New menu items & a revisit: SAIA, B Ocean Hotel – Ft. Lauderdale

Back in March Foodies on the Fly first visited SAIA at the sleek B Ocean Hotel in Fort Lauderdale. Since then, Chef Subin Chankesorn has added several new items to their menu and we were invited back to taste test.

Chef Subin’s unique culinary creations are a natural result of his exposure to Thai street market food in his earlier years and his travels throughout Southeast Asia and the Caribbean. Prior to SAIA, Chef Subin served as Assistant Sushi Chef at Delano on South Beach, Lead Sushi Chef at the Lowes Hotel South Beach, Chef aboard Royal Caribbean International’s fleet and Market Cook in Thailand. Chef Subin strives to achieve balance between authenticity and heritage in his dishes and the modern (American) conception of what Asian dining.

“When developing this concept I was committed to creating a unique dining experience, with fresh interpretations and crafting flavors that would redefine South Florida’s Asian dining scene. We’ve succeeded!” – Chef Subin

Upon meeting the magnetic Chef Subin, FOTF left the menu selection in his more than capable hands. Thus begins our journey…

Green Bean Salad

The Green Bean Salad arrived first, served chilled with a black soy vinaigrette, sesame seeds, and dried garlic on top. The crisp, fresh green beans are a new addition, and we would gladly order them again as an alternative to our typical starter of edamame, which is also available.

Tamari Scallop

The Tamari Scallop was beautifully plated; one large scallop wrapped in paper thin bigeye tuna, topped with minced crabmeat, and masago atop a pool of wasabi spiked aioli. The thin, silky smooth tuna barely encased the meaty scallop and crabmeat, and presented me with a small challenge: How to most delicately devour this large bite? Chopsticks gripped, I chose to bite and conquer (and hope that the whole masterpiece would not end up on my plate, or worse…). My strategy worked, somewhat, only a few bits of green tobiko caviar and crabmeat were sacrificed. I can see why the waitstaff heavily recommends this dish. We do as well.

Hamachi Jalapeno

The thinly sliced Hamachi Jalapeno arrived next, spiced with Thai chili, ponzu uzu, shredded daikon and cilantro arrived next. This light fish was full of flavor from the citrus-y marinade to the kick of the Thai Jalapeno chilies. The Hamachi was one of my favorite dishes of the evening.

Miso Scallops

The Miso Scallops, a customer favorite, are lime and salt encrusted, covered in a sweet honey miso sauce, and presented atop a Japanese yam. Topped with a dash of sesame seeds, and curl of scallion.

This dish also had me fumbling with my chopsticks (Disclaimer: I am no expert, as you may have deduced) as the slick glaze had them slipping through my grasp. Laughing as yet again the scallop eluded me, I admitted defeat and requested silverware. Quartered by my newly acquired knife and securely speared by fork, the perfect bite of sweet, sticky miso scallop made it into my mouth. The lime and salt perfectly balance out the sweetness of the miso glaze, which is so delicious, I could cover everything in it. As I was savoring my first bites of scallop #1, scallops #2 and #3 have disappereaed. Definitely a favorite of my dining companion of the evening, and newest addition to the FOTF team, my BF “M”.

Shirome Spice

I did not have long to lament the loss of a possible shared scallop, as we were quickly presented with my favorite plate of the evening. The Shirome Spice, a crispy, lightly battered whitefish with a sweet and spicy garlic glaze and stir-fried mixture of onions, red, yellow and green bell peppers, and shitake mushrooms. The stir-fried vegetables were slightly al dente and added texture to the flaky fish and meaty shitakes.

Tropical Roll & Fire Dragon Roll

Next we were presented with not one, but two massive sushi rolls, the Tropical Roll and the Fire Dragon Roll. These two inside out creations push sushi lovers to the edge and have gained quite a following due to their unique flavor pairings. The Tropical Roll includes seared scallop, mushroom, shiso, cucumber, and spicy miso topped with salmon and mango. Our favorite, the Fire Dragon Roll starts with lightly fried shrimp tempura, wrapped in avocado, snow crab, and topped with spicy tuna and masago.

