A ski town with a mining past life might not be the first place you’d expect to find exotic restaurant foods. But in the case of Park City, global cuisines are deliciously well represented, from Asia to the Caribbean and South America to Australia. Let’s take a tour.
Shabu owners Kevin and Robert Valaika refer to what they cook up as “freestyle Asian cuisine.” And a big draw here is Mongolian-style shabu shabu, where you cook your own proteins and veggies right at the table in a cooker filled with a choice of fragrant broths. There are loads of shabu shabu combinations; I like the traditional broth with carrots, shiitakes, shredded cabbage, noodles and tofu the best. But at Shabu, you can make it your own. 442 Main St, 435.645.7253, shabuparkcity.com
It’s a real treat finding the sunny, authentic flavors of Jamaica in a snowy ski town. At 11Hauz in Kimball Junction, you’ll find dishes like jerk chicken and even the traditional Jamaican dish, ackee and saltfish. Ackee is a pear-shaped fruit of the soapberry family that sort of has a scrambled egg consistency. When it’s cooked up with salted cod, onions and peppers, you’ve got some serious island flavors going down, “mon.” 1241 Center Dr, 435.200.8972, 11hauz.com
If you’ve never had pho—or, even if you’ve had lots of it—you’ll be licking your lips for the pho at PC Pho. A traditional Vietnamese soup, pho is to Vietnam as ramen is to Japan. Pho broth is cooked for many hours, usually made with beef bones, fragrantly spiced with star anise, cloves, cinnamon and other good things, then served with rice noodles and a choice of meats and veggies. I especially enjoy the beef brisket and meatball pho at PC Pho…pho sure. 1890 Bonanza Dr, 435.214.7027
For upscale Japanese cuisine and sushi, it’s hard to beat Yuki Yama Sushi. Alongside both traditional and contemporary rolls, nigiri, sashimi and such, are enticingly unique dishes such as kobujime hirame. I know, it was Greek to me until I ordered it, too. Kobujime hirame is simply fresh fluke (hirame) treated to a preparation method called kobujime, where the fluke is cured between sheets of kombu (kelp). It’s served with grilled grapefruit oroshi daikon, ponzu, and crispy sunchokes. 586 Main St, 435.649.6293, yukiyamasushi.com
A favorite staple of mine from south-of-the-border is pozole, a traditional Mexican stew made with (typically) pork, onions, hominy and red chile peppers. At Chubasco Mexican Grill, pozole is served authentically, with an array of accoutrements that includes tortillas, chopped onions, oregano, shredded lettuce or cabbage, radishes, salsa, and more. In Mexico, pozole is served to celebrate New Year’s Eve, but at Chubasco you can enjoy it year-round. 1890 Bonanza Dr, 435.645.9114, elchubascomexicangrill.com
When Bridge Café & Grill owner Emerson Oliveira was growing up in Brazil, he probably never imagined he’d be bringing some of the flavors of his homeland to Utah. But with dishes like moqueca baiana, he’s doing precisely that. The bold flavors of Bahia permeate this seafood stew made with shrimp, fish, mussels and clams, all cooked with tomatoes, onions and garlic, plus two Brazilian secret weapons: coconut milk and dendê (palm) oil. It’s a taste of Brazilian sunshine. 825 Main St, 435.658.5451, thebridgecafeandgrill.com
Down under, in Australia, chook is a word used for chicken or hen. And at Aussie-owned Five5eeds restaurant, the savory waffle and chook is a bright taste of Australia: a waffle with chorizo, spinach, and haloumi cheese, topped with tasty morsels of chook. This is scrumptious chicken and waffles, Southern hemisphere style. 1600 Snow Creek Dr, 435.901.8242, five5eeds.com