What to Order at TUR Kitchen for Miami Spice

I finally ate a Miami Spice meal!

If you’re unaware, Miami Spice occurs for two months- August and September- when South Florida restaurants offer Pre-Fixe 3-course meals. For some restaurants, especially very pricey ones, Miami Spice is a great deal. For others, like my friend says: It’s just like getting a free dessert.

After several false starts (True Food Kitchen, Michael’s Genuine) I finally experienced Miami Spice in 2022 at TUR Kitchen in Coral Gables. If you want to go get lunch at TUR Kitchen NOW, here are my Miami Spice recommendations.

  • Appetizer: Egyptian Fava Bean Spread
  • Main: Pork Loin with Carrot Puree and Roasted Okra
  • Dessert: Phyllo Napoleon (add $7)

Now, this is not necessarily what I ordered. I pretty much never order an item for an up charge, because in my mind, it defeats the purpose of Miami Spice. The normal Miami Spice at TUR Kitchen is $28. If I had ordered all the up charges our waiter recommended, it would have been $31 more. A $60 lunch is not a deal.

Miami Spice at TUR.

TUK Kitchen serves Mediterranean Food in a serene and elegant interior (if you don’t count the giant T.V.s featuring rotating travel scenes), with beautifully presented plates of food. There’s a Public parking lot across the street from TUR, on Giralda Street, but also nearby parking, next to the Coral Gables Art Cinema.

Our waiter wasn’t the friendliest, to say the least and service was a bit sporatic.

Perhaps he doesn’t like Miami Spicers.

my friend, who was also the Birthday Girl at lunch, commented.

Sorry, but any restaurant offering Miami Spice should welcome Miami Spicers with open arms and TUR Kitchen, was by no means packed on a Thursday afternoon. I asked the waiter for recommendations for Miami Spice and he offered them. The Roasted Squid appetizer he recommended was a $9 up charge, the Bucatini di Mare a $15 up charge.

This immediately put me into a frame of skepticism (more expensive dishes= higher tips), but, on top of that, he had an attitude. Ice Teas got one free refill, which is acceptable, but unfortunately, there was no sweetener at our table. One of our diners had to go to another table to borrow some, since the waiter had made himself scarce.

The complimentary bread arrived, all apuff and served with two spreads, on black slate tiles. It was paper-thin, hollow inside, hot and delicious, especially when spread with the softened butter and creme fraiche.

The Heirloom Tomato Gazpacho I ordered for an appetizer had a beautiful golden hue, with green olive oil drizzle, but a sour taste. Everyone else got the Fava Bean Spread, which looked like Hummus, was garnished with Jalapeno slices, sliced cherry tomatoes and came with grilled Pita Bread Wedges. They all enjoyed this appetizer.

The time between courses took quite a while, which was the same thing that happened the last time I ate at TUR Kitchen. Not a problem for a leisurely birthday lunch, but could be a problem for a quick work lunch.

The Pork Loin Main, was beautifully plated, with vibrant orange carrot spread underneath and golden orbs of mustard seed on top of the perfectly cooked pork (medium rare) slices. It wasn’t a huge serving, but quite enough and delicious. One person got the Baba Ganoush Bucantini Pasta dish, which was topped with Za’tar and microgreens. She enjoyed it.

For dessert, I asked our waiter which ice cream he recommended, between the avocado and the orange. He recommended the orange, which to my surprise, wasn’t orange in color or taste. It was Orange Water Ice Cream, very floral and Middle Eastern. It was a small quenelle, but I did get a bite of the Phyllo Napoleon, which was so beautiful, it was hard to dig in and destroy this work of art. The delicate crunchy phyllo crust contrasted wonderfully with the piped whipped cream cones and dulce de leche drizzle. It was divine and worth the up charge.

They also brought a dessert out for the Birthday Girl, which was appreciated. It was a honey cake with whipped cream and fruit. A light rain had started as our meal ended and we each ran out to retrieve our various cars.

I would recommend TUR Kitchen for Miami Spice, but I would hope you get a different waiter. A kind and caring waiter can make all the difference in making your meal a happy and memorable one. No one wants to feel as if they are putting a server out to do his/her job.

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Published by gleeguilford

Born and raised in Miami, the daughter of a pilot and stay-at-home Mom, I love food in all forms. My great grandfather opened the first Italian restaurant in Miami in the 20's, The Boathouse on the Miami river. I love exploring my heritage and linking food and recipes to personal stories. I've been published in Chicken Soup for the Soul: Food and Love and wrote restaurant reviews and news as the Miami Dining Examiner for three years. I love exploring Miami's latest hot spots, hole in the walls and institutions. I'm always looking for innovative ways to use the plethora of tropical fruits and vegetables South Florida offers, especially from my own garden.

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