SoSe in SoBe


Suva sails along smoothly, particularly for a restaurant less than two months old, though there were a couple of minor bumps along the way. Certainly we could have done without the thump-thump-thumping of dance music, which was a tad loud and thematically inappropriate as a backdrop to South Pacific cuisine. Come to think of it, the soundtrack to South Pacific would have been perfect. And it isn't far-fetched to imagine that the chairs here, with rock-hard bamboo rods acting as the cushion, once were used to torturously extract information from Malaysian prisoners.

The spirit of sharing extends to dessert, unless you're still hungry enough to gluttonously indulge in seven small but rich slices of creamy banana chocolate bread pudding by yourself. That would include chocolate Myers's rum crme anglaise, dulce de leche ice cream, and two plantain crisps dusted with sugar and squirted with chocolate syrup. Most popular coda seemed to be the Bora Bora banana split, with roasted banana and pineapple, guanabana ice cream, and two sauces: chocolate rum and passion fruit caramel. We probably should have gone with that one instead of the Fiji "tropical" fruit plate with chocolate rum fondue. I used to live across the street from a chocolatier that sold lemon slices dipped in white chocolate; they sounded questionable but were delicious, which taught me to never prejudge a chocolate-dipped fruit before trying it. The Fiji plate afforded me the opportunity to taste firsthand which fruits do not go well with chocolate. For instance when it comes to dipping honeydew, I now have the know-how to unequivocally declare: "Honey, don't." Ditto for watermelon. Star fruit and pineapple match up a little better, but the only things on the plate that made any sense were strawberries, macaroons, and marshmallow squares. They might consider adding bananas, coconut, and tangerine in place of the less-appropriate fruits. There was again ample quantity, but just the same this had to be the most disappointing $12.50 dessert I can recall sampling.

Robert Oliver flavors his food and setting with a South Sea breeze
Steve Satterwhite
Robert Oliver flavors his food and setting with a South Sea breeze

Location Info


China Grill

404 Washington Ave.
Miami Beach, FL 33139

Category: Music Venues

Region: South Beach


305-925-0051. Open daily for dinner, Sunday through Thursday 6:00 p.m. to midnight, Friday and Saturday 6:00 p.m. to 1:00 a.m.
801 Lincoln Rd

Some 80 wines are whimsically divvied up into categories such as "bold & rich," "fiery & racy," and "robust & lavish," which make apt adjectives for the cuisine as well; I'd only add "honest" and "bursting with clever flavors." In fact I enjoyed the dining experience at Suva so much that I offer not one but three accolades suitable for use in print ads: (1) The best China Grill Management property since Tuscan Steak. (2) The best expensive restaurant to open on (or just off) Lincoln Road since Pacific Time. (3) The best thing co-owner Marisa Tomei has played a part in since My Cousin Vinny.

« Previous Page
My Voice Nation Help