Mikan Japanese Restaurant moves from Brickell to Pembroke Pines

Mikan photos by Linda Bladholm for the Miami Herald.

Jiro Ono may dream of sushi, but Seiji “Ike” Ikemizu has also conjured up some delicate creations at his Mikan Japanese Restaurant, named for the honey tangerine. 

After 17 years in Brickell, the chef moved Mikan to Pembroke Pines, where he lives. He opened it a few months ago with a black granite sushi counter. (Coming soon to Mikan’s former space: An Italian restaurant called Moye, from the owners of Sardinia.) 

Ikemizu hails from Tokunoshima, a small island in southern Japan where fishing is a way of life. He works with a local Japanese supplier to order his fish. Pristine quality is sold here at affordable prices, and it is wise to check the daily specials. 

You might find gigantic, pincushion-plump Miyagi oysters in ruffled shells from northern Japan with a sweet, mildly mineral flavor enhanced by a dip in ponzu sauce. Or you may see uni from the California coast. Also known as sea hedgehogs, the urchin has yellow-gold lobes, or ovaries, that are a delicacy that dissolve on the tongue with a sweet, nutty flavor, served here as sashimi with yama imo (mountain potato).

New noodle dishes include curry udon soup; hiyashi chukka (chilled somen) topped with strips of omelet, pork, seaweed salad, shrimp and tomato for tossing together; and yaki soba (stir-fried buckwheat noodles) with vegetables and shrimp or choice of meat.

There are also several ramen bowls. Get the champon, meaning “mixed,” which starts with housemade, umami-rich broth made by boiling pork bones, embellished with springy egg noodles, chikuwa (grilled slices of fish cake resembling bamboo), pork, squid rings, Napa cabbage, carrot and scallions. 

There’s also Asahi draft beer and Forgotten Japanese Spirit sake that is water-smooth yet dry. 

Kampai! (Cheers!)

Linda Bladholm is a Miami-based food writer.