Mongolian Barbeque Lamb Lollipops

Another new addition to the SAIA menu are the Mongolian Barbeque Lamb Lollipops. M wanted to test out his review skills and adds: An unusual presence in an Asian restaurant’s menu, this item has been added in response to customers request to increase meat dish variety. But don’t let the oriental atmosphere fool you; this dish’s level of taste, tenderness and presentation is at least similar to what you would expect from any fancy steakhouse. With another signature twist from the Chef, the sweet and tangy sauce on the side is a surprisingly delicious variation over the traditional red wine, rosemary or mint.

Note: These lollipops were sourced from farm raised lamb in New Zealand.

Thai Curry Lobster

On a roll, M reviews the Thai Curry Lobster as well: I’ve been eating Thai red curries for years from many places of the world and thought I had tried it all. Yet Subin Chankesorn managed to create a masterpiece lobster red curry with a garlic rich mixture of pineapple, hearts of palm, green peppers, baby tomatoes and a delicious white sauce. Definitely a must try for curry lovers.

Here I will add that Chef Chankeson joined us for the last of our courses. We spoke about his childhood growing up in the Thailand, the different dialects and how one word could mean something very different in varying regions (floor mat -vs- tiger!) and finally we spoke about curry. Chef explained to us how he starting making curries under the guidance of his mother. He doesn’t follow a set recipe, yet adds and detracts based on taste of his ingredients of the day, striving to incorporate authentic Thai ingredients and spices. He adds, If you use a recipe it will be different every time based on the sweetness or tartness of the ingredients, so follow your sense of taste not direction.

Chef Subin's Dessert Plate

Our final plate was a taste of Chef Subin’s home, literally. He picked the starfruit from his backyard that morning and now it adorns our plate alongside a chocolate mini macaroon, strawberry, and mochi ice cream in a fruity yogurt sauce. Chef explained to us that he is not a fan of overly sweet desserts and this plate demonstrated a light hand as well. A perfectly sweet ending to a remarkable meal.

Foodies on the Fly highly recommends stopping by and, if you’re feeling adventurous, allowing Chef Subin to order for you as well. The staff is very accomodating and will take note of any allergies or preferences as well.

We thank-you for your time if you’ve completed reading to this point. It was an extensive meal (over 3hrs!) and review as well.

B Ocean Ft. Lauderdale- SAIA
999 Fort Lauderdale Boulevard
Fort Lauderdale, FL
954-302-5252

SAIA on Urbanspoon

M Bar Las Olas – Ft. Lauderdale {CLOSED}

Jack Mancini‘s newest addition to Las Olas Blvd., M Bar, offers up global tapas, and larger plates as well in the farm-to-table sustainable spirit. What exactly are “global tapas”? Think small plates, meant to be shared that are influenced by a variety of cuisines including Mediterranean, Asian, Italian, and Middle Eastern. Tapas are a great way to try several different dishes without worrying about ordering too much, or convincing everyone at your table (and adjacent) to share, not that we’ve ever done that before…

I arrived (solo this time) to lunch at M Bar last week to sample their newly evolved menu. Mancini’s plan is to regularly switch out menu items as fresh ingredients are available. The lunch and dinner menu differ slightly, but there were still enough options to give me slight pause in ordering. Thankfully, the owner himself stopped by to say hello and was available to assist with selections. I ended up with the modified array below. (As I was dining alone I received smaller portions of more items to taste test, which made it just about the best. lunch. ever. I’m all about the options.)

Red & Yellow Local Beets

Arriving first was the Red & Yellow Local Beets. They came with fresh arugula, chilled raspberry “caviar” (I just learned this term from Chef Rachelle when I was raving about these beets the other day, thanks! Apparently it takes a high level of skill to pull off, so I was dutifully impressed.), and a tasty hazelnut vinaigrette that included small candied hazelnut bits. The crisp cold bite of the raspberry pearls was such an unexpected treat. A bright, beautiful start to my tapas tasting.

Spicy Tuna Tartare

Next, I dove into the Spicy Tuna Tartare. The tuna is seasoned with a sriracha aioli for a mild kick and sits atop thin slivers of cucumbers. The wonton crisps and sesame seeds are not only decoration, but provide a contrasting crunch to the velvety tuna. This item from the small plates section is the perfect size to share, and a customer favorite.

