Adventures in Asian dining

Adventures in Asian dining

Article from: – South Florida Sun Sentinel
Published on: October 3rd, 2014
By John Tanasychuk

To hear their names, you wouldn’t know that GoBistro, Temple Street Eatery and Chow were Asian restaurants. Their menus certainly don’t fall into the classic Chinese/Thai/sushi format so popular across South Florida.

Instead, these newcomers to Broward County specialize in Asian food for a new generation. It’s not quite Asian street food, although that idea pops up on at least one menu. Fluorescent pink sweet-and-sour sauce is nowhere to be found. Soup appears on all three menus, but it only soars at GoBistro.

GoBistro serves lots of sushi, but if you ask me, the best things on the menu are Gangnam chicken wings ($10) and Japanese noodle soup ($11-$12). Those crisp, spicy wings are by all rights Korean, but the trio behind GoBistro trace their roots to China (Andrew Gong), Brazil (Joao DaSilva) and Thailand (Niti Masintapan).

Masintapan prepares the wings, which are flavorful from the spicy crunchy skin to the moist and intensely seasoned meat near the bone. These may be the best Asian chicken wings I’ve ever been served.

Sushi is a marvel here, with the rice in rolls used sparingly instead of as a filler. Yakitori ($3-$4) can be had in all its permutations, including chicken, beef tenderloin, teriyaki-marinated strips, and prawn. They’re a nice match for any of the 15 varieties of sake. Ahi poke ($12) is excellent, but it needs a cracker for serving.

If you’re looking for well-prepared Japanese noodle soup, GoBistro is your go-to restaurant. Gong traveled to Japan to learn the fine points of broth and noodles. While they’re right now buying frozen noodles, they hope to one day invest in the $10,000 machine that makes fresh noodles. The broth, however, needs no work. Diners choose between tonkotsu or pork broth, miso, shoyu light soy-based broth or a curry broth reminiscent of Malaysian cuisine.
GoBistro has just 50 seats, with a shallow bar along one wall that they hope to expand. The walls are covered with wallpaper murals of the Tokyo skyline. While service can be hasty, the wait staff and the cooks you see in the open kitchen display an earnestness and pride that makes this my favorite of the three restaurants.

Masintapan prefers not to use the word “authentic” when talking about his menu. Instead, GoBistro respects tradition, he says.

“If we like it, we serve it. We don’t just serve it because it will sell.”

Cuisine: Asian
Cost: Inexpensive-moderate
Hours: Noon-2 a.m. Tuesday-Saturday
Reservations: Not accepted
Credit cards: All major
Bar: Beer, wine, sake
Sound level: Noisy when full
Outside smoking: Yes

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