(Miami, FL) – Umai Group is proud to announce the upcoming opening of KAORI Miami, a brand-new two-story Mediterranean-Asian-inspired culinary concept, nestled in the very heart of downtown Brickell. The all-expansive dining destination will serve as Umai Group’s first food and hospitality venture, bringing two levels of unparalleled indulgence and entertainment to the neighborhood. KAORI offers a welcoming environment that embraces a naturalistic style, where every detail is thoughtfully curated to create a singular guest experience. From the delicately warm-toned interior, to the avant-garde food and beverage programming, to the synergetic entertainment component, every extension of KAORI naturally blends to create a harmonic likeness throughout. Helmed at the culinary hands of renowned Chef Fabrizio Garofolin, the concept is slated to unveil, May 2021.
“We are beyond excited to finally be able to share this truly exceptional experience we’ve created at KAORI Miami, with all our future guests,” says Diego Pagola, Creative Director of Umai Group & KAORI Miami. “Intention has been a very important factor in our conception of the brand, in creating an environment where our guests can feel welcome and at home. Every pillar put into this project lends to KAORI’s harmonic journey through the senses, led through gastronomy, music, and design.”
Embark on the KAORI Journey ⤖
Upon arrival, guests will find the entrance to the 4,500 sq. ft. restaurant at the ground level of SLS LUX Brickell, where they will be greeted by KAORI’s signature bar and lounge area. Appealing to those looking for an inviting neighborhood spot with an authentic evening-time vibe, the bar and lounge area will also bring an inspired mixture of entertainment, live music, and exotic instrumentals from a wide range of cultures. The music component of the space will play a fundamental role in establishing the identity of KAORI as a whole, lending to the curation of the venue’s full-sensory guest experience. A signature KAORI playlist will also be created where anyone is able to follow, offering guests a unique KAORI takeaway experience that will alternate bi-weekly.
Beyond the bar and lounge space, guests will come across a dimly lit staircase, which elegantly links to KAORI’s spacious upstairs dining area. Here, Chef Fabrizio Garofolin serves as the heartbeat of the restaurant, creating a beautiful balance between modern and time-honored techniques while combining the two worlds of Mediterranean and Asian cuisine. Chef Fabrizio unleashes his culinary artistry with a menu that exudes a diverse and sophisticated fusion of flavors, colorful and texturally rich ingredients. Highlighting Chef’s farm-to-table practices, and the sourcing of local ingredients and quality fresh fish, KAORI’s menu offers an eclectic culinary journey through land and sea. Guests can look forward to signature menu items such as authentic cuts of A5 Japanese Miyazaki Kobe Strip Loin with Shiso Chimichurri, Furikake Chicharron with Yuzu Mojo, Yellow Fin Tuna with Charred Avocado and Miso Sweet Potato Puree, home-made Short Rib Dumplings with Manchego Foam, and Kabayaki Glazed Seabass.
“Food is the purest reflection of the soul of a chef. It’s the way we show our passion for innovation and creativity in our menu,” says Chef Fabrizio Garofolin, Executive Chef of KAORI Miami. “Apart from our uniquely different Mediterranean-Asian style cuisine, KAORI’s menu offers a genuine culinary experience that lets our guest’s tastebuds travel around the world without ever having to leave their table.”
Beverage Programming ⤖
Aside from an incredible culinary focus, guests can also expect a sublime cocktail, wine, and sake programming. Prominent local bartender, James Mcleenes, will serve as KAORI’s lead Bar Manager, where he will be incorporating a variety of innovative ingredients from different cuisines into the signature cocktail menu. Pulling influence from his residencies in Sydney, New York City, and Miami’s bar scene, James’ approach is minimalist, flavor-focused, with a notable emphasis on execution and elegant presentation. KAORI’s wine and sake offerings will be spearheaded by two powerhouse women, Macarena Carrillo and Mariel Dalmau, who double as the founders of the natural wine social club, Grape Crush Miami. Their method aims to create a sustainable and innovative program, blending classics while simultaneously pushing boundaries.
Esteban Bressan’s vision was brought to life as a collaborative initiative between critically-acclaimed Miami-based design firm Spazio/Bressan and Interior Image Group (IIG), every space within the two-story concept was designed to offer an authentic, harmonic ambiance to enhance the guest’s overall experience, that is: the KAORI experience. Bressan’s multi-disciplinary vision for KAORI entwines both Mediterranean and Asian-influenced design elements with a natural and minimalist undertone. The bright, open, airy space exudes a balance between sophistication and casual comfort that celebrates simplicity through a modest palette of organic materials. Light-toned wall finishes and flooring contrasts with darker design elements, giving the venue a sense of inviting warmth. Lush greenery enlivens the space and adds another layer to the natural look and feel, building onto the connection between the location’s urban setting and nature.
“The best interiors evoke a mood. They’re an extension of our lifestyle. They entertain, provide solace, bring us closer together, and welcome us home,” says Esteban Bressan, Founder of Miami-based design firm Spazio/Bressan.