SushiSamba has gone from SoBe's beaches-and-babes party scene to a more formal affair with the opening of a seventh location worldwide in Coral Gables at the Westin Colonnade. For those who work, live, or play in Coral Gables, mornings just got a little brighter with the introduction of the first SushiSamba breakfast menu.
We know what you're thinking: Sushi for breakfast? But you're wrong. You'll get not only raw fish offerings but also juice and batidos, formulated and customized for you. Who says 7 a.m. is too early to be a mixologist? Short Order recently sampled some of the breakfast items.
Executive chef Brian Nasajon has conceptualized dishes that mix traditional breakfast flavors with the Japanese, Brazilian, and Peruvian influences that make SushiSamba a staple on the dining scene. Think steak and eggs, except the steak is SushiSamba's style of picanha (cooked your way) with eggs (also your way) and a potato hash and sour tomatillo salsa ($15), or revisit your childhood with a warm PB&J made with house-made peanut butter, caramelized banana, and a choice of house compote ($10). This ain't no quicker-fixer-upper PB&J. It's Coral Gables, after all.
A juice and batido bar lets you make your own morning blend by choosing from a selection of the following ingredients: one water (coconut, cucumber, watermelon, or aloe); one milk (whole, skim, or house-made cashew, almond, and Brazil nut); one seasonal fruit (papaya, strawberry, banana, pineapple, peach, orange, Asian pear, mango, passionfruit, or seasonal berry); and one enhancer -- because everyone needs to be enhanced in the a.m. -- (ginger, elderflower nectar, parsley, kale, açaí, cilantro, mint, and avocado). They can be made virgin ($5) or with a shot of cachaça ($7).
We opted for a virgin watermelon water, almond milk, passionfruit, and ginger concoction. Virgin or not, though, this thing will have you going all day.
A fruit salad features peach, Asian pears, avocado, seasonal berries, and elderflower ($9).
Oatmeal gets an upgrade with sweet quinoa oatmeal featuring currant, torched sugar, and micro citrus ($12).
Energy seekers will opt for the power breakfast. It includes a thin but fluffy egg white crêpe, red quinoa hash, pulled turkey, Japanese enoki-style mushrooms, and some pepper pickled chili.
Talk about a spin on a morning breakfast. This guy is made with Wagyu short rib, charred cipollini onions, Gruyère cheese, and a sunny-side-up egg with a yolk so runny it will make the shichimi brioche wet. Thank God for the tomatillo hot sauce that accompanies it ($14).
Whatever you do, order the breakfast dumplings. Every bite is like a mini-omelet bursting with flavor, courtesy of chorizo, grilled onion, avocado, and rocoto jam packed into one tiny ball of goodness ($12). Chopsticks are recommended; however, dumplings are mandatory.
You must be thinking, Where's all the sweet stuff? The chefs experimented with pancakes and waffles. Pancakes were the winner. After trying a lucuma (Peruvian dessert) pancake that failed, they finally landed on the chicha morada pancake. The sweet Peruvian beverage made from corn is turned into a powder and incorporated into the mix. Smoked Vermont maple syrup, candied bacon, homemade blackberry marmalade, and canela (cinnamon) butter make this the sweetest ending to an already sweet breakfast.
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SushiSamba Coral Gables began serving breakfast July 22 and will do so Monday through Friday from 7 to 11 a.m. The SoBe location, however, will stick to lunch and dinner only -- and brunch on weekends. "We felt that Coral Gables was the perfect destination to launch SushiSamba's first-ever worldwide breakfast," says marketing director for SushiSamba brands, Joanna Cisowska. "Coral Gables' dining scene has changed drastically in the past year, and the fact that it's in a hotel, it just makes sense to offer an early alternative that's not your typical breakfast."
And you thought 7 a.m. was too early for chopsticks. Think again.
Follow Carla on Twitter @ohcarlucha