If the wall painted to resemble aged parchment paper complete with neat rows of hanzi characters doesn't make Sum Yum Gai's cultural ties apparent enough, then the intermingling aromas of ginger, sweet and sour sauce, and pan-fried noodles definitely will. The menu of classic Chinese cuisine draws inspiration from regions throughout the country. This leads to dishes such as roasted duck with hoisin sauce appearing alongside chicken and mixed vegetables stir-fried in a spicy Szechuan sauce.
Additionally, the selection includes a number of vegetarian-friendly meals, including soft tofu squares and mushrooms in a brown garlic sauce, as well as a mushroom and a vegetable fried rice.
Tony Chan's Water Club's menu bridges the gustatory gap between China and Japan with a menu that includes both Hong Kong–style Cantonese cuisine and fresh sushi. Earning their food a Zagat rating of "very good to excellent," the chefs accessorize stir-fried orders of chicken, seafood, and vegetables with many different sauces, lending spicy, savory, or tangy flavors to the entrees. At the counter, they carefully arrange orders of nigiri and specialty sushi rolls, which can include premium fillings of shrimp tempura, jalapeños, and parmesan cheese.
The spacious dining room tempts diners with two distinct views: floor-to-ceiling windows gaze directly out onto the waterfront, while a similar wall of windows enables diners to peer into the kitchen. Behind the glass, watched chefs stay calm as they wok-fry entrees and hand-write inspiring quotations on grains of rice.
At Wok Town, chili, ginger, and curry season pan-Asian dishes for fast food that's both flavorful and healthy. The menu features noodle dishes, rice boxes, and woks such as the Mongolian, which comes with a choice of meat or tofu drizzled with chili-spiced soy sauce and bell peppers. In addition to these hearty options, Wok Town throws together Positive Wok choices lauded by the Miami New Times for their "lightness and freshness not always inherent in Chinese food." The article goes on to note that each dish can be spiced with complimentary hot chili sauce or fiery chinese mustard. Dishes can be consumed along communal tables and benches, ordered online for take-out, or delivered by flying wok.
Confucio Express's stir-frying chefs toss a mélange of spicy sauces, flavorful meats, and crisp veggies into dishes that populate a menu that has garnered praise in publications such as the Miami New Times. Cool, crisp lettuce enrobes chicken in wraps that set tummy engines rumbling ($9). Plates brim with generously portioned chop sueys—sautéed veggies in oyster and soy sauce with your choice of meat or no meat ($11–$14.50)—and house specialties ($13.95) include general tao chicken, crisp breaded morsels mingling with broccoli florets in a spicy sauce. A host of meatless options includes vegetable tofu, which partners a garden medley with chunks of tofu ($13) for a dish that evokes the freshness of summer and the lightness of a conversation with a cloud. Although dine-in seating is available, customers can opt for delivery service (a $3 additional fee, not included in this Groupon) and attempt to introduce breakfast in bed to new meal times.
South Garden's menu of authentic Chinese cuisine features dishes that are made to order using fresh produce and imported herbs and spices. Start by treating the oft-neglected crisp tooth with pork lettuce wraps ($11.95) before moving on to a half roast duck ($10.95) or identity-confused sweet and sour shrimp ($13.95). The restaurant also provides traditional dim sum, which is served daily from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. While dining, glance around the room to absorb the transformative décor that tricks the mind into thinking it was elsewhere—a feat formally reserved for mall-kiosk hypnotists.
Since Miami doesn’t have a Chinatown, the lack of a centralized area for quality Chinese food restaurants to congregate can make them seem few and far between. Thankfully there’s 3 Chefs Chinese & Vietnamese Restaurant, a multi-lingual eatery that supplies plenty of locals with the flavors that might have otherwise been missing. There’s the usual run of lo mein, mu shu or chow mein to choose from, plus chef specialties like lemongrass pork chop, Singapore rice noodles and Hong Kong roast duck. A separate Vietnamese menu provides as well, with twelve different offerings of Pho (beef noodle stew) and nine different selections of Bun (rice vermicelli). The service is quick and outdoor seating at this simple, eclectic space can make for a fun afternoon of slurping on noodles and enjoying some hard-to-find Chinese food.