Beef Slider & House Cut Fries

Sometimes you just crave a good old fashioned burger and fries. M Bar’s eclectic menu has you covered, featuring three full size burgers or a Trio of Beef Sliders (one pictured above). All are paired with their always crisp house-cut Kennebec fries, which are made fresh daily. The sliders include tomato, cheddar cheese, grilled onions, and pickles. The grilled mini brioche bun (from a local bakery) was what really elevated this burger. The sliders can be purchased separately if you crave variety as well.

Onion Ring

Looking for another accompaniment to your burger? How about a gigantic Onion Ring? These come oversized (and typically more than one to an order on the small plates section), encrusted in Lay’s potato chips with a slight seasoning. The onions themselves are massive and thickly cut. Slightly sweet onions + slightly salty chips + rich buttermilk aioli dipping sauce, this has the makings to be one addictive dish. My only minor disappointment was that they lacked a bit of spice, if only I had my trusty Lazano sauce in my purse…

Braised Kobe Short Ribs

I’m convinced no restaurant opens in SoFL without the “cut of the moment”, so enter M Bar’s Braised Kobe Short Ribs. These stand out due to their perfect sear, propensity to fall apart when prodded with your fork, and delicious, rich dark chocolate stout reduction. Mmmmm…. If I could bottle that sauce I swear I would cover everything with it. The short ribs, featured as a medium plate, are served with a generous mound of creamy truffled polenta, with a nod to an upscale roast beef and mashed potatoes.

Fried Grouper Taco

The grand finale (or so I thought) was the Fried Grouper Taco. These typically arrive three to an order on the medium plate section. Comprised of perfectly seasoned, lightly fried grouper, tangy chipolte cabbage slaw, salsa verde and a few dollops of lime creme fraiche, these swiftly ousted my existing favorite fish taco. I’d highly recommend you adding these to your order, you can thank me later.

Liquid Nitrogen Ice Cream & Berries

My meal ended with a sweet surprise sampling of M Bar’s liquid nitrogen (oh how cool, literally!) Ice Cream and fresh berries.  The assortment included: vanilla pistachio semifreddo, peanut butter ice cream, and vanilla ice cream, with fresh raspberries, blueberries, and blackberries. As full as I was, this FOTF girl is physically unable to pass up dessert, especially ice cream. I’m glad I gave them a try (ok, ok…. I finished them) because they were heavenly. The semifreddo was my favorite. It was incredibly creamy and rich. I can’t wait to go back and try their full dessert which incorporates chocolate cake.

Overall: The food was fantastic and service staff very knowledgable (and passionate) both about their menu items and the preparation it takes to make them. I’ll definitely be back, next time with my friends.

To stop by yourself, M Bar is open for lunch, happy hour, dinner and late night drinks seven days a week. Hours: 11:30am – 11pm Sunday through Thursday; 11:30 am – Midnight Friday & Saturday. Parking is available behind the building and on Las Olas and 13th Avenue.

M Bar
1301 East Las Olas Boulevard
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301
954.766.4946
M Bar on Urbanspoon
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Current specials: (Check their Facebook Page for changes)

“M Bar Lunch Trio” – choice of any two Small Plates, a Flatbread or Individual Pizza and a Domestic Beer for $18 – from now through end of Sept.
Ladies Night on Thursdays – From  7-10 pm premium well, house wine and Stella Artois draft are priced at $3 as well as select global tapas
Happy Hour – From 5-7 pm, Mon. thru Thurs. and 4-7 pm on Fri. Select wines, drafts, bottle beer and premium well for half price.

South Florida Weekend Guide: July 15 – July 17

Strike A Pose: The Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Swimwear shows start Friday, July 15 in Miami Beach. Watch the models strike a pose on the runway, see the latest trends in swimwear fashion and attend a few swanky parties around town. Some events are “invite only” but you don’t need to be VIP to attend the events below.

Glam It Up: MAKE UP FOR EVER is hosting a “Lash Lounge” Party at Sephora in South Beach on  Saturday July 17th from 4:00-7:00 PM. Sephora South Beach, (721 Collins Avenue, Miami Beach, FL 33139) Stop by the store to customize your own pair of faux lashes and even have the pros help you apply them.  Call (305) 532-0904 for more details.

Drink More Wine: Enjoy 9 World-Class wines with dinner (or lunch) for an $25 at The Capital Grille. The Generous Pair Event is going on now until September 4th.  For more information click here.

