Samurai Showdown

Margie Castro is good with a blade, but even better with a bar spoon, and she’s willing to show you what it takes to be a cut above the rest.
Text by Rony Mo Photos by Korey Davis | June 2, 2018 | People

You may have ordered a Lychee Martini at an Asian Fusion restaurant before, but you’ve never experienced one that changes as it rests on the palate. “The chefs are grilling aged Kobe rib-eyes with truffle flakes and butter-ponzu cream…so the bar needs to stay competitive,” says Margie Castro as she sharpens the edge of her knife. Motto’s interpretation uses premium vodka, which won’t impart any off-flavors on such an intensely layered cocktail, and lychee liquor, which lends citrus notes and a flowery nose. On the other side of the taste spectrum, cucumber brightens it, while lime juice slices the sweetness and coconut cream adds viscosity and a jade-like appearance to this supremely sippable drink. Since you’re going to sip, you’ll notice every nuance and how it complements the delicate flavors of your meal…so it has to be perfect. “Besides Lord Senshi is watching,” she points toward her stoic and immovable guardian, an articulated suit of 16th Century armor from the Edo Period. The décor is a journey through the accomplishments of The Land Of The Rising Sun including silky geisha formalwear, fully functioning WWII aerial cameras and sterling silver sake cups once offered to the emperor of Japan as a wedding present. The marriage of taste, texture and culture at Motto fuse to create an experience worthy of a place in the global gastronomic village; 260 Crandon Blvd., Key Biscayne; 305.361.8181;

Lychee-Cucumber Martini
2 oz. Ketel One Vodka
½ oz. Soho Lychee Liqueur
Garden Cucumber & Fresh Lime muddled w/ Lychee Simple Syrup
1 tsp. Coco López Coconut Cream