You know what I’m asking Santa for? Some of my mom’s homecooking. The chef of a new Asian-fusion restaurant is using memories of his mom’s meals to honor her talents and please your palette.
At Ki’Na, the latest entry to the Fort Lauderdale food scene, diners can take a trip back in time to the chef’s youth.
Vince Tien, chef: “Each dish started with a memory. ‘Oh, I had this dish during this Chinese New Year when I was 8 years old.’ I ate my mom’s cooking like that.”
Every dish is plated and presented beautifully.
What makes it all work is chef’s desire to turn you on to his favorite meals.
Vince Tien: “That’s why people say ‘home cooking’s the best’ because the best is not about execution, we are eating with our memory.”
Even though these are time-honored Taiwanese recipes, the approach to preparing them is brand new.
Vince Tien: “I don’t have a wok here, so when people talk about, ‘You are making Chinese or slash Taiwanese food, Asian food, you don’t have a wok? What are you doing here?'”
What they’re doing at Ki’Na is constantly tasting and testing their own limits.
Vince Tien: “I’m never satisfied with whatever I’m doing. It’s always every day, I can do better and I can learn more.”
The kitchen only uses non-GMO produce and antibiotic-free protein.
Which means the organic beets tartare with pickled mushrooms and Japanese peppers, the salmon poke with marinated avocado and rose petals and the salt and pepper chicken with chili mayo sauce are hearty, healthy and very personal.
Vince Tien: “The last thing I want to do is copy and paste. I want to stay true with my memory.”
New offerings and deserts pop up all the time.
You can always order the braised cod with pickled bay shrimp and the house favorite, spicy chicken noodle soup, packed with bok choy, chopped chicken, diced mushrooms, a hard-boiled egg and home-made chili sauce for an extra kick.
Vince Tien: “I want people to get rid of their stereotypes about Asian or Chinese cooking and then just open their minds to try different things.”
Terra, customer: “I think it brings a completely new concept, it’s something I’ve never tried here and we love to eat. I mean, that’s what’s so much fun about South Florida — all the different restaurants, all the different cuisines and this is different.”
FOR MORE INFO:
420 N Federal Hwy.
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301
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