The fusion of robust Malaysian spices and smooth coconut milk erupts with each bite of beef rendang. Sweet and spicy notes infuse the syrupy glaze coating each morsel of general tso’s chicken. A conical seaweed wrap imbues its saltiness in slices of spicy conch. Within the red and yellow walls of Hin Lee Malaysian Chinese Restaurant, the talented chef forges a synthesis of flavors from Malaysian and Chinese traditions. On the weekends, a rice artisan rolls cuts of fresh grouper, salmon, and spicy scallop into seaweed-encased slices at a small sushi bar, where diners can sidle up to watch the master work and shout names of current events to inspire the wasabi's improve-comedy routines.
While it takes prodigious skill to man the 600-degree, 7-foot grill that is the center of bd’s Mongolian Grill’s dining room, the chefs running it don’t have any secret recipes. Instead, customers fashion their own customizable bowls of stir-fry according to their taste preferences, dietary restrictions, and desired portion size. Guests wander, nearly overwhelmed as they choose from an array of meats and veggies and ladle sweet, spicy, and herb-filled sauces into a cup. Chefs sauté the meal in front of their eyes, swords flicking skillfully across the grill to entertain and build anticipation like a mime about to jump buses on an invisible motorcycle. The resulting stir-fry dishes are accompanied by brown rice, white rice, tortillas or lettuce wraps.
Lee House executive chefs Michael Lee and Thanh Uong inter-weave Chinese and Vietnamese cooking techniques, decades-old family recipes, and years of restaurant experience to craft a menu of dim sum and authentic Chinese fare. A team of culinary air-traffic controllers guides the peking duck’s half-bird in for a landing on plate runways next to a stack of steaming pancakes ($16.00). Savory spare ribs simmer in a clay pot alongside a tart tuft of bitter melon ($8.50), and the specialty beef-chow-fun coils house-made wide rice noodles alongside seasonal vegetables ($8.95). A separate dim-sum menu stocks bellies with classics such as pork dumplings, spring rolls, and black-tie spring rolls in noodle cummerbunds, as well as introducing appetites to exotic meats such as steamed chicken feet ($2.95–$10.95/dim-sum dish).
Thirsty Marlin reels in fresh seafood to craft creative, flavorful dishes served in a festive and tropical atmosphere. Take in the toe-tapping notes of live music Thursday through Sunday nights at the Palm Harbor location, or on Thursday night at the Largo location. Peruse the vast menu. Succulent starters present an innovative take on comfort fare, such as the lobster quesadillas ($10.99) and the grouper nuggets, served fried or buffalo-style ($9.99). Ask the sauce-laden rumba's ribs for a dance ($18.79), or spear some sushi after 5 p.m. Wednesdays through Sundays. The Thirsty Marlin roll ($10.95) quenches the sushi desires of gilled and ungilled beings alike with a medley of shrimp tempura, crab meat, and veggies in a savory eel sauce. Top off your meal pouch with homemade Marlin fried cheesecake ($6.99), refreshingly devoid of fish and bursting with a chocolate-covered Oreo crust.
Dine on a versatile menu of freshly prepared, Asian-inspired delights that are whipped up quickly and skillfully. Start off with an appetizer, such as the potstickers (filled with pork, green cabbage, scallions, and ginger), lettuce wraps (chicken or tofu with shiitake mushrooms, water chestnuts, scallions, and garlic), and general’s wings (full pound with spices, sweet chili, garlic, and scallion glaze). Salad and soup options include the peanut soy salad (soy-glazed chicken over mixed greens, carrots, snap peas, wonton chips, and sesame seeds, with a soy peanut dressing) and Thai coconut soup (with chicken breast, lemongrass, mushrooms, tomatoes, and lime). Or opt for an entree with your option of chicken, beef, shrimp, tofu, or veggies. Options include honey glazed, Thai cashew stir fry, lo mein, Vietnamese crunchy noodles, and Thai fu noodles.