There’s a spicy revolution underway and it bodes good things for diners at the Catalina Hotel & Beach Club, which recently introduced a Korean menu to Miami Beach.
This introduction of “Seoul Food” is now offered at Kung Fu Kitchen & Sushi, which already is a favorite dining spot for those seeking good food at reasonable (especially for South Beach) prices.
The menu was co-created by Nathan Lieberman, the restaurant’s owner, chef, Daniel Diaz, and the newly appointed Chef de Cuisine Pablo Fueguel.
The menu, which is designed to offer the best of eastern oriental cuisine, creates Seoul and traditional Korean dishes, using ingredients like Thai basil, lemongrass, rosemary, mint and Chinese spinach, all grown outside on hotel property.
There is a large offering of appetizers, many which make perfect finger foods. Among them we tried the Thai Tacos. From among the several choices, we picked the Ssam Pulled Pork, which featured tender threads of pulled pork, along with pickled carrots and kimchi.
Being devotees of Chinese Buns, we also decided to try the pulled herb chicken bun. While this was not a typical stuffed steamed or baked Chinese Bun, we still enjoyed this trio of soft folded buns served with Ssamjang chili sauce, Asian slaw pickled vegetables and crisp fresh sprouts.
We also liked the idea of Rice Bowls, so we ordered the Coconut Chicken Rice Bowl, which featured big chunks of tender chicken with a spicy coconut curry kick. And, in order to sample the Korean BBQ, we selected the BBQ shrimp, and enjoyed a generous portion of the perfectly cooked crustaceans glazed with Bulgogi BBQ sauce.
We tried just a small sampling; there are many other dishes on the menu as well, including such appetizers as Miso Eggplant, Spicy Chicken Wings, Tempura Rock Shrimp, Tapei Turkey, Meatballs, and more. Salads are on the menu as well, including Seaweed Salad and Asian Kale Salad. The appetizers and salads run from $5 to $17, with most set at $10.
In addition to the shrimp that we tried, the Korean BBQ choices include Beef Short Ribs Fresh Salmon Filet, Baby Back Ribs, Skirt Steak and the Half BBQ Chicken. All are served with sweet potato fries, Asian slaw and banchan. Prices are $15-$17.
The menu also offers a selection of Bahn Mi Sandwiches, a contemporary take on traditional Bahn Mi, served on fresh baked French baguette, with Asian slaw and sweet potato fries. Options include Dirty South Pulled Pork, Grilled Bulgogi Prawn and Tapai Turkey Meatball. ($12-$14)
Kung Fu Kitchen offers a variety of Pad Thai options, among them Galbi Short Rib, Jumbo Shrimp Pad Thai and the traditional Chicken Pad Thai, priced at $12 to $15. For lighter fare, there is also a selection of Ramen Noodle Bowls, for $10-$14.
While we found all the dishes we sampled deliciously spicy, with just a mild kick, Kung Fu Kitchen offers a nod to those who don’t like it spicy with their “Light on the Spice” menu selection, featuring roasted and grilled meats and seafood offered at $18-$20.
Of course, the full name of this restaurant is “Kung Fu Kitchen & Sushi,” so there’s a full selection of sushi and sashimi as well.
More info: Kung Fu Kitchen & Sushi