Here in Miami they have what they call Miami Spice. In most cities there is a restaurant week but in Miami it is two months of restaurant week. It is a good way to attract customers in the tourist “off season”. The unfortunate part is the menu has to be three courses of three choices of apps, entrees, and desserts for only $35. At Azul we have appetizers that nearly reach this price for just the one plate. We want to make the best food possible and will not sacrifice quality just because of the menu.
Today Chef Joel had some Japanese Hirame (Fluke in English) flown in. This is a beautiful fish straight from the ocean packed in ice. This fish had gone through the technique know as Ikejime. Ikejime is where the fish is cut in the medulla oblongata in the head, then a cut in the tail is made to draw out the blood while immersed in salt water. As soon as the blood is out then a thin needle is carefully inserted into the spinal cavity to slow the process of rigor mortis. The slow the rigor is developed it is said to create a compound called ATP, this develops umami in the flesh.
This dish I have been thinking about and writing notes on for a few weeks. The one that is photoed here is for the Spice menu but it is only a fraction of what I imagine doing if it was a complete appetizer. I hope when Miami Spice is finished at the end of the month I can transition it into a permanent menu item.
Hirame Sashimi, Concorde Grape Ponzu, Shiso, Orach, Crispy Noodle
Concorde Grape Ponzu Sphere, fresh Concorde grape juice, white shoyu, roasted citrus juice, mirin, and yuzu
Grapefruit cells in olive oil
Pickled Concorde Grapes
Crispy cellophane noodles, seasoned with aleppo pepper, and dried shiso
Yuzu, mirin, soy, gelee’s
Orach spinach leaves
Micro green and purple shiso