Wednesday, October 23, 2013

"Delicious Fishes, Positive Vibes & Healthier Lives"

I thought I’d seen it all.

The ingredients in sushi rolls, as I have mentioned in blogs past, often vary by geography—macadamia nuts can be found inside sushi rolls in Hawaii; I have seen chunks of mango served in Rio de Janeiro’s version of the California Roll; in Georgia, I have encountered caramelized Benton’s Bacon Rolls whose smoky rich flavors blew my mind. And let’s not forget Florida’s maki with the obligatory deep-fried alligator tails.

So while I expect to come across the most unprecedented sushi ingredients traveling from place to place, I was nevertheless delighted to discover plantains being used as an ingredient in Sushi Maki’s “MSC Cali Ocho” Roll, dubbed “Miami’s answer to the California Roll.” While the imitation kanikama krab was still present, in place of the standard cucumbers and avocado were plantains, a staple in some tropical parts of the world and often considered a close cousin of the banana. Atop this roll sat smelt fish eggs and “mango and guava ginger puree,” which resulted in pure sweetness in the fruitiest sense for this special dish.

The MSC Cali Ocho Roll is a $7.50 specialty item, and is marked as such with MSC’s blue fish logo (the acronym stands for Marine Stewardship Council, the world’s leading third-party certification and eco-labeling program for sustainable seafood). Sushi Maki is proud to serve sustainably-raised salmon, MSC certified sea bass, kanikama krab and all-natural chicken.

Most Sushi Maki locations feature a certain over-the-top sushi roll called the “Chicken and Waffles Roll,” featuring maple mayo, bacon bits, and crispy chicken fingers. Each bite-size square piece of waffle is tucked between pieces of the cut roll—both practical and elaborate in presentation. According to management, this is actually quite a popular roll, not just because of the novelty but for the taste and combination of such familiar flavors.

There is also a $12 “Budda-Cane” Roll, which is presented in the shape of a fish—or is that my imagination?—and contains shrimp tempura, avocado, mango, spicy mayo and sugarcane soy sauce.

Just for fun, why not order the quirkily named “Two Timing Tuna” Roll? Or try the Sushi Tacos, served with salmon miso and spicy tuna, for $2.75 each (or three for $8).

Even the edamame at Sushi Maki is no ordinary appetizer: this restaurant spruces up what would otherwise be a plain snack with toppings like chili garlic sauce; there’s even a lemon pepper edamame for those who like it mild.

For non-sushi eaters, Sushi Maki offers Pad Thai and Wok Fried Rice on the menu. Or, perhaps, they can always request the Chicken and Waffles Roll.

Sushi Maki
11531 SW 88 St., Miami, FL

14491 S. Dixie Hwy, Miami, FL

2334 Ponce de Leon Blvd., Coral Gables, FL

5812 Sunset Dr., Miami, FL

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