Socialize: New Times Broward-Palm Beach will host a Tweet-Up at Rare Las Olas (401 E. Las Olas Blvd., Fort Lauderdale) on Friday, July 15th. In order to enter you must say the magic words New Times at the door. No magic words, no entry. You will also get free cocktails and appetizers for two hours — from 7 to 9 p.m For more info on Rare Las Olas, call 954-527-3365 or visit rarelasolas.com.

Get Real“Art of the People: 20th Century Social Realism” at the Boca Raton Museum of Art (501 Plaza Real; Boca Raton FL) every week Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, and Sunday from now until September 11. For more details Call 561-392-2500, email info@bocamuseum.org, or visit bocamuseum.org.

The Verdict Is In :: What To Do In SoFL 7/8 – 7/11

Friday, July 8thSushi & Stroll at the Morikami Museum & Japanese Gardens (4000 Morikami Park Road, Delray Beach) Stroll the beautiful gardens at your leisure while indulging in the delicious fare from the Cornell Café. Friday from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m.; $7 adults, $5 children; 561-495-0233 or http://www.morikami.org
Restaurant SuggestionBlueFin Sushi and Thai Grill, 6694 Parkside Drive, Parkland or 861 Yamato Road, Boca Raton

Saturday, July 9th“Out of This World: Extraordinary Costumes from Film and Television” at the Norton Museum (1451 S. Olive Ave., West Palm Beach) every week Tuesday through Sunday. Get up close and personal with costumes from popular movies like Star Wars and Battlestar Galactica. There will be special presentations every Thursday and film viewings on Saturday. Admission is free for museum members and children 12 and under, $5 for visitors age 13 to 21, and $12 for adults. Call 561-832-5196, or visit norton.org.
Restaurant SuggestionBuccan, 350 S. Country Road, Palm Beach

Saturday, July 9th – Sunday, July 10th -Celebrate Mangos of Hawaii at Fairchild’s 19th Annual International Mango Festival (10901 Old Cutler Road, Coral Gables) from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Enjoy lectures, indulge in tropical smoothies and take part in the world’s only mango auction. Admission is free for Fairchild Members and children 5 and under. Non-member tickets are $25 for adults, $18 for seniors 65 and up and $12 for children ages 6-17. For more information call 305-667-1651.
Restaurant Suggestion: On Saturday only, Miami’s top restaurants, caterers and businesses alike will be sampling their best mango dishes and products. Arrive early for this free sampling as this is the festival’s most anticipated event.

Sunday, July 10thRiverhouse Ghost Tour at the Stranahan House (335 SE 6th Ave. in Fort Lauderdale) at 7:30 p.m. Tour the historic Stranahan House and hear tales of the life during the great depression. The tour starts in Frank Stranahan’s home and includes a river boat ride where you’ll hear even more unforgettable stories of Fort Lauderdale’s greatest ghosts, including one who haunts the Downtowner Saloon to this very day. You must reserve your spot in advance by calling 954-524-4736.
Restaurant SuggestionRocco’s Tacos, 1313 East Las Olas Blvd, Fort Lauderdale

Monday, July 11thFlying Yoga at the South Florida Circus School (15161 NE 21st Avenue; North Miami Beach) Fly through the air with the greatest of ease with the help of master-level circus performers. The aerial fitness classes cost $25 and are held daily at 9 a.m.
Restaurant SuggestionLime Fresh Mexican Grill, 14831 Biscayne Blvd, North Miami

Hello Weekend! South FLA Happenings June 24 -26

It’s finally Friday! This weekend is the perfect time:

To Attend: If you have the attention span of a Twitter update, Summer Shorts at the Adrienne Arsht Center is made especially for you.  See seven of the nation’s best plays in one funny, fresh, and fast paced program. For details click here.

To See:The Art of Caring” opens up at the Museum of Art in Fort Lauderdale on Sunday, June 26th and runs through September 25. The blockbuster photography exhibit includes 200 pictures of life’s most pivotal moments. Tickets cost $10 or less. Call 954-262-0241, or visit moafl.org.

To Drink: The Summer Craft Dinner Series at Himmarshee Bar and Grill (210 SW 2nd St., Fort Lauderdale) kicks off Monday, June 27th at 6:30pm. For $35 you will get to sip gulp four of the most popular specialty beers from Widmer Brothers and indulge in tacos, sliders, and pork tenderloin. For more details call 954-524-1818.

