Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Miami | BOND ST Lounge

We all know that South Beach, Miami is not known for its affordable food and restaurants. Not only does fancy restaurants cost a fortune, some plain cafes can be pretty pricey as well. Anyways, because of an incredibly terrible food experience the day before (don't even want to think about it...sigh), we wanted to spoil ourselves to ease the painful encounter. Nobu and BOND ST came up to my mind, but since I've been to Nobu twice in LA and New York, I decided to try something new!

BOND ST Lounge, the Miami outpost of the famous Mahanttan sushi restaurant, occupies the lower level of the Town House Hotel in South Beach. Instead of traditional dining tables, BOND ST uses high tables and chairs to create a hip lounge setting. The minimal and simple decor made me feel relaxed and cozy, while I enjoy my green tea martini and have a good time with my friends.

The chef designs dishes that serve traditional Japanese cuisine with a classical French twist. One thing I absolutely love about Japanese fusion restaurants is their to-die-for appetizers - sashimi tartare, carpaccio, beef tataki, asian salads, tempura, grilled small bites......and the list goes on.

I don't know why, but many Japanese chefs seem to like their glasses hanging near the tip of their noses. Looks so pro!


Cold Appetizers: I normally like seaweed salad, but the one we had was very dry and grassy, even though they used both green and pink seaweeds, which is quite unique in the U.S. The mouth-watering blue fin toro tartare was prepared from very high quality fatty tuna and gave a strong umami and creamy taste.

Seaweed Salad with Ginger Dressing

Blue Fin Toro Tartare Seasoned with Sansho Pepper

Hot Appetizers & Skewers: In addition to hot appetizers, the BOND ST dedicates a section for skewers on their menu. One of their specialties is the Chilean sea bass skewers, which was lightly grilled with sweet miso sauce. When I had a bite of this diced delicacy, it literally melted in my mouth, and a savory aroma followed immediately. I would say the sea bass was the best dish of the night, and I am pretty sure my friends will agree, too! The skewers also came with a side salad, which was great for balancing off the strong and heavy aftertaste of the sauce.

Chilean Sea Bass Skewers with Sweet Miso

Shrimp Skewers with Teriyaki & Grilled Squid with Ginger Soy and Yuzu Mayonnaise

The goat cheese crab cakes tasted nothing like the traditional crab cakes I had before. The crispy crust of the surface layer was chunky and contrasted with the smooth and rich fillings. The chef mixed the right amount of goat cheese with crab meat, which allowed the scents of both to co-exist. Even Jennifer, who hated the smell of goat cheese, had some of the crab cakes. It was a fun and tasty dish to try.

Goat Cheese Crab Cakes with Carrot Lemon Coulis

The last but not least, we ordered the lobster tempura for our hot appetizers. As lavish as it sounded, the golden tempura actually had a pretty humble taste. The lobster meat, as usual, was divine and delicious, but it came with the very American mustard mayonnaise. I personally would call this plate "Popcorn Lobster."

Lobster Tempura with Mustard Mayonnaise

Sushi & Rolls

Growing up in Taiwan, I have a very high standard for sashimi, especially for the freshness of the fish. I haven't been to a Japanese restaurant in the States that is on par with those in Taiwan and Japan. However, the creative rolls and sushi, such as the popular rainbow roll, caterpillar roll, and the spider roll, are simply unheard of in Taiwan. It is always fun to order some crazy and interesting rolls.

We ordered 5 different rolls to share (Sorry I can't remember the names of them!). The aesthetic presentation made the rolls looked so tantalizing and appetizing; the tuna sushi was even decorated with real gold leaves. We finished the plate almost immediately!

6 Bond Nigiri: 6 Pieces of Exotic Nigiri Sushi
Hot Eel Dice with Sansho Pepper and Sliced Almond

Chocolate Lava Cake

Banana Crepes

I really enjoyed the atmosphere, lounge music, and the service at BOND ST. The chefs of the restaurant prepared many playful and mouth-watering appetizers, skewers, as well as rolls. The exquisite fusion dishes, along with some great friends, made an awesome night.

The dinner reached its height when Pat decided to pay all amount in excess of $250. I should've ordered more...

BOND ST Lounge
150 20th Street
Miami Beach, FL 33139

Recommendation: 4 Star
Great lounge restaurant for eclectic fusion bites and cocktails.

The South Beach location of BOND ST also offers some Miami specialities that you can't find in Manhattan!

also in other location: New York City

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