What do you get when you combine sushi and ceviche? SuViche, of course.
It’s been a hit on Brickell since 2010, and the new incarnation on South Beach is an equally appealing, fast, cheap and delicious way to sample Nikkei cuisine.
Most Americans were introduced to this home-grown Japanese-Peruvian fusion after Nobu Matsuhisa brought it here from Lima in the mid 1980s. SuViche also offers a lineup of popular Chinese or chifa cuisine, comforting, home-style Peruvian hot plates and chef Jaime Pesaque’s inventive creations.
The movie-star handsome owner, Mexican-Brazilian Aliosha Stern, insists on clean, light and healthy flavors. The space reflects that same fresh, casual focus with bright orange molded plastic chairs, high ceilings and bright white and nearly-neon orange walls.
The menu is diverse but not encyclopedic. Snappy young waiters are quick to deliver the salty, Peruvian roast-corn snack cancha salada while offering up suggestions.
We were happy with all we ordered, including towers of causa deftly built of yellow smashed potatoes loaded with tuna, chicken and crab salad that make a refreshing appetite teaser.
A fantastic rendition of lomo saltado smartly combines bite-size bits of tender beef with slivers of sweet red onion and scallion with a few threads of tomato to give it even more juiciness. A splash of soy-tinged sauce lends the saltiness, while crisp, thick slabs of gently fried potatoes add even more contrast. Add to that a mound of fluffy white rice, and who could ask for anything more?
Ají de gallina, a favorite of mine that combines juicy, shredded white chicken breast and yellow-as-egg-yolk ají amaraillo sauce, is fantastically creamy, smooth and just spicy enough to make it interesting. The addition of chopped walnuts and a few rounds of boiled potato give it extra heft.
Raw and marinated fish dishes are especially worthwhile. Tiraditios are fresh and lively with a choice of sauces that range from sweet and creamy to super racy. The chifa with see-through slabs of corvina is a delight with its colors, flavors and textures of avocado, spring lettuce mix, red onion, crunchy Chinese noodles and tiny squares of pink pickled ginger.
Likewise, the tuna tataki with its ever-so-gently seared lozenges of tender, rosy flesh is a subtly sauced treat with roasted peanuts lending crunch. It could have benefited from slightly brighter lettuce choice, but the generic spring mix did the job.
Adventurous rolls eaters will appreciate out-there combos including the nectar roll with fried shrimp, cream cheese and mango wrapped in soy paper and drenched in orange honey sauce with a dab of sweet thick eel sauce. I am more of a purist, but I still loved the jalapeño roll with white fish tightly rolled and topped with a round of a kicky chile pepper and spicy mayo that gets a turn under the broiler to give it a melty, warm edge.
Madness Chocolate Cake is just that. A huge triangle of chunky, creamy, dark-as-charcoal cake is laced with gooey frosting baked right into it. Add to that a few crackly bits of praline and a veil of hot chocolate sauce, and it’s enough to send a chocolate lover over the edge.
A night out for dinner can be fun, delicious and a downright steal at this young spot on South Beach.