To Help: The Macy’s Chef A-Go-Go Food Truck is hitting the streets of Miami on Tuesday, June 28th and features local chef Michelle Bernstein. From 5:30pm to 10pm participants will enjoy tasty treats while helping a good cause. Proceeds donated at the event will help Feeding America, the nation’s largest domestic hunger relief organization. For every $1 donated, Feeding America can help provide seven meals to those in need on behalf of local food banks.

To Pencil In: Miami Spice returns on Monday, August 1 st and lasts until the end of September. The mouth-watering affair allows patrons to enjoy three-course meals at some of Miami’s hottest restaurants for a fraction of the price. To see participating restaurants click here.

This Week’s Coming Attractions :: June 17 – June 22

This Week is the perfect time…..

To Strut: Palm Beach Style Rocks – Jazz on the Palm, Clematis Street will take place Friday, June 17 from 7pm to 10pm. Join Virginia Lang from Wild 95.5 as she emcees the event while models and firefighters strike a pose on the runway.

To Cook: Unleash your inner Julia and take a culinary class on Saturday, June 18 at the gorgeous Biltmore hotel in Miami. Create delicious food in their professional kitchen while learning from the pros.

To Brunch: Spoil Dad on Sunday, June 19th at Big City Tavern, City Oyster & Sushi Bar or City Cellar Wine Bar & Grill.  The restaurants are launching three new weekend brunch menus that include a delicious array of options and $12 unlimited Mimosas (with purchase of entrée).

To Eat: Go meatless on Monday, June 20th at Sustain Restaurant and Bar in Miami. Their food is delicious. Don’t believe us, check out this review.

To Learn: Bring the whole family and participate in the Moonlight, Sea Turtles and you event at the Fort Lauderdale Museum of Discovery and Science on Tuesday, June 21. The hand-on adventure begins at 9pm and you will learn interesting facts about nesting, threats and conservation. For additional Sea Turtle walks call 954-713-0930.

To Drink: Texas De Brazil in Miami will be hosting a one-of-a-kind savory summer cocktail class on Wednesday, June 22 at 6:30pm. Guests will learn how to make traditional Brazilian cocktails including Texas De Brazil’s signature Caipirinha. Space is limited and you must be 21 or older to register. Call 305-695-7702 for more information.


Dinner after Dessert: The Grateful Palate – Ft. Lauderdale

A few weeks ago FOTF attended a cupcake and wine pairing event at The Grateful Palate in Ft. Lauderdale (see our post here). Since the sweet event lasted only a few hours, when we completed our pairing rounds we decided to stay a little longer to try a few items from their contemporary American dinner menu. We were grateful that we did, dinner was a complete delight!

Greek Salad

On the Menu:

The Grateful Greek Salad, $8/$14, tomato, cucumber, red onion, kalamata olives, feta fritters, red wine, vinaigrette

The petite side salad was tossed in a light red wine vinaigrette that did not overpower the dish and had diced red onion, sliced kalamata olives, and cherry tomatoes. Also included were two feta cheese fritters that were incredibly delicious. The exterior was slightly crispy and the interior was filled with mild cheese. They practically melted in your mouth!

Chicken Supreme

Chicken Supreme, $28, arugula, shaved fennel, poached garlic and sun-dried tomato vinaigrette, balsamic drizzle, and olive bread crouton.

Everything about this dish was wonderful. It was beautifully presented, perfectly portioned, and flawlessly prepared. The aroma was heavenly and the taste was top-notch! The chicken was juicy, the sun-dried tomatoes were succulent and the olive bread croutons were an added indulgence.

The restaurant not only serves up great food, they also have an extensive wine selection complete with a knowledgable and friendly staff. The interior is swanky enough for a date but still warm and laid-back enough for an evening out with friends!

Side Note: On the menu The Grateful Palate offers a Trio of Frites. (shoestring, sweet potato and yucca) Perfect for sharing. Unfortunately, we just didn’t have enough room to order those as well, after the cupcakes & wine, generous bread offerings, salad, and entree! They are on our list for a return visit. 

The Grateful Palate
817 SE 17th Street
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33316
954-467-1998
@TheGratefulPalate

The Grateful Palate on Urbanspoon