MIAMI BEACH (CBSMiami) – A Miami Beach restaurant is grabbing a lot of attention for its unique decor and fancy dining, but its take on modern Asian cuisine proves to be just as sensational.
You won’t know where to look first when you enter Mandrake, a restaurant lounge on 23rd street.
A life-size gold gorilla greets you at the main bar, while a rhino monitors the dining room.
From floor to ceiling, not an inch is worth missing in this 5,000 square-foot escape from the ordinary, which recently took home the ‘Innovative Design Hospitality’ award.
“There’s so much going on with the design of this place. They put a lot of effort into it. Each room has its own identity, we’ve got a lot of vibrant colors going on,” said Executive Chef Jimmy Gallagher. “It’s a restaurant, but late at night turns into party music. It gets louder, people are dancing, it’s a lot of fun.”
But don’t think the daring and dazzling design outshines the food.
It does not.
Back in the kitchen, Chef Gallagher prepares a tasting menu for CBS4’s Lisa Petrillo, designed with an overall food concept.
“It’s modern Asian cuisine. We took a little from Philippines, Thailand, Japan,” he said. “We have sushi that’s more traditional and a lot of different flavors.”
He begins with duck gyozas, which are pan seared with ponzu kaffir lime leaf sauce.
“The kaffir gives it something so different,” said Gallagher.
“Truly different and subtle and wonderful,” said Petrillo.
Next, a fish called ‘Tai.’ It’s “Tai Aji Amarillo” served with avocado salsa.
“That’s insane. I love the fish. It’s so cold and it has great spices and a little kick. The sauce has a bit of sweetness,” said Petrillo.
“It’s the honey,” said Gallagher.
If you come hungry and looking to share, order the “Whole Fish Tempura.”
It’s one and a half pounds of branzino with sweet & sour and ginger scallion sauce.
And don’t miss the edible gold flakes on top!
“I think it’s perfect. The texture is so nice and it’s moist on the inside and crunchy on the outside,” said Petrillo.
“I personally like the bones, if it’s fried right you can eat the bones,” said Gallagher.
Mandrake is offering a summer menu special from Monday through Thursday including, three course dinners priced at $39.99.
Petrillo and Gallagher finish off with the “Chocolate Trio,” it’s three times the chocolate fun.
Mandrake, where glamour and fancy food make for the perfect combination of fun and frivolity!
It’s open Monday through Saturday with dinner starting at 7 p.m.
Find out more about Mandrake and check out its menu here.