I seem to be having a rather interesting Asian food trend going on lately and certainly not one that has been planned. Last night I had dinner at SAIA the Asian fusion restaurant located in the B Ocean Hotel on Fort Lauderdale Beach.
To quote SAIA’s web page: “SAIA is a harmonious experience of the senses in a modish South Eastern Asian style” and I must say I agree. Everything about SAIA is cool, sophisticated, mod and very friendly. SAIA is designed to be light and bright with its floor to ceiling windows boasting it’s primo view of the Atlantic Ocean. The artwork depicts shells in the yin-yang position, the handsome dining room furniture is straightforward with its clean lines, the open performance kitchen delights and intrigues with both the flash and flair of the teppen grill and the quiet skill of handmade maki rolls, yin-yang in full culinary motion.
Most things that are contemporary be it clothing, buildings, even food is designed to be eye catching and stunning. The fashionable SAIA is headed by Master Chef Subin Chenkosorn who has created a menu that is in perfect harmony with the entire B brand. The menu is direct and simplified with just enough choices to offer guests variety without being overwhelming. The staff is very well trained and versed with regard to the menu; should you have trouble deciding what to order, let the server at SAIA guide you. The food is as beautiful as the restaurant and the view of the Atlantic Ocean sinches this as a dynamic dining experience. Fish deliveries are made twice daily to SAIA, guaranteeing freshness. Chef Chenkosorn’s culinary creativity is the perfect setup for the sublime and if that is not enough to WOW! you an entertaining spherical ice-making demonstration is done tableside by servers when you order after dinner drinks. We had house made ginger soda, no alcohol, it was a lovely and refreshing digestif. An interesting note: SAIA uses Kold Draft equiqment to make their ice cubes which employs state of the art scientific technology to actually slow down the melting process of your ice cubes an ideal perk not to dilute your beverages, alcoholic or otherwise.
(click on the photos for an enlarged view)
SAIA at B Ocean Hotel
The table with a view
Tamari Scallop. This starter dish is made of scallops and crabmeat gently hugged in a thin tuna wrap garnished with green tokiko caviar and a flash of wasabi aioli. Translation for the sushi novice: exquisite. Not one flavor overpowered the other; this item is a combination of tastes and textures that work in unison to create a delicious albeit sensuous mouthfeel.
Palm Chicken. This chicken dish is prepared and marinated in coconut, lemon grass, Thai chili and citrus. Should you be dining with someone who has an aversion to Sushi/Sashimi this exceptionally moist and tender chicken dish is the recommended go-to dish.
Fire Dragon Roll. This is Chef Chenkosorn’s signature dish made of shrimp tempura, avocado and snow crab topped with an amazingly flavorful spicy tuna and masago
Tropical Roll. A colorful platter of seared scallops, mushrooms, shiso, cucumber, spicy miso and mango*. This roll very similar to the flavorful description of the Tamari Scallop where all the flavors work in harmony none overpowering the other. (*I took off the mango. See comments below)
Thai Curry Lobster. This entree is made with pineapple, making this a sweet and savory dish. I’m not a fan of sweet and savory, I don’t like the combination; in my world this is yin without the yang, no artful balancing is happening here for me. At the risk of being eviscerated like a fish right there on the marble sushi bar I asked for an alteration with this dish: “leave out” the pineapple and any other ingredients that may make it sweet. It was done without insult or question. The sous chef came out to talk with us, I felt the need to apologize for my request but he stopped me midway through and said “we’re here to please, we want you to be happy, so if it is possible for us to make your request we will.” So there you have it, Yin-Yang served just the way it should be in perfect harmony.
Click here to view more photos of the dinner.
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SAIA at B Ocean Fort Lauderdale: 999 North Fort Lauderdale Beach Boulevard Fort Lauderdale, 954.302.5252