Brought to us by Top Chef Season 4 contestant Dale Talde (@), this casual Asian-American restaurant from Brooklyn arrived in Miami Beach in the fall of 2015. The 160-seat restaurant is located inside the Thompson Miami Beach Hotel, which seems like an unlikely location for the grungy space.
The large dark space has concrete floors and graffiti art decorating the walls. It feels like you’re sitting in a basement or a dark alleyway. Hip hop music is pumping through the speakers and the whole vibe of the place doesn’t feel like Miami Beach at all.
Talde is open every day for dinner from 6pm but I don’t think the crowd really picks up until later at night. We had a dinner reservation for 9pm when it was fairly empty but by the time we left, it was packed.
This Miami Beach location is actually the third Talde, after Brooklyn and Jersey City. Executive Chef and Partner Dale Talde was raised by first-generation Filipino immigrants and his food reflects his Asian American roots.
The menu consists of appetizers such as bacon dumplings and yuzu guacamole, noodles including roasted chicken laksa, entrees including skirt steak with wasabi chimichurri and sides like ‘everything’ roti bread. From Thursdays to Saturdays between midnight and 4am they also offer a late night menu.
As for the price points, most appetizers are around the $10-$15 mark, noodles are $15-$18 and entrees hover around $25-$35. We started off with a couple cocktails, the Chinatown – Brugal Añejo, Laird’s applejack, lime, Amarena, cherry, brown sugar ($14) and Bondi Kelly – Brugal especial, carpano antica, Luxardo maraschino, charred pineapple syrup, lime, pineapple ($14).
The first dish to arrive was the Kung Pao Chicken Wings – peanuts and house-made buttermilk ranch (6 for $11 or 12 for $20). These wings were definitely the star of the show tonight. The wings were coated in a thick sweet and spicy sauce and topped with peanuts and scallions. They were served with some ranch dressing on the side which made these wings one delicious mess. They weren’t named one of the best chicken wings in the US by Food & Wine Magazine for nothing!
Up next was another appetizer, the Pretzel Pork & Chive Dumplings – with spicy mustard ($10). It’s a classic pork and chive pot sticker but the skin of the dumpling is prepared like a pretzel (extra crispy and dusted with coarse salt). I liked the crisp exterior of it but the filling wasn’t particularly memorable.
From the noodles section of the menu, we ordered the Crispy Oyster & Bacon Pad Thai – eggs, peanuts, cilantro, chilies ($18). On Talde’s website, they called this one of their signature dishes and for a signature dish (or any dish, for that matter), it was very mediocre.
I found the pad thai rather bland and unfortunately the “crispy” oysters (which weren’t really crispy) and the bacon didn’t do very much to enhance the dish. It sounded intriguing but unfortunately, this pad thai just fell flat for me.
As if we didn’t get enough fried chicken from the wings, we also ordered the Korean Fried Chicken – spicy kimchi yogurt, grapes, mint ($25). With such killer wings, you’d think they know their way around fried chicken but this was another underwhelming dish. The skin had a ridiculously thick and crisp batter (I was afraid I’d chip a tooth!) and the meat wasn’t as moist as I would’ve liked.
What really bothered us about our meal was that our Brussels Sprouts – with green sambal ($11), a side dish, arrived after we had finished the rest of our food so we barely touched it. After we were finished eating the fried chicken, we just figured they had forgotten to put it through but nope, it arrived just as we were ready to throw in the towel.
The timing was really unfortunate as this was one of the better dishes from the evening. While the brussels sprouts may look burnt, they were actually cooked quite nicely and had a great char on them. They were quite saucy with the green sambal and all in all, very tasty.
For dessert, we ordered the Halo Halo – shaved ice sundae with condensed milk, coconut, pineapple, lemongrass, tapioca, topped with Cap’n Crunch. It came in a comically large bowl which could easily feed six people, no problem. It was a unique combination of toppings and for the most part, I felt it worked. Not bad but nothing mind-blowing either.
Overall, I didn’t love Talde. Aside from the wings, I was really underwhelmed. If you want a memorable Asian fusion meal, head over to Pubbelly instead.
At a glance:
- Located inside the Thompson Miami Beach Hotel
- Recently opened in the fall of 2015
- Brought to us by Chef Dale Talde; Top Chef season 4 contestant
- The third Talde location after Brooklyn and Jersey City
- Serving up Asian-American fare (aka Asian fusion)
- Open every day from 6pm until late
- Valet parking in the hotel for $10 if you eat at the restaurant
- Aside from the wings, it was a very underwhelming meal
Ratings (out of 5):
- Food: 2 stars
- Service: 2 stars
- Atmosphere: 3.5 stars