Fire, water, dinner and a show
Playful chefs, sushi river make for a fun night
Miramar is a landlocked rectangular grid that stretches to the western edges of Broward County, an expanse gently derided by radio personality DJ Laz as “Mirafar.”
Who knew Mira-far had waterfront dining? Granted, the water is an indoor rivulet about a foot wide and 4 inches deep and carries wooden miniature boats bearing plates of sushi and appetizers. At Blue Ginger Seafood Steakhouse, it is known as the sushi river. It winds leisurely around the center bar in the main dining room, with diners and imbibers picking and nibbling as servers keep a running tally of consumption.
I didn’t come to Blue Ginger Sushi Steakhouse to eat sushi from an aquatic conveyor belt. I came for dinner and a free show. For that, diners must sit at the community teppanyaki tables — large, flat, rectangular metal grills where chefs cook with a theatrical flourish for those who order what are here called hibachi dinners.
If you have ever been to Benihana, you know the drill.
At Blue Ginger Seafood Steakhouse, the chefs are playful and cheery. They start by making a symphonic clatter of spatulas and knives, banging and juggling. At one point, ours pulled a squeeze bottle of sake from his cart and asked if anyone wanted a squirt. A friend’s son, celebrating his 23rd birthday, raised his hand and opened his mouth. From a distance of 3 feet, the chef aimed perfectly, squeezed and counted. The young man made it to 10. “I’ve done this before,” he said after gulping, the lone Blue Ginger veteran in our group.
To start the hot-grill proceedings, our chef splashed oil and torched it so that flames danced and climbed high in the air. Our chef doused the inferno with a plastic doll that sprayed water from its groin. Take that, Jose Andres and Jean-Georges Vongerichten.
Blue Ginger Seafood Steakhouse will not be confused with celebrity-chef-driven restaurants that crowd the trendier landscapes in Miami Beach or Brickell. But it was good fun. The food was serviceable and not terrible. Serv- ice was fine. The value was good.
Hibachi dinners include a cup of flavorful broth and a plain iceberglettuce salad blanketed in ginger dressing. A steak and chicken combination cost $26, steak and shrimp ran $28, and my filet mignon and scallop combo cost $32. The meats and seafood were cooked to order and placed atop a generous mound of grilled rice mixed with scrambled egg and vegetables. Chefs ask if you want side dishes filled with creamy “yum-yum” sauce, a remouladelike concoction, or dark, thin ginger-garlic sauce. Both were tasty.
There is a Benihana in Miramar, and apparently it does so well that the owners of Blue Ginger sushi restaurant in Southwest Ranches decided to open Blue Ginger Seafood Steakhouse in April 2016. It is located in a Publix shopping center on Miramar Parkway, about a mile east of Interstate 75. The restaurant is easy to find, crowned with a royal blue tile dome over the portico. My local guides told me it once housed a Mexican restaurant, and an Italian restaurant before that.
Blue Ginger Seafood Steakhouse is about as exciting as dining gets in Miramar. If I lived nearby, I might be an occasional guest, but it’s hard to say the restaurant is worth a drive.
Miramar is one of the fastestgrowing cities in the United States, and it is now the fourth largest in Broward County. In 1990, Miramar had 40,633 residents. Its 2016 estimated population was nearly 140,000, behind only Fort Lauderdale (178,000), Pembroke Pines (158,000) and Hollywood (152,000). The city will open a new amphitheater next week, which city officials hope will spur culture and tourism. But Miramar’s restaurant scene has lagged.
In the older eastern end between State Road 7 and University Drive, smaller no-frills Caribbean and Latin American eateries and
The teppanyaki chefs at Blue Ginger Seafood Steakhouse first grill a mound of rice, eggs and assorted vegetables before cooking meats and seafood. level
Blue Ginger Seafood Steakhouse in Miramar opened in spring 2016 and features teppanyaki grilling at community tables.