From Dim Sum to Pad Thai, Here Are Miami's 10 Best Asian Restaurants



Despite our mostly Latino population, Asian cuisine can be found all over Miami. There are places that are strictly Chinese or Japanese food, a few Vietnamese restaurants, a fair amount of Thai spots, and then some. 

More popular, though, are Asian fusion eateries. Dining in a place where you can enjoy a bowl of pho and a plate of chicken katsu can be pretty awesome, especially when you can't make up your mind. 

Our list this time around focuses on both fusion and non-fusion Asian dining, allowing you to decide what's best for dinner tonight.

Here, you'll find interesting combos like the Japanese-Peruvian dishes served at Miami Beach's infamous Nobu. 

This category also brings you a few top-notch Vietnamese joints, plus Bali Cafe, an Indonesian-fusion eatery that's quite popular with the Downtown business crowd. 

You might notice that South Florida doesn't have much in the way of Cambodian, Tibetan, Bhutanese or other exotic cuisines; that's because the populations that bring the restaurateurs haven't arrived. Yet.

But what Miami has, Miamians celebrate. Whether it's Asian fusion at Dadeland's Lan Pan Asian or the locally beloved Tropical Chinese, the citizens of and travelers to the Magic City stand with fork, chopsticks and soup spoons at the ready.



10
Westchester
Tropical Chinese


 

Find Chinese cuisine at its best at this spacious, airy restaurant. Devoid of all the typical decorative trappings, the minimalist interior at Tropical Chinese is always full of fans clamoring for some of the best dim sum in town. Cantonese and Mandarin dishes are specialties, and the menu is dotted with unexpected items ranging from early leaves of snow pea pods to fried chicken feet. You'll also find plenty of traditional favorites, including orange chicken, seafood stir-fries, and numerous savory beef and pork dishes. Try the dim sum lunch for a sampling of the best the restaurant has to offer. Reservations accepted.


9


 

Chef Johnson Teh has got Asian food covered. Not only does he do Thai, Japanese and Chinese flavors in this pan-Asian cafe, he likes to add in Filipino, Taiwanese, Korean and a blend of original interpretations that Miamians can only label "yum." So while it's difficult to perhaps pinpoint all his influences in some dishes, such as the crispy almond snapper in the saffron-soba broth, it's also hard to really care. From appetizers like the wild mushroom salad with cilantro-ginger dressing to the Filipino rice bowl topped with pork, a sunny-side-up egg and pickles, it's a veritable bonanza of playful Asian flavors. Complementing the fare, Teh also serves authentic bubble teas, house-made sodas, and a select sake and wine list. A sibling establishment in Coral Gables, Yuga, expands on the pan-Asian theme in a slightly more elegant way, and a food truck, Lan on the Go, has put the bubble teas on wheels.


8
Nobu Miami Beach
Photo courtesy of used in book.


 

The Miami location of world-famous Chef Nobu Matsuhisa's chain of restaurants is located inside the swank Shore Club and has a reputation for being the favorite sushi spot of local celebs. The key to dining at Nobu the first couple of times is to ask lots of questions. Servers are happy to guide you through the menu and help you navigate the sushi experience. Tempura, teriyaki and salads frequently entice diners, or you can give yourself over to the chef's acumen with the omakase, a meal of eight carefully composed dishes that allows you to sample a variety of flavors and textures. It's high-quality Japenese-Peruvian fusion cuisine with a price tag to match--but can you really put a price on phenomenal food?


7


 

Miss Saigon Bistro is a tiny, family-owned favorite featuring some of the best Vietnamese cuisine in all Miami-Dade. The decor is simple and minimal, providing a clean, serene setting for your meal. Delicious meat and seafood offerings are available, and each dish can be customized to your ideal level of spiciness. Vegetarians and vegans will be especially happy with the selection here, as this is one of the few restaurants in town featuring dishes made with seitan. Sample great salads, such as green papaya or spicy calamari, and filling noodle dishes topped with savory sauces. Caramelized prawns and grilled salmon with mango are two seafood favorites. A nice wine list and a short but stellar dessert menu make this an all-around winner. Business casual attire.


