilantro and masago? Yes, yes. The highest quality fish, the presentation, and the freshness made for memorable dining. Can you be a food groupie?

Copyright Dindy CoAnd let’s not forget about dessert. Pastry Chef Hedy Goldsmith has won accolades from the New York Times, no less. The Times stated, "Her pastries are strikingly beautiful, marvels of texture and balance." Two deserts are better than one, right? For Crème Brulee freaks like me, the exotic Ginger Brulee is a must, and the Warm Chocolate Cake is a crowd- pleaser.

Shoji Sushi is an unparalleled sushi dining experience where East meets West. The coupling of authentic Japanese cuisine with outstanding service yields a Zen-like experience for the palate and senses. P.S. for you gourmands not ready for raw, there are wonderful cooked, steamed and char-grilled items.

Price ranges for appetizers from $3.50-$8.50, entrees from $13.00-$21.00, sushi and sashimi from $1.00-$8.00 and quail eggs-$1.00. The restaurant boasts a Sake bar and specialty drinks along with a full bar. Dinner served from 6pm to 1am daily, reservations not required but recommended for groups of eight or more, call 305-532-4245. Located at 100 Collins Avenue, in the up and coming area south of Fifth Street, known as SoFi in Miami Beach. Shoji Sushi is across from the Big Pink and next to the famed Nemo, but more about that later.

Tuna Ceviche
serves 6 as an appetizer

The success of this dish relies heavily on the quality and freshness of the fish you use. This is a newer style of ceviche with a fresher approach. The fish is not allowed to marinate for more than a minute or so, thus producing a fresher and cleaner taste.

1 cup lemon juice
1 cup soy sauce
1/3 cup & 2 tbsp rice vinegar
3 tbsp mirin
1 lb. Tuna loin (skin off & trimmed clean)
½ cup red currant tomatoes
½ cup daikon radish (peeled & sliced into thin disks)
½ cup diced avocado
¼ cup shiso – chiffonade (basil may be substituted)
salt to taste

In a medium stainless steel mixing bowl combine first four ingredients. Wisk together & store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 6 months. With a sharp knife cut the tuna into ¼ inch thin slices. Refrigerate, covered with plastic wrap until ready to assemble. This can be done up to 2 hours ahead.

In a large stainless steel mixing bowl combine remaining ingredients. Add approximately 1 cup of ponzu and mix thoroughly being careful not to break up the avocado. The mixture should be juicy enough to pour some liquid over the portioned ceviche.

Line 6 coupe bowls with lettuce leaves or bamboo leaves or whatever. Divide the ceviche into the bowls evenly & pour remaining liquid over each portion. Serve immediately! The colder the better.

And here is a drink, for those in need of some false courage:

Martini Recipe


2 oz Sake
1 oz triple sec
1/2 oz cranberry
1/2 oz lime juice


Classification Ratings
Chic Funky Sushi Bar
View - No
Patio - Yes
Food *****
Wine List ***
Dining Experience ****
Cost ***
Shoji Sushi Restaurant
100 Collins St.
Miami Beach, FL

Ph: (305) 532-4245

Ratings guidelines:




***** over US$50 per person
**** $30 to $50 per person
*** $18 to $30 per person
** $8 to $18
* less than $8 per person


Food, wine list and dining experience

***** exceptional
**** very good but either lacking in consistency or having room to reach perfection
*** decent fare but lacking in creative inspiration either in presentation, food quality or both
** mediocre and hopefully cheap
* either the price is right or we are not returning