Kuro

Japanese Craft Kitchen, Sizzles With FlavorKuro Dining Room - photo credit Seminole Hard Rock Hotel  and CasinoAs the new kid on the block, the highly anticipated Kuro, a sophisticated unique Japanese Craft Kitchen, recently opened to standing ovations. Located inside the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino, Kuro features an interactive dining experience, second to none. Designed by the prestigious David Mexico Design Group, Kuro encourages social interaction with its high-energy vibe and bustling ambiance. As we entered we were in awe of the jaw-dropping wall comprised of 100,000 hand-placed seashells. In fact, the elements of land and sea are reinforced throughout the space, from rows of driftwood on the walls and ceiling imitating waves and the textures and patterns of Florida beaches within the geometric floor tiling to the river rock and beach glass encapsulating the base of Kuro’s gorgeous central bar. Floor-to-ceiling windows bringing the outside in as the airy dining room offers a variety of seating options. The poolside terrace façade incorporates tables positioned atop a stunning glass floor with water flowing underneath. No detail was left to chance as the chandeliers in Kuro are constructed with nearly three miles of chain, crafted to resemble floating jellyfish…just breathtaking.Kuro - Chef's Nigiri Box - photo credit Michael Pisarri

The farm-fresh Japanese menu offers handcrafted creations by Executive Chef Alex Becker, who also serves as the resort’s Creative Culinary Director. Chef Becker’s cuisine applies classic Japanese techniques to contemporary, artisanal creations using both locally sourced and fresh imported ingredients direct from Japan. We were excited to discover a truly unique dining experience as our culinary journey began. The knowledgeable servers act as culinary guides to create a personalized experience that teases the palate with flavors and textures, beginning with lighter fare and continuing on to spicier and richer dishes; each course or dish building on that which came before it.Kuro - Crispy Rice - photo credit Michael Pisarri

The culinary team boasts an impressive combined pedigree. Chef Becker worked for the Nobu Empire for nearly a decade before joining SBE’s Katsuya as Corporate Executive Chef. Executive Sushi Chef Shuji Hiyakawa was a protégé of Iron Chef Masaharu Morimoto and, at Kuro he presides over the compelling sushi offerings, bringing his discerning palate and flair for presentation to the eclectic menu. Spearheading the concept is the property’s Vice President of Food & Beverage Justin Wyborn who has nearly 20 years of hospitality experience, including 14 years with the Nobu brand.Kuro - Shichimi Salmon - photo credit Michael Pisarri

At the helm of the innovative cocktail program is award-winning Mixologist, Jared Boller. Handcrafted cocktails showcase fresh Japanese ingredients in modern recipes with hints of classic flavors, pairing harmoniously with Kuro’s cuisine. Drinks, divided by the five flavor profiles, sweet, savory, bitter, salty and umami, include Ni, a rum based cocktail with yuzu, watermelon, Thai basil, fennel, syrup and togarashi, San, a vodka based cocktail with absinthe, shiso and grapefruit, and Ichi, a scotch based cocktail with sea salt, cucumber, lime juice and dry vermouth, among others. Kuro also offers Japanese-imported and local craft beers, Japanese whiskeys, shōchū, 30 sake brands and 110 wine labels.Kuro - Maitake Tempura - photo credit Michael Pisarri

The expansive menu encompasses an assortment of selections, allowing for a variety of combinations to satisfy the most astute gourmands. Our starters included a few Chilled options which include amazing Hokkaido Scallop Sashimi with yuzu, pickled ginger and sea salt; fresh Seared Salmon Sashimi with moromi miso, apple and Japanese 12-spice along with the incredible Tuna Crispy Rice with spicy tuna and osetra caviar was irresistible. Our Niwa Salad with local greens, baby vegetables and Kuro dressing; and Mushroom Katsuo with sautéed mushrooms, arugula and tosazu dressing burst with flavor. Light and crispy Tempura selections include Corn Kakiage with furikake and ichimi spice; and Maitake Mushrooms with butter lettuce, chives and yuzu dressing.Kuro - Ribeye Miso - photo credit Michael Pisarri

Using an authentic Japanese charcoal grill, Kuro’s Robata dishes include succulent Chicken Momo with yuzu kosho paste and olive oil, wonderful Wagyu Tacos with spicy cilantro, soy shallots and aji Amarillo aioli, and delicious Beef Negima combining rib eye, scallions and yakitori glaze. The Land and Sea sections offer creative dishes using traditional ingredients and we enjoyed buttery Chilean Sea bass Miso with pickled lotus root and shiro miso as well as amazing Salmon Cartoccio with mixed mushrooms, spicy tomato salsa and kimizu sauce. The Koji Lamb with cauliflower, kabocha croquette and blueberry demi burst with flavor while the tender Rib eye Miso with pine nut miso, grilled asparagus and shiso dressing was cooked to perfection. The menu at Kuro also features a full selection of fresh sushi including maki, nigiri and sashimi.Kuro - Tempura Corn - photo credit Michael Pisarri

For our sweet ending, Pastry Chef Ross Evans created a beautifully balanced arrangement complimenting Kuro’s savory selections while embracing the technical precision and clean flavors that Japanese cuisine is known for. Must-tries are the decadent Chocolate Hazelnut Bar withspiced ganache, strawberry gel and sesame brittle, sensational Apple Tobanyaki with soy caramel apples with mocha, roasted pecans and yamazaki ice cream as well as creamy Kuro Goma Panna Cotta with ginger gelée, cucumber pearl, pomegranate foam and nori sponge crumble. Bon Appétit…Chef Shuji Hiyakawa and Chef Alex Becker

By: Marla Horn Lazarus

Located at Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino at One Seminole Way in Hollywood, Florida, Kuro is open for dinner. Reservations are recommended by calling (954) 585-5333 or visit www.seminolehardrockhollywood.com.