pthomas156 on Trip Advisor
4 years ago
03/31/2016, 03:20 AM
Peking duck four ways!
This upscale Asian restaurant is run by a couple who have made a name for themselves with an Italian restaurant in South Beach. They've done a great job here too. After we read about the opportunity to have Peking Duck for 2 -- a duck fashioned into four courses for two for $96, not a bad deal for The Beach -- we made a reservation on Open Table and called the day before to let them know we wanted the duck. This is a fun choice, but the whole menu sounds quite interesting; we saw many of the short rib buns passing our table, so we know we'll be back to try out more dishes (we are local).
It was a hot, humid evening, so we opted for a table inside, which is unusual for us because there's nothing better on a Saturday night on South Beach than sitting outside and watching the human parade. The restaurant has a perfect porch for this. Inside, we were at a two-top in the back near the steps leading down to a bar. The ceiling in this part of the restaurant is low, which might have contributed to how amplified the music sounded (there was a DJ, but a low-key one). We had a hard time hearing each other. But oddly, I could hear everything a couple across the aisle was saying (he worked for a software company, used to live in Chicago, now lives in West Palm, yada yada). We asked the waiter if the music in our part of the restaurant could be turned down; nothing happened. Shortly later, a person we perceived as management asked us how our meal was going, and we told her about the sound (loudly so she could hear us). She fixed it for us, though we could still hear the other couple's entire life story! So my advice would be to avoid this particular table.
We had been in Hong Kong recently where we went to a restaurant that specialized in Peking Duck, so we were interested in how the Miami twist would go. In Hong Kong, there was just the duck as a main course. Now we would have four courses. They began with a tiny cup of duck broth, which was....nice. Not that interesting. The second course was a duck salad, which was lovely, and included what I think were dried cherries. The third course was a noodle dish with thicker noodles and a few veggies and a delicious sauce. The fourth course was the duck breast. It's presented with pancakes in which you place sauce and the moist, crispy-skinned pieces of duck (plus tiny slices of scallions and cucumbers). At Bazi, the pancakes were not the thin wraps that we experienced in Hong Kong but thicker scallion pancakes. These were delicious, but they are filling when you're into your fourth course! I ate one pancake and after that just ate the duck topped with cucumbers and sauce, tho my husband loved the pancakes. The sauce was nice, but I would have preferred a bit sweeter alternative sauce.
The duck courses could have fed three people, so don't bother ordering an additional starter, which we were surprised our server had encouraged us to do. Another odd thing: The wine list offers some nicely priced wines, especially Rieslings, that go well with duck. We happen to really love Rieslings from the Bernkastel area of Germany's Moselle, and we were delighted to find a $40 bottle of Bernkastel Spatlese on the list. Instead of that, we received instead a Piesporter Michelsberg Auslese by the same company, which the server immediately opened and had me taste. No matter what we said, the server didn't seem to understand that this was a different wine. We would have expected to be told that they no longer had the wine we wanted and that this was what they were substituting. It was delicious, so no harm done, but if a server doesn't understand the differences in German wines, he should fetch someone who does.
Nevertheless, this is an excellent addition to the upscale Asian dining scene in South Beach, which doesn't have a lot of Asian restaurants of any caliber.