Miami Herald (Sunday)

‘The food scene is so, so hot’: Gordon Ramsay opens glam new restaurant in Miami Beach

- BY CONNIE OGLE cogle@miamiheral­ Connie Ogle: 305-376-3649, @OgleConnie

When Chef Gordon Ramsay opened his famous Hell’s Kitchen restaurant in Miami last fall, he wasn’t done with the 305.

Now, the restaurate­ur and TV personalit­y is bringing a completely different concept in Miami Beach: A version of his Asian-inspired Lucky Cat restaurant and lounge.

Lucky Cat, which first opened in London’s Mayfair neighborho­od in

2019, is opening in the South of Fifth neighborho­od, next to Jeremy Ford’s Michelin-starred spot Stubborn Seed. There’s also a location in

Manchester, UK.

The glamorous concept, Ramsay said via email, is simply not comparable to Hell’s Kitchen.

“Hell’s Kitchen is a dining concept born out of a TV program. It’s family dining, great food with friends, fun and familiar,” he said. “Lucky Cat is an exquisite dining experience. The mood is cool, the ambiance dark and sultry. Every plate has been thoughtful­ly conceptual­ized, the flavors are exciting, your palate is alive . ... All very, very different from the menu at Hell’s Kitchen.”

The Lucky Cat concept is based on Tokyo’s 1930s kissas — vinyl listening lounges — and the bars of Shanghai. The influences are easy to spot in the design of the space, which skews Japanese, with wood tones and natural textures and with what may or may not be a nod to South Beach, Art Deco-style lanterns to replicate that 1930s glow.

But while the atmosphere is pure lounge — the bar features a big selection of Japanese whiskey and gin, plus premium sakes — the restaurant also serves a wide-ranging Asian menu with many influences. There’s sushi and sashimi, buns and dumplings, tempura and robatagril­led dishes as well as small plates and bar snacks for those whose thirst outweighs their hunger.

The brand’s signature dishes include bonito fried duck luck bao, prawn and shiso tempura, Korean spiced black cod with gochujang and daikon and smoked lamb shoulder larb.

The new restaurant will offer a few only-in-Miami choices, too, including the Manilla wagyu roll (it may be against the law to open a restaurant South of Fifth without wagyu these days); smoked shima aji nigiri (striped jack sushi); baked clay pot glass noodles with Maine lobster and pork belly; and lamb dumplings with Szechuan pepper.

Ramsay calls the Lucky Cat cuisine “me on a plate.”

“It’s my DNA, my passion,” he said. “I’ve spent over 20 years traveling across Asia, exploring, discoverin­g, tasting new flavors, new ingredient­s, fine dining, night markets, street food, [going] from the family kitchens in backstreet­s of Hong Kong to fishing for buttery soft abalone off the coast in China to cooking with the locals in the incredible gastronomi­c mazes of the yokocho alleys in Tokyo. When I say this is me on a plate, I genuinely mean it.”

Opening two concepts in the Miami area makes sense to Ramsay, who said he has kept his eye on the food scene here for the past decade.

“When I first visited Bradley Kilgore’s Alter, which was producing exceptiona­l food in Wynwood, I knew then Miami’s food scene was definitely on the rise,” he said. “And since that visit, it’s got better and better.

“Everything is appealing about Miami. From a chef’s perspectiv­e, the ingredient­s are incredible, and the food scene is so, so hot right now. There is amazing inspiratio­n everywhere: the art, the different areas across the city, and the weather is beautiful. I love it! I’ve been coming to Miami for years, so I’ve seen firsthand what a food city it’s become.”


Where: 119 Washington Ave., Miami Beach

Hours: 5-11 p.m. Monday-Thursday and Sunday; 5 p.m.-midnight Friday-Saturday

Reservatio­ns: www. gordonrams­ayrestaura­nts .com/en/us

 ?? ?? Chef Gordon Ramsay opened the first Lucky Cat in London in 2019, with a second one opening later in Manchester, UK.
Chef Gordon Ramsay opened the first Lucky Cat in London in 2019, with a second one opening later in Manchester, UK.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from United States