February 25, 2021


All Things Delicious

Cafe Oriental Features Japanese Ramen and Onigiri In close proximity to Dadeland Mall

4 min read


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An very small cafe, Café Oriental opened about a month ago, using around the primary CAO Chocolate shop near Dadeland Shopping mall, in the exact searching heart as Gaetano’s Pizza and Pasta, Raw South Juice Co., and Best Sub Store.

The restaurant is so smaller, a sign outdoors tells diners that only two individuals can order at a time. Once within, the scent of tempura greets you adopted by a welcoming “hi there” from the sole server and companions Juan Gomez and Selina Siu. Curious diners can place Gomez cooking powering the window that opens into the kitchen.

Even though you hold out for your food stuff, Siu may well offer you a seaweed salad sample. Once your get is up, you can mend to one particular of the picnic tables outdoors. The restaurant also provides takeout.

Don’t count on sushi at Café Oriental. As an alternative, Gomez offers other Japanese delicacies — ramen, bento boxes, and onigiri ($3.50 to $5.50).

Discovered inside of 7-Elevens throughout Japan, that last snack  — a rice ball wrapped all over a strip of dried seaweed and ordinarily packed with pickled plum or fish — is really hard to uncover in Miami.

“I use the very same type of the wrapper they use in Japan to retain the onigiri crispy,” Gomez tells New Times, incorporating that in Japan, the snack is commonly employed by professional runners to gasoline up in advance of an party.

The ramen, 1 of Cafe Oriental’s most well-liked dishes, is built virtually totally in-home. This contains the creamy tonkotsu broth, which cooks for 18 hrs before being ladled into a bowl stuffed with noodles, pork, and a gentle-boiled egg ($13.50).

Gomez believes very little need to go to squander and incorporates what he can into the broth for added umami from strained fish bones to mushrooms for the vegetable broth. “Why toss points absent when you can do a little something with them, and also display persons we have something diverse?” he claims rhetorically.

Other noodle dishes involve yakisoba, a fried noodle, as effectively as thick udon noodles. Patrons can seize a bento box — such as the grilled salmon served with gyoza dumplings, salad, vegetable or shrimp tempura, and miso soup ($14.50). A weekday lunch particular is served from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and contains a distinctive bento box ($10.50) and a spicy hen salad ($9.50).

Gomez, who moved to the U.S. from his native Colombia in 2000, has been in the restaurant organization ever since. He went to culinary faculty in Pennsylvania and uncovered his appreciate for Asian delicacies while using prerequisite English lessons. 

“When I went to university, I was the only Spanish-talking guy, and I hung out with a lot of Asian learners from the global pupil exchange,” he explains.

“When I was in Colombia, we referred to all people as Chinese — chino — I failed to know the difference. At culinary college, I started finding out about the variety of Asia and all the cuisines.”

After graduating, Gomez labored at Maido in Doral for 14 many years prior to getting the urge to open up his cafe.

“Some of the finest French eating places are in Japan,” he notes by way of explaining his inclination to combine and match Japanese foodstuff with French, Korean, and Costa Rican delicacies.

Kimchee, the funky fermented Korean condiment, can be located in the restaurant’s ramen, soup, and salad. Patrons will also find a Costa Rican chayote and pineapple salad ($6) on the menu.

Gomez’s aim is to preserve tradition but also to experiment. “If you have the principles, you can re-build regardless of what you like,” he states.

Cafe Oriental. 9800 SW 77th Ave., Miami 786-294-3101 cafe-oriental.square.web page. Monday by means of Friday 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday midday to 9:30 p.m., and Sunday midday to 9 p.m.

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