Exotic Kosher

Chef Fernando Chang


By Annabella Goshen

26 Sushi & Tapas, located in the heart of Surfside, offers a Nikkei-inspired restaurant encompassing a tasteful approach to kashrut. Stemming from a lifelong friendship, co-owners Morris J. Kaplan and Fernando Chang created a harmonious entrepreneurial combination: a striking atmosphere with kosher culinary know how.


Real estate developer Morris J. Kaplan always wanted to open a delectable kosher restaurant. Not only did he want to emphasize the importance of kosher food, but he also wanted to epitomize the importance of a fine dining experience. He differentiated this restaurant by creating a pleasant approach to dining, where clients can listen to each other, converse in a pleasant volume without having to scream over loud music or the overall hustle of a restaurant. Thanks to the acoustic modeling approach created by Walters-Storyk Design Group, this uniquely structured space, including the use of cushions and built in double walls, minimizes sound. Architect Tom Telesco created the elegant design, offering a modern and graceful décor. For large or intimate gatherings, guests will still be able to hold conversations.

Along with this vision, Chef Fernando offers a Japanese and Peruvian fusion complemented by his kosher know-how. His passion for incorporating multicultural flavors with traditional Asian cuisine has led to attaining high Zagat ratings. His culinary concept is all about freshness, where his ceviches only have high quality Corvina fish from the Pacific. For Chef Fernando, “it all starts and ends with the fish. At 26 Sushi & Tapas, I work to make sure I can honor ‘ceviche’ in the best way I can. It is a profound belief that we, as Peruvian cooks, must live by.”

Additionally, all the food is checked by the mashgiach and certified by Kosher Miami to ensure freshness and high kosher standards. With tapas and highly recommended dishes such as the Chilean sea bass dumplings, Chef Fernando has been able to create this Peruvian-Japanese fusion along with a kosher approach to dining.

During the week, the happy hour concept of 26 Sushi & Tapas has become quite popular. Tapas such as tostones, Corvina wontons, and Lubina dumplings along with specialty makis and an extensive cocktail bar create a fun happy hour experience. Lunch and dinner is also served, creating an enjoyable atmosphere for singles, couples, groups of friends, partners and families.


As the South Florida consumer has come to appreciate tasteful experiences, 26 Sushi & Tapas has become equipped within the realm of catering. They provide in-house catering for private events within the restaurant, as well as full service catering that will be offered at guest’s homes or external venues. Appropriate for Shabbat dinners, bar/bat mitzvahs, birthdays, weddings and other celebrations, the service staff offers white-glove service from start to finish. The unique presentation of each dish is complemented by the tasteful combination of flavors. The complete vision of 26 Sushi & Tapas is reflected within the restaurant or in any venue, achieved by the fresh food, the culinary expertise and the detailed presentation along with attentive service.

Immersed in their kosher food proposal, co-owners Morris Kaplan and Chef Fernando Chang have put their passion into this restaurant and its mission, which they say is “to provide spiritually motivated food, yet humanly inspired, within a peaceful atmosphere that cultivates community and family union.” Their dedication to this mission has made the exotic kosher of 26 Sushi & Tapas a culinary hit that will surely expand beyond Surfside.