sucos e vitaminas

There’s nothing better than waking up each morning to a tall glass of fresh Brazilian fruits. We’ve been trying new flavors at Apo’s across the street since we arrived…. everything from maracujá (passion fruit) and fruta do conde (‘sugar-apple’) to caju (cashew fruit) and, my personal favorite, cupuaçu. I’m not sure that I can compare the flavor of cupuaçu to anything, really – but if I had to give you a ‘taste’ in writing I’d say it’s like a juicy pear with a citrus kick at the finish.

While we’ve been serving fresh passion fruit purée in our cocktails at SUSHISAMBA from the start, in Brazil maracujá is served with the whole seeds. They add a complex texture to juice and caipirinhas – velvet on the tongue and a gentle crunch after each sip. Mere and I are going to do some detective work once we’re back in the States to see if there new ways to import these awesome fruits – and add them to the samba table.

Here’s a shot of Apo’s – which is a good example of a common fruit stand here in Rio – which also sells traditional Brazilian snacks.

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Rio, so long I waited to finally meet you!

Today Koji, Mere and I arrived in Rio de Janeiro at 5:30am. It’s beautiful here…. perfect temperature, kind wind from the north and three freshly-muddled caipirinhas to quench our thirst after a stroll from Copacabana to the Ipanema Market…

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windy city to rockies

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As we’re developing some culinary education programs for our FOH staff it’s been interesting to revisit the inspiration behind some our signatures.

The Yamato Roll (Big Eye Tuna, Sturgeon Caviar, Foie Gras, 24k Gold Leaf) was one of Koji’s awesome creations. He named it after a popular sci-fi anime series in Japan, where Yamato was an intergalactic space ship. The roll with it’s unique shape/balance – resembles this space ship. We did a little more research and learned that Yamato was the name of Japan’s largest and most powerful battleship in World War II. Even today it remains a poetic name for Japan and a symbol of heroism.

The roll itself is another great example of the way SUSHISAMBA’s sushi departs from tradition and takes risks… Risks that taste awesome.

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smtg for spring

A fresh start to spring…

From Dan in Chicago:

“We’ve been thinking a lot about how to lighten up gunkan for spring – so we formed kani gunkan… cucumber boats filled with king crab, aji amarillo and grape tomato seviche.”

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better in threes

Koji’s gunkan threesome for Valentine’s Day:

left to right: squid and oshinko / hamachi, jalapeño and wasabi tobiko / wagyu, quail egg yolk and potato paille

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omakase with a kick

From Dan and Shige at the sushi bar – SS rio:

“Shige San brings some heat when our guests say, ‘You decide…'”

left to right: Hamachi Sashimi, Kampachi Sashimi, Tuna Nigiri with wasabi stem relish and negi, Hotate Nigiri with Kobe Tataki and chimichurri ponzu

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chutoro tataki

From Dan at SSrio in Chicago….

“A demo of hyrdocolloids and the proper way to make a fluid gel for my sous chef led to Friday’s special: Chu-Toro Tataki with aged soy marinated cucumber, yuzu pudding, garlic and chive.”

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that’s the ticket

whoa, nelly. rio’s setting records…

Photo (and Execution) props to Dan:

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Happy New Year!

Felicidades a todos from the SS Culinary Team!  We’re celebrating Révellion at all locations tonight – hope to see you…

Awesome photo of Rio de Janeiro’s Réveillon NYE party on Copacabana Beach, via The Independent.

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