This restaurant is situated at the edge of Brickell Avenue, overlooking the Miami River. It features indoor & outdoor seating, an open robata grill kitchen and a sushi bar. It has quite a unique atmosphere...the first time I entered this place I thought that the decor was the epitome of a contemporary and sophisticated food destination. They specialize in modern Japanese cuisine served “izakaya” style which means that food items are usually shared by everyone at the table.
I was with Mr. H, my infamous dining companion, and we ordered the rock shrimp tempura with lime and chile mayonnaise (ebi no tempura) as an appetizer, followed by a mixed leaf salad and pork loin from the robata grill.
While gazing out the window at the boats cruising the Miami River, the rock shrimp tempura arrives. They looked and smelled fantastic. The tempura was hot, hot , hot and tender, each bite igniting a volcanic explosion of flavor in my mouth. I had never tasted anything like this before. Definitely the best tempura I have ever had, in my life.
Next we had the salad and what a salad this was. Micro greens and shaved carrots and asparagus served with a maple shichimi dressing. It was a beautiful salad, delicate but rich in flavors and a hint of sweetness because of the maple in the dressing.
Finally it is the pork loin’s turn. It was cooked on a robata grill which is an ancient type of Japanese grilling for cooking food in front of customers. I was not sitting by the grill so I witnessed the process from afar.
We had to wait for this dish...a long time. It was the special of the day and it took an eternity to get to the table. Eventually it arrived served with a miso-wasabi sauce and kimchi. It was quite a revelation as far as flavor and texture is concerned.
It was served on a pandan leaf, beautifully charred from the grill on the outside and so very juicy and fork tender on the inside. The sauce enhanced the pork very nicely. Kimchi, which are fermented vegetables, is still a flavor I have to get used too. The kimchi was interesting and intense but still not my favorite yet.
I have to mention that the service was above the ordinary, the waiter even gave us a special chair for our cameras and that was very thoughtful. A lovely gesture.
Zuma has locations in London, Hong Kong, Istanbul and Dubai. Thank goodness they decided to grace us with their presence in Miami.
270 Biscayne Boulevard Way
Miami, FL 33131
By Contributor Writer and Photographer Brenda Benoit