Nikko by Sunshine brings Thai-Japanese favorites to Brickell
Feast on sushi, rolls, dumplings, soups, salads, teriyaki and Thai noodles and curries
When Tammy Songtong was the executive chef at the Sheraton Orchid in Bangkok, she sent her son, Sunchai “Sunshine” Naknoon, to Los Angeles to study English. He made his way to Miami 20 years ago, and learned to make sushi from a sensei (master).
For 16 years, Naknoon ran the sushi bar on Fisher Island, where he became friends with many regulars. One of them, Jose Alvarez, backed him in his own restaurant, a Japanese-Thai spot called Nikko by Sunshine, where his chef-mom runs the kitchen.
The tranquil space has black walls and a small sushi counter flanked by phraya nak (Thai serpent-dragons) inlaid with bits of colored glass and overseen by a smiling Buddha. The menu offers sushi, rolls, dumplings, soups, salads, teriyaki and Thai noodles and curries. Mother and son grow Thai chiles to make a spicy, by-request barbecue sauce that will light a fire in your mouth.
Songtong salutes Alvarez with a hamachi and jalapeño roll named for his wife, Hilda. Another Fisher Island friend is honored with the Linda, composed of rice, tuna tartare, potato sticks, and wasabi guacamole topped with flying fish caviar.
Lunch combos bring a mix of sushi and sashimi or soba noodles with a spicy tuna roll. Pad Thai is classic with al dente rice noodles tossed with tamarind juice, fish sauce and palm sugar with bits of egg, crushed peanuts and bean sprouts.
Stir-fried noodles came from Vietnam in ancient times but were made popular by a prime minister in the 1940s who named them pad Thai (fried Thai-style) in his campaign to promote Thai nationalism.
There’s also roasted duck, fried rice, chicken, pork or beef with house-made egg noodles or in anise-scented Thai basil sauce or red curry.
Dip small, doughnuts into sweet condensed milk and say “Aroy!”(Delicious!).
Nikko by Sunshine
186 SE 12 Ter, Miami
Hours: 11:30am-10:30pm Monday-Saturday
Prices: Appetizers and rolls $7-$16, sushi and sashimi $2-$4, Thai entrees $12-$19
- Midtown Oyster Bar brings more than oysters
- Get fresh pastas and other tastes of Italy at Limoncello Restaurant in Aventura
- 41st Street Deli makes gourmet kosher sandwiches in Miami Beach
- Fornaro cooks Italian food by way of Brazil in Coconut Grove
- Stone crabs with a side of sunset at Monty's in South Beach
- Moreno’s Café captures the spirit of Cuba in Miami Beach
- Ni.Do Caffe in Miami Shores celebrates eating the Italian way
- The hottest Thai food in Miami is on Calle Ocho
- Vegan cuisine is in Full Bloom in Miami Beach
- Jet Runway Café takes off in Fort Lauderdale