By Melanie Galarce
Do you guys remember that time I told you all about DÔA (2000 Collins Ave, Miami Beach) and their modern and refreshing twist on Asian/Peruvian cuisine? I’m still pretty smitten with this place and recently checked out their Miami Spice menu, which far exceeded my expectations. Throughout the two months of Miami Spice, the menu at DÔA has been on a rotating schedule. While I was treated to the Japanese-inspired menu, currently they have the Chinese menu, and, ultimately, they will close out Miami Spice with their traditional menu.
Menu highlights: Courtesy of the chef, I kicked off the meal with Takoyaki Croquettes, a ball-shaped Japanese snack made of a wheat flour-based batter and cooked in a special molded pan that pretty much got me giddy. If the rest of the meal was as good as this special treat, I was in for a hell of a night.
For the “Cold” dish selections, my husband got the Causa Nikkei with aji amarillo, potato puree, big eye tuna, yuzu, mayo, tobiko, and furikake, and I (because I’ve got to stay away from anything raw) chose the Vegetable Gunkan with charred eggplant, roasted pepper, avocado, scallions, and pachikay. Both sound complicated and #fancyAF, but all you need to know is that the causa is a kick-ass roll with potato puree and tuna, and, if you’re a vegetarian, you’ll indulge in the gunkan, which is a form of Japanese cuisine consisting of two basic ingredients – rice and nori seaweed.
You’ll also want to give the Pork Gyoza a try. With lime soy, pickled serrano, cilantro, and ginger, it’s a simple, but great transitional dish.
For your main dish? Give the Short Rib a try since it’s a 48-hour sous vide teriyaki glaze with pickles and scallions. It’s sweet and tender and the portion size is totally on point.
And, finally, who doesn’t like Mochi to end a meal? DÔA’s Miami Spice menu will give you a triple threat combo of green tea, vanilla, and Mango to satisfy the ice cream cravings.
Standout dishes: The appetizer that stood out the most was the Chicken Skewer with saikyo miso, aji amarillo, ginger, and aji verde. Yes, I know. Chicken? But it was just seasoned so well and the ajis (peppers) added such a kick of flavor, that it really was a delicious dish.
Although I was hesitant at first, our kind waiter convinced us that the Mushroom Hot Pot was the way to go, and damn it was he right. With udon noodles, shitake broth, Japanese vegetables, wild mushrooms, and togarashi this was magic in your mouth. A delicious broth with soft noddles that felt like the best of comfort food – except it was exotic and adventurous.
And for dessert? Holy Banana Cake. This was definitely one of the highlights of the meal for me, with sesame salted caramel and saikyo miso ice cream, this was the most delectable ending to an incredibly successful meal.
Are we boozing? If you’re not 7 months pregnant like me, I hope you’re taking advantage of the craft cocktails and the awesome wine list. If you’re with child, I highly suggest you order the fresh lemonade. I wish I had a jug of this freshly squeezed deliciousness to get me through the hell of Miami summers.
Check this place out if you like: any restaurant that has an Asian-inspired menu or seriously strong Peruvian influences. What makes this place so cool is that its menu is the hybrid child of both of these cultures, resulting in flawless execution.
Mel’s take: DÔA has always seemed to me like the more affordable and approachable rendition of Zuma (one of Miami’s most notable restaurants). I’ve always felt like you can get an equally comparable meal at DÔA without having to invest your first-born child. This Miami Spice menu is a testament to this restaurant’s attention to detail. No one is cutting corners at DÔA, everything feels thorough and refined. The portions are modest, but you’re not leaving hungry, and, most importantly, you’re having Asian-Peruvian inspired cuisine at its best.
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