Japanese Peruvian fusion restaurants are a dime a dozen in Miami these days, and with good reason. Peruvian food has a lot of Japanese influences. I had been eyeing Sokai for a while, and even walked in once to take a look at their menu and felt my jaw drop at their prices. Still, I am okay with paying extra money for a meal if I feel like I got my money’s worth afterward.
Like most Japanese Peruvian restaurants, Sokai offers a selection of both sushi and ceviche. Being more of a fan of the latter, I decided to stick with dishes that were more traditionally Peruvian. One thing worth noting is that they give each table a tablet in which they can view the menu and place their order electronically, but also still have a server come by and take orders.
Our appetizer was a Cebiche Carretillero, which basically translates to “ceviche of the forklift driver.” I’m not sure why exactly the nae was chosen, but the ceviche itself is yellow pepper ceviche made with corvina and fried calamari. The calamari was, in my opinion, the star of the dish. The ceviche wasn’t bad, if maybe a bit bland as far as ceviches go. However, the calamari was fried perfectly. It had a nice crisp on the exterior and the interior ring was tender and not rubbery.
My go-to entree at Peruvian restaurants is always Lomo Saltado, so that is what I ordered. My first impression of the dish was that the pale crinkle fries were going to be a disappointment. Instead, the opposite happened. The fries were the best part of the dish. Despite looking undercooked, they were actually nice and crispy. The beef, on the other hand, left a lot to be desired. The meat itself was a little bit dry and tough. The sauce helped with this, although the sauce itself lacked the depth of flavor that I expect from a lomo saltado. As with most white rice in Peruvian restaurants, the rice was more al dente than I prefer, but I think that’s just the way that rice is prepared by Peruvians.
Service was great at Sokai. Dirty plates didn’t stay on the table long, and someone was always passing by to check and see what we needed. If the food were just a little better, than I would be more likely to go back. As it stands, I am not in a hurry to try them again.