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MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Just by looking at the many, many mouthwatering offerings served up at the very popular, hip South Miami eatery, you’d never know the name No Name Chinese is a result of a happy accident.
“We couldn’t figure out a name,” said chef and owner Pablo Zitzmann. “There was bunch of names we tossed around for a year but we couldn’t agree with any and someone said let’s not put a name on it. So, No Name Chinese was it. That’s where we are.”
And yes, you guessed it, Pablo is not Chinese. But his passion for the cuisine is everything.
“I was born and raised in Colombia,” he explained to CBS4’s Lisa Petrillo. “I came to the states and started working in Japanese restaurants and then I went to China and fell in love with it, and here we are.”
No Name Chinese is the result of the diversity of Miami, where cultures blend in unusual ways.
“I describe the restaurant as Chinese inspired,” Zitzmann said. “We respect the technique. We are not trying to reinvent anything because we respect it so much.
“We use a lot of Miami ingredients. We use a lot of local farms and I have an affinity for Vietnamese and Thai food so we have a lot of that here as well.”
No Name Chinese also has a mantra.
“Loud music and spicy foods is what we’re all about,” said Chef.
So let’s get to the food.
Petrillo and Chef Pablo start with the dumplings. The dish is called Mr. Lee’s. It’s pork shoulder, ginger garlic and smoked ponzo.
“This is a signature dumpling we have,” said Chef. “Mr. Lee was a dim sum master chef that I learned with in Hawaii and this is his recipe, so I decided to put his name on it.”
“It’s sweet, It’s salty and is not gummy. Sometimes dumplings are,” said Petrillo after tasting. “It’s got a kick too, just a tiny bit.”
Their top selling smashed cucumbers are marinated in soy, vinegar garlic, cilantro and basil. It sits on a bed of a yogurt and chili sauce.
“Nice and crunchy, almost like a pickle,” said Petrillo.
“Then the yogurt cuts the acidity off,” said Chef.
The Kung Pao Chicken is made with Szechuan peppercorn chicken, cashews, chilies, scallions and cilantro.
“There is so much flavor and then all of a sudden, boom, there’s a kick,” said Petrillo.
“Yeah and one of the cool things in this chicken is we use Szechuan peppercorns. It numbs your tongue, so you can eat more spicy foods,” Chef said laughing.
No Name Chinese, where all you need to know is what’s on your plate!
The restaurant is open six days a week, from Tuesday to Sunday for lunch and dinner.
There’s also Dim Sum brunch on the weekends. For more information, visit nonamechinese.com.