By Lisa Petrillo

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WYNWOOD (CBSMiami) – There is a new Chinese restaurant in town but this is no ordinary Chinese restaurant. Palmar is an easy, breezy hip and cool restaurant in Wynwood featuring modern Japanese food with a global twist.

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(CBS4)

Executive Chef Raymond Li, formerly of Zuma, brings his worldly background into the dishes he creates.

“My dad is Cuban Chinese and my mother is Colombian and I was born and raised in Miami, so it’s a virtual melting pot here,” Chef Raymond told CBS4’s Lisa Petrillo.

The space features soft colors and a relaxed tropical vibe with a very familiar feel.

“It’s a very Miami. It is a Chinese restaurant but I’m looking at pink leather couches,” described Petrillo.

“Correct, and you’re hearing salsa music. We’re a progressive modern Chinese restaurant and I have my Latin influences inside the food, Chef Raymond replied.

The food that has received rave reviews, including a nomination by Bon Appetit Magazine as one of the 10 best new restaurants in the U.S.

“I really wanted to elevate the cuisine and I grew up eating Chinese food. I’m always used to just food on plate and I’m not in this business to just put food on a plate. I’m in it for the art of things, the flavors. I want to create an experience for our guests,” he explained.

Lisa’s experience included Shiitake-Edamame Pot stickers with ginger soy and key lime oil.

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“This is like a warm hug, delicious, tasty, and I love how it has a little salt in that ginger soy,” Petrillo said.

Next, Duck Confit Dumplings with five spice aioli and pickled red ginger.

“We also re-emulsify duck fat into the meat so it’s nice and tender. We add sesame oil as well for a delicate touch,” said Chef.

“This is really special. It’s super chefy and different. There’s a crunch on it,” said Petrillo.

“The crunch is the outside the wrapper we fry it and created that nice crunch texture,” Chef said.

Then it was on to the Smashed Marinated Cucumbers that Petrillo says brings some heat!

“Wow it is spicy. It’s got some kick! It’s really good!” Petrillo said.

Finally, Egg Noodles with Chinese Broccoli, chives, sesame oil, topped off with five spice cashews.

“You have this texture and it’s sweet and salty. There’s a little kick in there. It makes you want to keep eating it,” said Petrillo.

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Palmar is open every day but Monday. For more information www.palmarmiami.com

Lisa Petrillo