A couple months back, we reviewed Marumi Sushi, a small but very authentic Japanese restaurant hiding in the western wilds of Plantation. I loved it then: nowhere else in Broward can you get this kind of unfiltered, unapologetic view of the food that Japanese folks actually dig into, and nowhere in Broward can you find it done with such raw enthusiasm. And I love it now: I love the ultra-fresh and always-local whole fish options, which are served in so many interesting ways that you almost feel proud for the happy bastard you're about to eat. I love that I can spend $30 and feel like I've been blessed to taste things I never have before in such a setting. And I love the guts it takes (literally and figuratively) to put pig intestine stew on a specials board and plop it in front of an Americanized audience. The sheer confidence it must require to serve food like that is really stellar -- especially in a market that's moving ever-steadily towards the known quantity.
I took a trip to Marumi the other night for a friend's birthday, and as always, it was an adventure. Pics are after the jump.
Click the pics for large versions.
Crispy baby bok choy is deep fried so the leaves have a wafery-crisp texture, while the tender stalks maintain a toothy bite. It's tossed in a savory soy and garlic sauce.
Chrysanthemum leaf tempura is lightly battered and fried and served with a traditional tempura dipping sauce. The leaves are slightly bitter and floral, and find a nice balance between firm and wilted.
Raw monk fish livers are sliced into rounds and served with momiji oshi-infused ponzu sauce (spicy pepper and daikon). The liver is less creamy than you'd expect, with a distinct oceanic buzz that's tempered well with the radish sprouts and sweet, diced seaweed it's served with.
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We chose a whole Florida gray snapper and had it served two ways: sashimi and stir fried. The sashimi plate, above, actually had three preparations on it. Thin usuzukuri rounds the middle portion, and was completely clean and soft. The cucumber actually perfumed the slices as well. Snapper sushi sits at three corners of the plate, hoisted on a lump of perfectly cooked sushi rice. To the right is snapper ceviche, marinated in rice wine vinegar until the translucent flesh starts to turn opaque. It's paired with slices of red onion, scallion, grape tomatoes, and hot orange pepper. Incredible stuff.
A somewhat blurry close-up of that fab ceviche.
A dramatic angle of the snapper stir fry. Does he look happy? Chunks of snapper flesh are seasoned and quickly wok fried with bean sprouts and amazing little slivers of garlic chives. There's a very faint sauce at work here, but it's so light it doesn't take away from the other flavors at all.
Here's a closer look at the stir fry. This entire fish prep - sashimi and all - was under $40.
Our dessert: Two pieces of uni sushi, one with quail egg, one without (I prefer mine without). I can't think of a better compliment to a digestif than good uni. It's like everything sacred and spiritual and fucking delicious about the ocean condensed into a single bite.
Marumi is open seven days from 5:30 p.m. to 1:30 a.m. Find them at 8271 W. Sunrise Blvd., Plantation.
-- John Linn