Bottomless brunch on the beach has a nice ring to it. At Etaru, a new modern Japanese robatayaki concept in Hallandale Beach, Sunday brunch comes with a welcome cocktail and all-you-can-drink Whispering Angel rosé for $65.
Included in the price is a buffet-style selection of hot and cold items such as sushi, sashimi, salads, sweet potato pancakes, and robata-cooked dishes, followed by a choice of main course and a dessert platter for the table. Main courses include spicy glazed pork ribs, shredded-filo-wrapped tiger prawn tempura, and salmon teriyaki with sansho salt and lemon.
For an extra $30 per person, guests can indulge in endless pours of Louis Roederer NV champagne. This premium menu also comes with a sashimi platter and additional main course selections like lamb cutlets with Korean spices; prime beef fillet with eryngii mushrooms and wasabi ponzu sauce; and black cod with yuzu miso.
If this brunch concept seems similar to the one at Zuma at the Epic Hotel in downtown Miami, it's no coincidence. Etaru is the brainchild of Rainer Becker and Arjun Waney who cofounded Zuma in 2002. The restaurateurs then went on to open Roka in London which is centered around dishes prepared on the robata grill much like Etaru, which debuted its first location in South Florida this past August. In addition to Zuma and Etaru, Waney's also behind the popular La Petite Maison in Brickell and Doa in South Beach. His Peruvian eatery Coya closed in July.
Roka London Group executive chef Hamish Brown developed Etaru's menu, while head chef Sergio Rivera oversees the kitchen. A native of Puerto Rico, Rivera spent nearly ten years at Nobu in Miami and in the Bahamas and was part of the opening team at Makoto in Bal Harbour.
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"The inspiration for the brunch was to create a super relaxed atmosphere where our customers can graze the amazing selection from the counter but still enjoy hot food served from the kitchen straight to the table," Brown says. "We felt there would be no better way to relax and enjoy the beach side view on a Sunday with friends and family."
Brown's favorite menu item is the dessert platter, but he says what makes the brunch unique is the selection of approachable Japanese-inspired cold dishes, as well as the shareable main course options. He suggests coming with a group so as to best experience all the offerings. Etaru also boasts an incredible beach view from its outdoor terrace.
The restaurant also recently introduced a ten-course tasting menu priced at $95 per person (minimum of two people) which is offered during its daily dinner service and lunch on Saturdays. And come 2018, Etaru will open a second location at the Icon Las Olas in Fort Lauderdale.
Etaru. 111 S. Surf Rd., Hallandale Beach; 954-271-3222; etarurestaurant.us. Brunch served Sundays from noon to 3 p.m.