Zumi Miami: -
couple of years back we had lived high up in the Viceroy condominium
across the Miami River from Epic and saw the goings on at Zuma, the
dining outside and the hustle and bustle inside.
We were preoccupied with interviewing and meetings for our
book in progress IT HAPPENED IN MIAMI (http://frommerbooks.com/it-happened-in-miami.html)
never thought of dining at Zuma.
Book published, promotion underway in Miami we seized the
opportunity this winter of 2016 to visit and write about this much
heralded and ballyhooed food emporium.
We entered the packed, pounding,
surroundings of Zuma. Soaring
ceilings, fluttering paper lanterns accentuated the dreamy
A whirlwind of staff
and diners were into the moment big time.
Hundreds of hands worked away in the dining room, in the open
kitchen and backstage. Hundreds of hungry patrons were seated and
waiting to be sated. Our initial thoughts were how a tranquil,
exceptional dining experience could be ours amidst the food frenzy.
Our fears were immediately put to rest as not one, not two,
but three servers arrived to explain, suggest, even direct us down the
right path to fully enjoy the total Zuma experience which was much more
than food, but a unique dining adventure.
The trio took
the deliberations out of our hands suggesting the ultimate tasting
menu and the ultimate white wine to pair with the food. And once
started, the food not in any rush but as we were ready for it
arrived in dim
sung type portions.
And it kept
coming and coming: tempura fried grouper, yellowtail sashimi, almost a
bucket full of sushi, juicy and delicate filet mignon, and teriyaki
salmon. There were
doll-sized pieces of lime and chili calamari, crisp, sweet rock shrimp
and grouper, seared and salty king crab, flaky, oily black cod marinated
in miso, prawn and black cod dumplings in light pasta, seared scallops
in pickled plum sauce and more.
We may have gotten the order of the delicious and delectable
servings a bit scrambled but one gets the point.
learned that Zuma specializes in the use of a Robata grill, one that
cooks with white special charcoal
from Japan. Binchotan
burns longer, at higher temperatures and apparently does away with the
charred, chemical flavor often found in grilled food.
One of us faced the show in the open kitchen. One of us looked
out at the dark night on the Miami River, a show in itself. A mass of
workers, sometimes shouting out in Japanese, pridefully prepared the
delicacies in the open kitchens; one for sushi and the other for the
superb staff with hostesses smiling and swift, escorting people to
tables, to servers at the ready also with smiles, information, to the
incredible and tempting variety of food available, to the total package
much more than just a super dining experience, ZUMA gets the gold
P.S. We had also announced that the night of our visit was
close to our wedding anniversary. We had forgotten that we had divulged
this info. The folks at Zuma did not forget. Satisfied, impressed by the
meals we had there was still one more thing.
A dessert for two of all kinds of sorbets and ice cream in a
huge pastry on a pedestal arrived with the words: Happy Anniversary,
Nobu and there is Zuma. Forced to choose, we give Zuma the A plus, no
contest - it was terrific in every way.