South Beach Seafood Festival       |       October 19-22, 2022       |       Miami Beach, Florida

South Beach Seafood Festival: In The Kitchen with Dragonfly and MotaParla

Enjoy this In The Kitchen guest article by MotaParla, who got ready for the South Beach Seafood Festival with Executive Chef Masa Hamaya of Dragonfly Izakaya & Fish Market.

We’re only a few weeks away from the South Beach Seafood Festival! This is easily Miami’s best seafood festival thanks to the amazing Chefs who bring their very best to the sand for a day of sun and seafood.

I was able to interview Chef Masa Hamaya at Dragonfly in Doral, and I’m more excited than ever to see them on the sand during #SobeSeafood Week, Oct. 17-21!

south beach seafood festival chef masatomo hamaya

Originally from Soka, Japan, Chef Masa started out in the Modeling Industry working as an Agent until the age of 30. Then, he pivoted to focus on his passion: Food.

Now 45, he has been in the culinary industry for the last 15 years. He first began his journey as a means to fulfill his desire to work in the culinary industry and move to the United States.

After tasting some of his best dishes during our intimate interview, it’s safe to say he made the right choice!

Chef Masa took us on a flavor journey by preparing some of his top-selling plates. If you’re a lover of authentic Japanese cuisine and have not visited this gem in Doral, get yourself there as soon as possible!

The Menu

The meal was absolutely as incredible as it looks:

Red Tuna, Striped Jack, Black Sea Bream Sushi

south beach seafood festival dragonfly doral 1

Chef Masa believes the key to great sushi begins with how the fish are raised. The Bluefin Tuna used at Dragonfly Doral is from Boston and 100% wild caught. Friends, the flavor is indescribable. The word fresh doesn’t begin to cut it!

Chicken Karaage
Organic Fried Chicken, Japanese Mayo, Citric Salt, Sansho Pepper

south beach seafood festival dragonfly doral 1

A Tokyo staple! The Chef said this was a common dish to be had with a cold beer with colleagues and friends at a local bar after work. Easy to eat, flavorful battered chicken and the dipping sauce was delicious! This felt lighter than most friend dishes I’m used to eating which made it even more enjoyable.

Varied Preparations

south beach seafood festival dragonfly doral 3

Chef Masa takes a lot of culinary inspiration from Tokyo and his favorite food to make is traditional Sushi called Edomae.

The rice is seasoned with vinegar, which compliments the fresh fish. The Chef advised we skip the soy sauce for this dish and instead enjoy each piece in all its flavorful glory. As a soy sauce fan, I wasn’t sure if I was going to enjoy the dish as much as usual, but boy did I ever!

Raised Wagyu Short Rib
Shiitake, Enoki, Shemiji Mushrooms, Tare, Soft-Boiled Egg, Seasonal Vegetables

south beach seafood festival dragonfly doral 4

Flavorful and rich, this dish was meant to be shared! Japanese style Wagyu Short Rib is braised for 5 hours making it melt-in-your-mouth tender while the poached egg makes it extra saucy and flavorful.

About South Beach Seafood Week:

I must say: All the dishes Chef Masa prepared blew me away.  I’m looking forward to what he will be showcasing at the South Beach Seafood Week later this month!

He’s competing in the VIP #ChefShowdown on October 20th, and doing a pop-up Cafe during Saturday’s Main Festival, October 21st!

Editor’s Note: The Chef Showdown assembles 16 of Miami’s top executive chefs for an evening of competitive cook-offs where YOU are the judge. In a perfect combination of competition level cuisine, tropically fresh cocktails, and live entertainment, the Chef Showdown tours guests through the best of Miami’s culinary scene. This is a CAN’T miss experience for all.

One of their Saturday menu items will be a Baby Octopus Lollipop! All proceeds from this item will be donated to Puerto Rico Hurricane Relief efforts with suggested donation of $1 or more.

Baby Octopus Lollipops from Dragonfly

You can find a schedule of events as well as purchase tickets here.

Make sure you use code ‘MOTAPARLA’ at checkout for 20% off!

I’m so excited to be attending both Friday and Saturday’s events. I recommend splurging for the Weekend Pass so you can eat and drink to your heart’s content!

See you there,


Editor’s Note: Producing Miami’s best seafood festivals means working with the very best Chefs and their restaurants. Their incredible talent and creativity is what elevates South Beach Seafood Week from your “average festival” to a true epicurean experience.

Additionally, as Miami’s biggest seafood festival, it’s true when they say there is no better place to enjoy ALL of Miami’s best seafood restaurants in one day.

We’re sure you’ll agree: there’s something magical about enjoying the very best of South Beach wine and food in the sun, on the sand, and with unlimited open bar, right?

We sincerely thank Chef Kal Abdalla and MotaParla for sharing their time and passion and bringing this article to life.


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An Evening At Joe's
Wed, October 19, 2022
Crabs, Slabs, & Cabs
Thur, October 20, 2022
VIP Chef Showdown
Fri, October 21, 2022
South Beach Seafood Festival
Sat, October 22, 2022