April 13, 2012

Cocktails and dinner at Asia de Cuba at Mondrian South Beach

Asia de Cuba, photo:

This restaurant is now closed

There’s just something about a water view that works for me; and there’s no denying that the sight of Biscayne Bay framed by the Miami skyline is simply breathtaking, and even more so at sunset. I teach a variety of wine appreciation classes and as part of my curriculum I incorporate music, art and the theory of ambiance into my food and wine pairing classes stressing the point that the sum of the parts equals the whole. Meaning that every aspect (food, drink, atmosphere, company, decor) of the experience plays an integral part to the overall gathering.  The stunning view of Biscayne Bay and the Miami Skyline at Asia de Cuba set the tone for the evening.

Biscayne Bay and Miami skyline, photo:

The ambiance at Asia de Cuba truly dictates splurging with some sort of tropical cocktail so at the recommendation of our server we started with one of Asia de Cuba’s signature drinks, the Raspberry Cloud Caipirinha made with Leblon Cachaça, lime, raspberries, and topped with raspberry foam. It was a very fitting way to start the evening as we watched the sun set over Biscayne Bay and watched the late night revelers arrive by boat. Asia de Cuba/Mondrian has 26 boat slips flanking the perimeter of  its poolside area making it convenient for guests to arrive by water and take in the sexy white modern of the Mondrian. Nautical guests can be served dockside and are also welcomed to experience the pool and patio as well as the restaurant.

Raspberry Cloud Caipirinha photo:

Moving on to dinner we started with a variety of appetizers, which were designed to share and ideal for our table as we were able to taste a variety of items on the menu. Asia de Cuba’s menu is Asian Cuban fusion, there are a  lot of interesting flavors and combinations going on within each dish. We began with a very flavorful trio of Ceviche ($19) we chose to make our combination up of Wild Salmon and Salted Avocado Helado, Curry Swordfish and Passion Fruit, and  Black Grouper Seville Orange and Aji Amarillo.

Ceviche Trio, Asia de Cuba South Beach, photo:

Staying with seafood we opted for the Spiny Lobster and Hearts of Palm Cajou in a brown butter sauce ($23); this was a favorite, with the brown butter adding much flavor and depth to the dish.

Spiny Lobster and Hearts of Palm Cajou photo:

I personally, am a fan of dumplings; I like the taste, the texture and the surprise of what is tucked inside the soft pillows of dough. Asia de Cuba’s Braised Oxtail and Kimchee dumplings are served in a mango ponzu and topped with spiced calabaza ($15), the kimchee and spiced calabaza adds that extra verve to the dumplings.

Braised Oxtail and Kimchee Steamed Dumplings photo:

For dinner we opted to share two entrees, first was the Gambas Gigantes (large shrimp) Mai Tai made with with red Thai curry, rum and coconut cream ($48); the red curry was mild and the coconut cream balanced out any residual spice; the curry added more flavor than heat to the overall dish; and the second entree was the Cuban Coffee Crusted Rib Eye garnished with a dollop of gingered sherry butter and served with yuca mojo fries ($49). As with all the previous dishes, there were a lot of flavors going on that worked well with each other, none monopolizing the entire dish however the coffee itself was distinctly prominent so if you’re not a fan of coffee this will not be the best choice for you. To accompany the steak were side dishes of black beans and plantain fried rice with fresh avocado.

Gambas Gigantes Mai Tai and Cuban Coffee Crusted Rib Eye photo:

So what’s dinner without dessert? We shared a taste of Pina y Crema (vanilla cheesecake with carmelized pineapple) and Caribbean Carrot Cake (made with carrots, pineapple and Asian pears).

Pina y Crema photo:


Caribbean Carrot Cake photo:

Asia de Cuba is located at the Mondrian South Beach, 1100 West Avenue, Miami Beach, 305-514-1940. Valet parking is $10 with validation. Call the Mondrian to inquire about boat dockage.
Asia de Cuba (Mondrian Hotel) on Urbanspoon



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One Comment

  1. Lisa

    This place is great tried the Braised Oxtail..was great! Recently tried Villa Mayfair in the Grove too..would highly suggest it!

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