Saturday, February 25, 2012

Sushi Samba Dromo

Sushi Samba Dromo
Samba Dancer
Mardi Gras is French for Fat Tuesday, which began its roots with the practice of celebrating the last night of eating richer, fatty foods before the ritual fasting of the Lenten season started on Ash Wednesday. Many countries celebrate Fat Tuesday ( known as Shrove Tuesday in the UK and Sprengidagur in Ireland), with their own traditions and celebrations. In Brazil, Carnaval celebrations take place during this time, with the biggest most lavish street parties in the world that feature samba dancers parading down sambadromes; making your heart pound with excitement. Here in the U.S., when we think of Mardi Gras, we think of New Orleans and all the beads, dancing, masks, scrumptious food and sinful drinking that come with it. But luckily for us in Miami, we don't have to travel very far to experience all the magic and exhilaration that comes with Fat Tuesday. While there were many places this year celebrating Fat Tuesday with incredible menus and festivities, I chose to spend my last day of gluttony before Lent, donning my purple, green and gold, at Sushi Samba Dromo, located at 600 Lincoln Rd.

Carnavale Cocktail
I first read Sushi Samba Dromo's special Fat Tuesday menu online and thought it sounded amazing. They were going to feature samba dancers and drummers, making Lincoln Road come alive with the aura of the Brazilian carnivals. Once we sat down and read through the menu, Cynthia, our waitress, was extremely helpful.  She explained that Sushi Samba serves an infusion of Japanese, Peruvian and Brazilian cuisine. We quickly realized there were so many dishes that sounded tantalizing, we just couldn't decide what to try, so Cynthia helped us narrow it down with a good variety of dishes. She also came by our table a few times to see if we liked our choices. Before we ordered anything to eat, I ordered the amazing looking drink I had been craving all night: The Carnavale Cocktail, an alluring mix of Leblon cachaca, Domaine de Canton, fresh kiwi, and Champagne.

Wagyu Gunkan
Once I had treated myself to a couple of sips of this amazing concoction, we decided to start off with one of their Gunkan selections. Gunkan (named after the Japanese word battleship because of its appearance) is a kind of nigiri sushi, comprised of a mound of sushi rice wrapped with a strip of nori, and topped with various ingredients. At Sushi Samba, they extend on this concept by combining unique, unexpected flavors. We chose the Wagyu Gunkan, which consisted of densely marbled, rich raw beef, with potato paille, sea salt, and topped with a raw quail egg yolk. The portion wasn't large, with only two rolls, but the flavor was huge. All I could think of when I popped one in my mouth was WOW! Truly delicious and unforgettable!

Sea Bass and Miso Anticucho
The next morsel of paradise we tried was one of their Anticuchos. Anticuchos are popular dishes in Peru consisting of small pieces of grilled, skewered meat. The meat is usually marinated in spices before it is cooked.  Knowing we were now looking to sample some seafood, Cynthia suggested we try the Sea Bass and Miso anticucho, which was comprised of two skewers served with  Peruvian corn. In this instance, the sea bass was marinated in miso, making the end result a delicious, sweet fish with an incredibly tender texture. The kernels of peruvian corn that accompanied the sea bass skewers were the largest I had ever eaten before, and were very tasty as well; delighting the senses with  a smoky and delicate finish.

Crispy Taquitos
Following this amazing dish, we ordered two Crispy Taquitos, served with spicy aji panca sauce and fresh lime. We chose the Yellowtail, mixed with shiso, avocado and roasted corn miso, topped with shredded cabbage and radish, and served in a crispy taco shell. Once again, this was an amazing dish! The tuna was extremely fresh and flavorful and it left us with the desire to have a couple more; but we were excited about keeping the variety of food coming.

Carnaval Roll
At this point, I wanted to try something else from their special Carnaval menu, so I ordered another item that had caught my eye: the Carnaval Roll. The Carnaval Roll was created with tuna, salmon, shrimp, yellow chimichurri and brazil nut. This was not a typical roll, even to the eye. The fresh pieces of tuna, salmon and shrimp, sat atop batter-like squares, that practically melted in your mouth. This was an incredibly exhilirating experience!

Copacabana Crispy Red Snapper
There was still another item on the Carnaval menu that we were curious about: the Copacabana Crispy Red Snapper, flavored with lime, chili  and cilantro, and accompanied with coconut riceI truly enjoyed the presentation of this dish. Deliciously seasoned snapper "nuggets" surrounded the backbone of the fish; with a buttery sauce on the side for dipping. The coconut rice was moist and savory; pairing perfectly with the fish.

Suspiro Limeno

Finally, after this grand feast, we shared a dessert. While there were several selections on the menu that sounded appetizing, we went for the Suspiro Limeno, noticing it was a different take on ones we had had before. This one was "doce de leite" flan, roasted meringue ice-cream, port cake, and almond crumble. All the ingredients were served mixed together in a large bowl; the ice-cream and flan on the bottom with a rainfall of chunks of port cake and almond crumbles showering them. It was a nice combination of flavors; subtle yet refreshing.

My adventure at Sushi Samba was superb and the service was unequivocal. Our glasses were always full and our plates were replaced after each dish. Amazing! The ambiance was truly festive and we enjoyed watching the live feed of the Rio de Janeiro Carnavals on their walls, as well as the energetic samba dancers and drummers. This is a place I highly recommend and am looking forward to returning to soon. There are just too many dishes on the menu I need to enjoy! For reservations, call 305 673-5337 or visit them online at

SUSHISAMBA dromo on Urbanspoon

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