Whether you are welcomed with a directly flown-from-Hawaii lei, a glass of bubbly and perfectly seasoned crispy rock shrimp or not, the mix of one of South Beach’s coolest rooftops and sushi-poke cuisine makes Akûa or Watr on the 1 Rooftop a uniquely seductive destination for locals and tourists alike. Nonetheless, the food alone is enough to beckon you back and again to the invitingly open-air Watr Restaurant at 1 Hotel & Homes South Beach.
I was particularly impressed by the Tako ($18) salad: the smoked chili vinaigrette added a fiery edge to the octopus and edamame but for those of more traditional palates, the Kimchi ($17) with just a touch of crispy garlic to give a kick to the tuna and avocado, is the way to go. The Dragon Roll ($19) from the Sushi Maki sampling was especially flavorful with a delightful crunchiness from the cucumber, asparagus and shrimp while the cashew cream cheese and avocado added a rich layer to the Happy Vegetable Roll that made it quite appetizing. The Salmon Teriyaki $26) was delectably cooked while for the carnivores, the Wagyu Skirt Steak ($36) would be the ideal choice.
Our taste buds were sent to ecstasy upon encountering the alluringly mouth-watering Ginger Bread Pudding with coconut chips ($12).
Just thinking about it makes me want to dress up, run out to the car and drive across town to try my luck at getting in without a reservation. Did I forget to mention that you should make one? It is recommended as the seating is limited and if the weather turns ugly as it has today, they need to call you to cancel because Watr is an outdoor restaurant. Everything in life has its pros and cons but trying to experience this gem is well worth it. Listening to the distant sounds of the waves rushing in and out while watching the sunset, slowly sipping one of Watrcocktails and trying a savory starter is one of the finer ways to begin a South Florida evening.
The chef 10-course tasting for $95 is an excellent option to get to know the Polynesian-Japanese menu. A well-thought-out wine, sake and cocktails list is available. However, don’t miss the opportunity to take advantage of the great $39 prixe fixe offer for a three-course dinner: Monday – Thursday and Sunday nights under Miami Spice through September 30. Watr at 1 Rooftop is for 21 and older. Aloha!