Founded on creating cultural and meaningful connections over a shared experience, Dragonfly Restaurants is the brainchild of Hirofumi P. Leung, a first-generation Japanese/Chinese immigrant, and Song Y. Kim, a second-generation Korean immigrant. With two existing Florida locations, Dragonfly concepts are inspired by izakayas, which are modern-day interpretations of Japanese mom-and-pop taverns. On April 9, the third location will open in the highly anticipated Downtown Doral project (5241 NW 87th Avenue) with a spotlight on its artisanal fish market. Leung’s vision is to have each location encompass one of several founding culinary principles of Japanese cuisine; the brand’s flagship location in Gainesville focuses on sushi, while the Orlando location concentrates on the robatayaki (robata grill).
“Our goal is to bring flavorful dishes and creations to Miami, while building those shared moments between the friends and family we value,” says Leung. “In keeping with that same motto of creating experiences, we encourage guests to step out of their comfort zones and embrace a different culture’s traditions, not just amongst friends, but also with food.”
The menu at the new space, boasting more than 6,000 square feet, is heavily inspired by Leung’s dedication to preserving the distant memories of visiting the fish market and street vendors back home with his father before preparing family meals.
The dining room, open for dinner-only upon launch, will feature Japanese comfort food-inspired izakaya dishes. Menu highlights includeOkonomiyaki ($12) a Japanese seafood pancake with shrimp, octopus and squid; Chahan ($15) a garlic blue crab fried rice; and a Robatayaki Grilled Chicken neck-to-tail tasting menu, including $8 selections such as Bonjiri (tail), Momo Negi (thigh) and Tebasaki (wing). The menu will also feature market favorites such as a Japanese Lobster Roll ($25), Large Stone Crabs (three for $35) andKumamoto Oysters ($4 each) noted for their mild brininess, sweet flavor and honeydew finish, as well as classic and specialty sushi rolls, sashimi and nigiri selections prepared by Dragonfly’s master chefs.
Tradition will go beyond the parameters of the dining room to include a progressive beverage program, which integrates Japanese flavors, culture, and inspiration to enhance the connection between the guest and spirits. The program will feature a dedicated Japanese ice program, a rare and award-winning Japanese whiskey list complete with eight of the top ten Japanese whiskeys, a seasonal Omakase cocktail list and a unique sake and shōchū list. The program is built to celebrate the meticulous practice of Japanese beverage making in an artful, authentic and approachable manner.
The restaurant’s adjoining fish market will nod to the famous Tsukiji Fish Market and the many popular street vendors in Japan. Market items will range from house-made rubs to seafood sourced from local and exotic waters across the globe. In addition, it will offer kits to recreate Dragonfly-inspired meals at home, bento boxes to-go, salads, rice bowls and educational seafood workshops.
The artisanal fish market will have several street fare inspired grab-and-go bento boxes and rice bowls prepared fresh throughout the day. The market will also feature a variety of house-made and unique or hard-to-find boutique items such as, Japanese White Shoyu and Kentucky Bluegrass Soy Sauces, artisanal Kika Treats, whole local fish, fresh exotic catches and special house-blend rice mixes, sauces, dressings and rubs. Prices will range from several dollars to market pricing on seafood.
ABOUT DRAGONFLY IZAKAYA & FISH MARKET
The Doral location is located at 5241 NW 87th Avenue. The restaurant will initially open with dinner-only Sunday through Thursday from 5 to 10 p.m. and on Friday and Saturday from 5 to 11 p.m. Shortly after its grand opening, the restaurant will serve lunch Monday through Friday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and brunch on Saturday and Sunday. The fish market will be open from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., daily. For more information regarding Dragonfly Restaurants, www.dragonflyrestaurants.com.