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Sampling The Street Food-Inspired Fare at The Surfcomber's Lantao Kitchen

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  Site Where: 1717 Collins Ave [map], Miami Beach, FL, United States, 33139
February 1, 2012 at 10:15 AM | by | ()

The reason we were scoping out the lobby designs at The Surfcomber the other day? We were heading to the hotel's new Lantao Kitchen for lunch.

We were intrigued by the sound of street-food-inspired South East Asian cuisine and a casual setting where sharing plates was welcome. Miami Beach is a bit of a wasteland when it comes to good Asian food (aside from sushi), and we were hankering for some spice.

Since Lantao is located towards the back of the hotel, out by the pool, we got to stroll through the lobby and enjoy the gorgeous Miami weather en route. There is outdoor seating available but we opted for the air-conditioned comfort inside.

The restaurant is still new--which was obvious from our lack of dining companions. Never mind, the staff were friendly and free of any South Beach attitude.

We liked the colorful decor (it reminded us a little of the Viceroy Miami) and the novelty of the menu, which you can check out in our gallery.

We opted for a Rock Shrimp Po Boi, which had just the right amount of kick and came with devilishly salty French fries, and also shared the Charred Squid Salad (meh--although it was vastly improved with a dash of spicy fish sauce) and the Charred Fish Tacos, which were good even though the bun made it a bit starchy. We're keen to return and try more dishes--and break into the interesting beer list, which includes brews from China, Thailand, Japan and India.

We don't often feel this encouraged by a first visit to a new Miami restaurant, which is great news for the Surfcomber. If they can woo locals as well as hotel guests, they'll find themselves busy.

And when word gets out that you can have a yummy Asian lunch for two at around $36, we think that's going to happen sooner rather than later.

[All photos: Rebecca Wallwork for HotelChatter]

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