This is a very happy post because my experience at Sushi Samba was a great one. I think Sushi Samba is the only non vegan restaurant in Miami to have a vegan menu. A vegan menu guarantees that my food will be made without butter, dairy or fish, which sometimes servers offer as vegan options. The food quality is very good, though not organic, and the flavors and presentation are consistent.
On to my findings
The first time I went, the service was super slow and the food took forever to arrive. Having worked in the restaurant industry, in a popular restaurant that prides itself on their fast service and consistent food quality, this is something that has the potential to ruin my dining experience – depending on my hunger level. A successful restaurant is one that offers great quality meals and excellent service, especially if they are charging upwards of $30 per person to dine.
We had the Quinoa Chaufa. It was just ok and a little too greasy and crunchy. Since our food took a long time the manager gave us the Peach Tiradito desert on the house. The presentation was good but the flavors did not really pair well together. I am glad they changed their signature vegan dessert (see below) because the new one is amazeballs. Besides that, I had a fish dinner but chose not to post photos because it was not that great of a dish and it looked a little phallic.
They have an awesome Arnold Palmer, my drink of choice when the lemonade is house made. Sushi Samba makes it so much better by adding mint. So freaking refreshing.
Up next is my dirty little secret. I have a thing for Fried Calamari, or fried seafood for that matter. When I stopped eating chicken and pork many years ago, beef was my crutch. When I quit meat last year, fried calamari became my crutch. I find comfort in it, at least for now, and I also associate it with fond memories from Peru. The fried calamari at Sushi Samba is perfectly soft and crispy, tossed in a tamarind sauce and served with pico de gallo and fried plantains. The flavor combination is superb as I’m a sucker for sweet and sour.
The vegan menu at this restaurant has many choices to keep all your taste senses satisfied. Dan, my boyfriend, ordered the Roasted Vegetables. They quickly became one of my favorite side dishes. Different types of mushrooms, green onions, yellow pepper, and squash sautéed with a little soy sauce and lots of flavor.
From the vegetable robata grill we ordered the Eggplant – served with mustard miso and Peruvian corn and the Japanese Mushrooms – served with hijiki seaweed salad. They were both very tasty and had different styles and flavors. He eggplant is cooked all the way through which makes it easy to eat with chopsticks. It’s topped with a thick layer of sweet mustard sauce that is a bit too strong and smokey and kind of overpowered the rest of the dish. When you scrape some of it off it tastes a lot better. The Peruvian corn is mixed with sugar and lime and adds a nice crunchy flare to the dish.
The Japanese Mushrooms have a special wood grill taste to them and are even tastier tossed in a subtle sweet soy glaze.
For our entrees, we ordered two veggie rolls. The Sweet Potato roll and the Bossa Nova roll. The sweet potato roll kind of had the texture of a shrimp tempura roll. The Bossa Nova roll is made with hearts of palm, brown rice, shibazuke, pickled radish wrapped in a collard green and topped with chimichurri. The sushi is served at room temperature, which is great, tastes fresh; it is full of color and makes a party in my mouth.
The best part of the meal
Yeah, yeah, yeah, food is supposed to be nutritious and delicious but I could find many reasons why this dessert is nutritious and delicious to my soul. The Tropical tapioca dessert is rich, flavorful, offers different textures; it has cake, ice cream and pudding. From the bottom up, the TROPICAL TAPIOCA dessert explodes in your mouth with mango tapioca pudding, ‘limed’ pineapple, passion cake, coconut-lime sorbet, and coconut tuile. It looks amazing and it is truly delicious. I was very impressed.
Overall, the experience at Sushi Samba was great and I can’t wait to come back again. Our server, Giani, was very knowledgeable, friendly, and made sure nothing was missing on our table. He was just as excited about the vegan menu as we were. The dishes are well presented and the atmosphere is inviting and best of all they have several vegan options.
Go try them here!
SUSHISAMBA Coral Gables
180 Aragon Avenue in The Westin Colonnade Hotel
Coral Gables, Florida 33134