Being a former University of Miami student, I was excited to spend the day in Coral Gables visiting the Kampong, Deering Estates, and The Shoppes at Sunset. Well, after a full day of hitting the streets hard, my boyfriend and I were starving and in need of a good dinner. I really wasn't in the mood for mall food and really wanted to have sushi and knew of Yuga Restaurant in the area so we headed there for dinner. On Saturday, the restaurant opens at 6pm and we knew when we were heading there that we would arrive right around the time they open so we thought we were going to be the first ones there, but once we pulled up to the front, we saw that there was already two tables with diners. In addition that that, we also arrived at the same time as another couple and half way through our meal, the restaurant was almost already packed, so you know this is a really popular spot.
It is a cute little restaurant. The decor is nothing too fancy but the size and earthy colors make it feel cozy. Despite its small size, the setup allows for couples to large groups to dine comfortably.
The service was a little lackluster. We were greeted and seated promptly, but it did take a little while to get service. A couple came in after us and was taken care of before we were so that annoyed me a little bit. Once we were finally acknowledged though everything was prompt and went smoothly. Our waiter just was not all that friendly but if we needed anything, he was helpful, though he did not explain the menu, but honestly, he was the only one assisting customers so I can kind of understood.
Now, the food though, it was off the chain! The Asian Nachos were so mouthwateringly good; so amazing. The chips were so light, the avocado was ripe and fresh, the pork was tender, and the sauce was so refreshing. It is just an all around beautiful dish so if you ever decide to go here, you have to get at least this.
My gage tester for sushi at every Asian/Japanese restaurant I go to is the Spicy Tuna Roll. At Yuga, their spicy Tuna Roll is prepared with fresh tuna (of course), scallion, and garlic-chile rolled in rice and sesame. We ended up getting three different roll and this was by far my favorite. The tuna was fresh, it had a nice spice to it and the flavors added from the garlic-chile gave it a really nice taste.
The next roll we got was the Rising Sun Roll which comprised of tuna, salmon, avocado, and spicy mayonnaise rolled in rice and masago. Again this was another delicious roll. No complaints here, the ingredients were fresh and it had a nice spice and flavor to it.
Finally, we had the Miami Heat Roll which is made up of conch fritter, cream cheese, mango, lettuce, cucumber, and spicy mayo rolled in rice and sesame and topped with mango sauce. It was good but I have come to the realization that when I eat sushi simple flavors are often better for me. It was good and I could eat it again; it just was not my favorite.
All in all the sushi was delectable. The right rice is what makes all the different. I like rice that isn't too sticky or dense but is light and fluffy and the sushi here definitely fit the bill.
Now you know I couldn’t leave without my dessert. For dessert we got the Thai Donuts which are served warm with 3 sauces: chocolate, strawberry, and condensed milk. They were so good. I appreciate that they were freshly fried and light (which they should be at all restaurants). I hate when they are dense and full of grease. The three sauce were good (condensed milk was my favorite) but I wonder how much sauce other people use since they give you like 1/2 cup of each and we barely put a dent in each. I just found that to be wasteful but really I shouldn't complaint because if I didn’t have enough sauce that would be a huge turnoff.
I don't know if I should say it and don't quote me on it, but I am going to list Yuga Restaurant in my top 5 Asian restaurants (at least in South Florida). I highly recommend it and besides not having the best service, the food is so good that I don't even care.