Taste of the Town, Lisa Petrillo, Jaya, The Setai Miami Beach, MiamiNews, Taste Of The Town: Jaya Celebrates Southeast Asian Cuisine In Miami Beach – CBS Miami
By Lisa Petrillo

MIAMI BEACH (CBSMiami) – Located inside the Setai Hotel in Miami Beach, Jaya is a sight for sore eyes and a respite from the chaos.

Guests can dine elegantly inside or immerse themselves in al fresco dining in Jaya’s Courtyard. A stone-filled pool stretches through it with dining tables surrounding the edge.

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Executive Chef Vijayudu “Vijay” Veena said he wants all his guests to come in and unwind.

“This is like Asia meeting Miami and South Beach, this is where you are you, almost feel like you’re in your home,“ said Veena.

“It’s elegant, but it’s not stuffy,” said CBS4’s Lisa Petrillo.

Jaya which means ‘victory’ in Sanskrit and celebrates the food of Southeast Asia. The dishes hail from Veena’s homeland, India, as well as China, Thailand, and Japan. It also has Vietnamese influences as well.

“Our chefs are from all of the original countries, so we keep it very authentic as well,” said Veena.

Plate after plate, they sampled some of the chef’s special menu items beginning with tuna tacos with avocado, jalapeño relish, radishes, and sesame.

Jaya’s tuna tacos (CBS)

“It’s not actually a taco. It’s made out of taro root. It’s a root vegetable so we made it into the taco,” said Veena.

“It has a sushi feel, but then it has a little bit of heat on it. That has my name all over it,” said Petrillo. “It’s really a light bite. You can pop them in your mouth all day.”

Next, Sea Bass Tika.

Jaya’s Sea Bass Tika (CBS4)

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It’s marinated with cilantro, mint, jalapeño, and Indian spice and baked in a tandoori oven.

“It’s delicate, moist, and flaky and it’s cooked perfectly, and all the flavors are light. It’s so light and delicious,” said Petrillo.

They also sampled the Thali Platter. It’s Veena’s curated selection of assorted vegetarian Indian samplers. It includes his homemade Naan bread made in a tandoori oven.

They then moved on to the Chicken Tikka Kebabs with garam masala, mustard oil, and mint sauce.

Jaya’s Chicken Tikka Kebabs (CBS4)

“This is from my country. This is one of the most popular kebabs that we have here,” said Veena.

“The char is so special and moist. The sauce on the top is just an extra special gift,” said Petrillo.

They ended on Szechuan prawns with bell peppers, asparagus, and bean sprouts.

Jaya’s Szechuan prawns (Source: CBS4)

“So it’s spicy, pungent, and sour so these are the flavors that we go for,” said Veena.

“It is like a trip around the world here. I taste a little bit of kick too. It’s beautifully cooked and really special,” said Petrillo.

Jaya is open seven days a week serving breakfast, lunch, dinner, and brunch on Sundays.

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Lisa Petrillo