jalea de calamar

From the latest Peruvian Happy Hour menu… Jalea de Calamar with tomato, red onion and red pepper.

Photo/Execution Props to Guillermo @SSPark:

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bring on the bird

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

<3, the chefs of SUSHISAMBA

(Here are a few shots of our Mojo-Roasted Turkey…. Time to get your gobble on!)

Miami’s presentation…

NYC’s presentation….

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beautiful Big-Eye

“This week we got some beautiful, Big-Eye Tuna and I wanted to play with some alternative presentations of sashimi. The tuna is rubbed with red yuzu kosho and rolled around cucumber julienne – then topped with bright tobiko and crisp garlic. The sauce is an emulsification of white soy, sesame oil and garlic-steeped milk.” – Lee, SS rio in Chicago

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robata gulf prawns and scallops

Lee’s latest special at SSrio in Chicago: Robata Gulf Prawns and Scallops served with white and green asparagus tips,  shiro miso, ginger and shichimi togarashi.

From Lee:
“We have been getting some beautiful u-8 head-on Texas Gulf shrimp, and U-10 Dayboat scallops from New Bedford, thought I would incorporate them with the asparagus and some local grape tomatoes.  The Shiro miso is a sweet white miso that works to really highlight the freshness of the seafood.”
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gunkan are here!

We officially launched a gunkan section on Chicago’s menu! I’ve been interested in gunkan-maki since Timon’s and my visit to Peru last year. Gunkan, which mean ‘battleship’ in Japanese because of the way they look, are a Japanese tradition (usually filled with uni and ikura), but they’re being made in Peru in interesting new ways. Building from this concept, we’re taking our own approach – combining unique, fresh ingredients for awesome flavor.

Wagyu with quail egg yolk, potato paille and sea salt


Foie Gras with nashi pear and eel sauce

Salmon with ikura and cilantro

Scallop with tobiko and jalapeño

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chopp & cerveja

If you’re not drinking a caipirinha in Brazil – then you’re drinking cerveja.

Brazil is the fourth largest beer market in the world. The country’s introduction to beer is said to have been made in the nineteenth century when the Germans were immigrating, which, by comparison to many other countries was a ‘late start’ for beer drinking…. but they’ve certainly made up for it since.

A few things to know: There’s ‘cerveja’ – which means ‘beer’ but primarily refers to bottles or cans. Then, there’s ‘chopp’ which refers to draft beer. If you order beer as a group in a restaurant you’ll receive one large garrafa (1 liter) in a plastic koozie. If you order beer independently of everyone at your table, you’ll receive a single, 12oz bottle. Either way, beer is served bem gelada – very cold. And, either way, if you order one that means you’ll be getting TWO to the table. They always present a second garrafa on ice as a convenient upsell… just an arms-length away when you finish your first. It worked like a charm, every time.

Most of Brazilian beer is pale lager, really light and have a sweeter aroma and taste. We tried Xingu, Brahma, Skol, Antarctica, and Kaiser. I’m personally a big fan of Brahma – which also happens to be a global favorite, ranking third. Next up – we’re hoping to try Bohemia Escuro which we’ve heard is a higher quality, darker variety.

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bar do mineiro

One of our favorite stops in Rio was Bar do Mineiro in Santa Teresa (R.R. Paschoal Carlos Magno, 99). From outside it’s a welcoming, well-lit haven on the hilly streets of Santa Teresa. Inside under intense fluorescent lights everything (the tables, people, old photograph portraits and posters, and the mosaics and knickknacks that line the white tiled walls) is honest and down to earth.

Food-wise – Bar do Mineiro is a local favorite for its feijoada pastels and ginger caipirinhas. We also tried Trouxinha de Minas (from the list of Novidades da Casa) which were made with carne seca desfiada, mussarela e aipim  and served with molho de laranja apimentado. These were a spot on pairing with the strength of the caipirinhas – and great for sharing.

Caipirinha Trio: Ginger, Passion Fruit, Traditional


Feijoada Pastels

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planking: copacabana

Let the game begin….

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academia da cachaça

In Rio we paid a visit to Academia da Cachaça in Leblon (Rua Conde Bernadotte 26) where they offer over 100 different types of cachacas by the bottle – and as a result – a wide variety of caipirinhas.

Koji went with the Cocada Geladinha – a cocktail of fresh coconut, cachaca, coconut water and fig marmalade served in a wine glass – while Mere tried the Cachaca Cristalina, made with sweet lime, lemon, passion fruit and jabuticaba served in a small, straight water glass with a salt rim. [Side note: jabuticaba is pretty much the equal of the American grape – but with a deep plum/black skin and white/rose-colored flesh… we’ll post a photo of the fresh version from the market soon] I went with a ‘traditional’ caipirinha so that we  had a foundation for comparison and we paired everything with bar snacks like Bolinha de Carne and Bolinha de Queijo (fried meat and cheese balls), Bolinho de Mandioca (fried manioc and cheese rolls), Inhame Crocante (crispy yam chips). All of us remarked at the strength of cocktails in Brazil, where cachaca flows like water and nobody minds the sharp citrus burn down the back of their throats. While we sipped out drinks slowly – the locals at the table next to us had already finished their second round. It’ll take some getting used to – but we’re up for the challenge.

Here’s a list of some of the Academia’s local cachaças:

SC – Armazém Vieira SC – Warehouse Vieira
GO – Atitude GO – Attitude
RS – Casa Bucco RS – House Bucco
CE – Chave de Ouro EC – Gold Key
MG – Lua Cheia MG – Full Moon
RJ – Magnífica RJ – Magnificent
RJ – Santa Rosa RJ – Santa Rosa
ES – Santa Terezinha ES – Santa Terezinha
PB – Serra Limpa PB – Clear Mountain

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For our first official dinner in Ipanema, Rio, Koji, Mere and I chose what we thought would be the most obvious orientation to Brazilian cuisine: churrasco.

Porcão churrascuria (“Pig Pen” in English) was founded in Rio in 1975. Here, you pay up front for an all-you-can-eat buffet (consisting of salads, cheeses, cold meats, Brazilian vegetables and even sushi) as well as tableside meat service. During dinner, each person has a coaster to rest next to their place setting. When the coaster is green-side-up, it means you’re ready for more. When the coaster is red-side-up it means you’re down for the count. We’re not sure how well this system really worked, though…. no matter which side our coasters were on – we were always getting more meat on our plates!

The line up: Roast Strip, Picanha, Sliced Sirloin (from Argentina!), Beef Steak and Saddle of Lamb (from Uruguay) and chorizo, chicken breast, sausages and short ribs….

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