6


 

Katsuya resides within the SLS Hotel South Beach and has quickly become the absolute best place to visit for unique custom-made sushi rolls in all of South Florida. Master Sushi Chef Katsuya Uechi has spent years perfecting the delicate art of sushi and has carefully crafted several special rolls to fit American palates. Signature dishes include Crispy Rice with Spicy Tuna, Kanpachi Tataki, Yellowtail Sashimi with Jalapeño and Miso-Marinated Black Cod. Feel free to peruse the drinks menu as well, or go off the cuff and order up a Katsuya Fresh (their signature cocktail featuring Grey Goose vodka, Rock Sake, crushed cucumbers and lime juice). Katsuya has been wildly popular in San Diego and Houston, with Miami being the newest edition to their line of fine sushi venues.


5
Oishi Thai


 

A well-established favorite with the North Miami crowd, Oishi Thai is a consistent bringer of quality on both its Thai and sushi sides. Sushi is expertly cut and always a fresh pleasure, and the Thai food is also particularly aromatic, unlike in other Thai-sushi places where one cuisine tops another. This is probably not a surprise given the history of this establishment: executive Chef Piyarat Arreeratn, a.k.a. Bee, a native of Chiang Rai, Thailand, has worked for Nobu Matsuhisa at Nobu Miami Beach in the Shore Club as well as Chef Kevin Cory at NAOE. Although the fare can be pricey, you won't walk away dissatisfied.


4
Makoto
Photo courtesy of Courtesy Makoto Bal Harbour


 

Makoto is one of the top Asian restaurants in the area, located in the ritzy Bal Harbour Shops. This modern Japanese spot is the dream-child of James Beard semifinalist Stephen Starr and Iron Chef competitor Makoto Okuwa. Chef Okuwa has over twenty years of experience and was once head chef at Morimoto New York and Philadelphia. You'll find plenty to write home about at Makoto's, including traditional and contemporary Japanese flavors enjoyed in a chic-yet-casual ambiance. Opt to dine in the elegant, wood-heavy dining room or enjoy sitting in the lush, green outdoor patio area. You can also grab a quick cocktail at the lively bar.


3


 

The Zagat Rated, AAA Four Diamond Award Winning restaurant Hakkasan has much to brag about. This gem inside the world-renowned Fontainbleau Hotel on Miami Beach is known for its unique and authentic Cantonese dishes, including a weekend Dim Sum Lunch that high-rolling locals are raving about. Chef de Cuisine Jian Heng Loo has created incredibly delectable dishes including a Black Pepper Beef Tenderloin and a Crispy Duck Salad with Jasmine Tea-Smoked Ribs. Once seated inside this aesthetically divine restaurant, peruse the menu and pick out an appetizer (wild mushroom lettuce wrap, duck roll) for starters; then move on to your main dish (wok baked lobster in supreme stock, tofu claypot in black bean sauce); and wash it down with one of their inspired cocktails (the Hakka, Zen Garden).


2
Bali Cafe


 

Despite its small, humble dining room, Bali Cafe delivers on quality and service, making it a Downtown Miami favorite. The comfortably cozy atmosphere and expertly prepared, authentic dishes like Lontong Cap Go Meh are offered at astonishingly low prices. The Asian fusion fare is largely Indonesian, and everything, from the three dollar Simple Salad dressed with beets and black sesame seeds to the iced green tea, is exceedingly flavorful and delightfully fresh. Satays and nasi goreng (spicy fried rice with coconut accents) are perhaps the most popular dish, but don't neglect the unusual dumplings or, for that matter, the dessert which can, if you're lucky, include durian ice cream. Do be aware, however, that Bali Cafe only accepts cash and, depending on the day, may only be open for lunch.


1


 

Located in the prestigious Setai Hotel, this expansive restaurant is situated around an open kitchen and bar and outfitted with high ceilings, neutral tones and striking Asian decor. Patrons may also dine in the serene courtyard, surrounded by lovely ponds and pergolas. Executive chef Mathias Gervais, who has trained with some of the world's best, prepares some of the most interesting and authentically flavored pan-Asian dishes in the city. Don't miss chawan mushi, an awesomely silky Japanese egg custard with bits of asparagus, shiitake and hon shimeji mushrooms, and tofu, flavored with yuzu zest. Or incredible steamed scallop dumplings with black truffle emulsion. Or miso black cod with daikon consomme, flavored with yuzu and the pepper mixture ishimi togarashi. The Chinese barbecue pork belly with ginger-carrot mousseline is succulent and crispy, all at once, and the grilled Wagyu strip loin lives up to its pedigree with a soy-olive oil gravy.


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Meet Priscilla Blossom

Pris Blossom is a freelance writer and feminist mama with a love for travel, writing, music, film, craft beer, yoga, museums, cultural anthropology, and her awesome kid.

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