* August 18th, 2021 Hiden Changes
While I once counted — and obsessed over— Hiden as one of my favorite restaurants (read the FULL review below), and placed it high on my TOP MIAMI RESTAURANTS list, my feelings about it have changed. I have decided to provide the following update, given this post remains highly popular. It seems that since chef Tadashi’s departure, the restaurant has been a revolving door when it comes to its chefs. This might work for larger restaurants but, in my opinion, greatly affects the effectiveness and consistency of an eight-seat omakase restaurant. I suppose the statement the restaurant group made several years ago when Tadashi left is unfortunately true, “Hiden is more than a chef…” Clearly. It. Shows.
That said, I now only recommend Hiden to anyone new to omakase. It’s a good introduction to the concept delivered by the current chef, Shingo (formerly of The Den by Azabu), without going overboard or being too intimidatingly adventurous. Current cost is now $200 per person. Mostly top ingredients are used, and the experience delivered (on this 10th visit) was fresh, clean, and traditional. The chefs and staff were very friendly and professional throughout. But if you are familiar with the omakase scene (especially in NYC and Japan), however, I suspect you will probably feel disappointed, and left looking for a little more oomph in the courses.
* February 9th, 2019 chef Tadashi is NO longer at Hiden.
Therefore, the following review I wrote in April 2018 does NOT apply to the current restaurant staff and operations. Dine at your own risk.
I remain hopeful Miami can one day continue to experience the magic of chef Tadashi Shiraishi, as detailed below.
* April 11th, 2018 (Original review)
Two daily dinners.
The secret is out. Kind of.
Hiding out in Wynwood and bringing an exceptional omakase experience to Miami diners, this underground restaurant has quietly arrived. Hiden, part of the Shōwa Hospitality Group, delivers authentic Japanese fine dining by blending top-notch domestic ingredients with imported delights straight from Japan.
I don’t even recall how I first heard about Hiden (a play on words for ‘hidden”). I do know I booked my first dinner there quickly enough to snag a reservation during its first operational week. Several hours before dinner time, the restaurant emailed me the door code, restaurant address, and specific instructions. The code would activate 10 minutes before my reservation time and would expire 15 minutes past my reservation time.
Honestly, I felt very 007 upon arrival. As I walked into The Taco Stand, I surveyed every corner trying to guess just where this private entrance could be. Once I found it, I typed the code into a keypad and watched the door slide open. Got it! Leaving the loud salsa beats and tacos behind, I walked to my seat and slowly took in my surroundings. Eight seats wrap around an L-shape counter where the chef takes center stage. Blonde woods harmoniously blend with gray and black touches, serving as the backdrop to each course. Beautiful stemware sat awaiting the celebratory pour of champagne to kick off the experience.
I soon learned that, at the expert hands of Chef Tadashi Shiraishi (Nobu Matsuhisa Mykonos, Nobu St. Moritz, Huto Restaurante/Brazil, and Edomae Miso Ramen Tadokoro Shoten/Japan), every bite is meticulously prepared seconds before it’s served or handed directly to each person. Every exchange ended with my eyes closed and a whispered: “Mmm, that was so good.”
WHAT I TRIED:
Choosing a highlight feels almost impossible. I suppose I wouldn’t complain at second servings of the Spanish Bluefin Tuna, or the This is Not Miso Soup (snow crab and velvety egg broth), or the decadent Tyu-Toro, or perhaps the melt-in-your-mouth Japanese Fluke. Definitely the fluke. But how about the A5 Miyazaki Wagyu? Never mind, I just cannot choose. The two-hour adventure of all highs flew by too quickly. Throughout both of my visits, the lucky eight diners interacted and became thick as thieves by night’s end. Were we at a restaurant or at Chef Shiraishi’s home? Hard to tell, really. Thankfully, his intense focus wasn’t easily rattled by our sake-induced boisterous laughs and rowdy exchanges. He did join in occasionally but, to our benefit, quickly shifted gears back to his craft.
To book, visit TOCK and choose your desired date and time. For now, the inaugural tasting menu is set at $130 per person, payable ahead of time. I’m sure the prices will increase as the restaurant matures: keyword for GO NOW! The speakeasy nature of the concept is fun and a little gimmicky, but it also makes sense. Seating is limited, and walk-ins are not accepted. The magic door never opens again until dinner ends. Sorry Miamians, there’s no hostess to bribe and no list to get on; you either have a reservation, or you don’t. Once inside, Hiden becomes its own private island where the sky is the limit and the sushi is endless.
FUN TIP: Make sure you use the bathroom at some point during the night. Let’s just say they’ve pulled out all the stops there too. That’s all I’m saying.