By Monique Gonzalez
Seven years after opening its doors, Executive Chef & Partner Timon Balloo and his team at Sugarcane Raw Bar & Grill (3252 NE 1st Ave, Miami) continue to deliver solid tapas-style eats and drinks in their popular midtown spot. Digging its gastronomic roots into the Miami culinary scene since 2010, Sugarcane offers all the small plates you could ever dream of, a kickass raw bar, and quite a few robata grill favorites. And, just in time for beach season, the team recently added a few lighter options to their brunch menu that don’t lack for flavor and will not disappoint.
Menu highlights: I visited Sugarcane for Saturday brunch (because who says we need to wait ’til Sunday for our favorite meal of the week, right?). We were served a few dishes from the “lighter side” of Sugarcane’s extensive menu. First up – the Avocado Toast, well, because who doesn’t love a good avo toast? This one is served with charred corn and whipped goat cheese. Yes, goat cheese. The Sweet Corn is a must-have – robata-grilled sweet corn with chipotle mayo, sprinkled with lime salt. The robata-grilled Cobia, served with black quinoa salad and pomegranate molasses glaze, was also a nice, light brunch option that won’t have you running 5 miles afterwards. For dessert, I enjoyed some homestyle Torrejas, soft and warm sweet bread served with maple caramelized apples, a side of cinnamon ice cream, and graham cracker crumbles.
Standout dish: The Hokkaido Scallop was absolutely the highlight of my meal, with fresh, tender scallops prepared with compressed apple, black truffle lime, and jalapeño. I asked for seconds, and felt not an ounce of guilt.
Are we boozing? Aren’t we always boozing? In any case, Sugarcane certainly seems to be with a stellar cocktail menu, including their rum specialties and signature libations, as well as some yummy bubbles and unique beer cocktails. Our brunch drink of choice: Rum n Bramble made with Santa Teresa Añejo Gran Reserva Rum, agave, yuzu, fresh blackberries, dry vermouth, Scrappy’s cardamom bitters, and basil. I was feeling extra boozy, so followed that with a Spice of Love, made with passion fruit puree, mango essence, premium vodka. and fresh jalapeño for the perfect (but not too potent) kick. Booze disclaimer: You will need to call a Lyft after just one of these.
Check this place out if you like: Small plates for sharing, raw bar, and crudo menu options, or if you’re into the open fire robata grill cooking method. Sugarcane is owned by SUSHISAMBA restaurant group, so you’ll similar concept with a more globally inspired menu.
Monique’s take: Sugarcane simply doesn’t disappoint – even seven years later. I’ve always been a fan, and was excited to check it out for the blog. The globally-inspired small plates menu has loads to choose from, and is even better if enjoyed in a group. The celebrated concept focuses on a shared experience and invites guests to “kick back, relax and stay awhile.” So, if you’re looking for a spot to do just that, Sugarcane remains solid.