Chef Richard Hales' Sakaya Kitchen has a far-reaching fan base. Sure, Miamians clamor for his honey-orange baby-back ribs and his insanely addictive "chunk'd" spicy cheesy kalbi beef tater-tots.
But the chef, who is a protégé of Jean-Georges Vongerichten and was the opening chef of the Asian station at Café Sambal in the Mandarin Oriental Miami, has received nationwide kudos.
Bon Appétit magazine named Sakaya Kitchen one of the top six places in the nation to "taste the new Asian fusion," and Anthony Bourdain dined at the chef's food truck Dim Ssäm a Gogo for the Miami edition of The Layover. New Times named Hales' mobile endeavor Best Food Truck in Miami and Broward County, and in his review, food critic Lee Klein said a meal at Sakaya Kitchen "would be the best $45 meal you've had in a while."
Now, Hales is tackling Chinese cuisine, and Miami is weeping collective tears of joy.
Blackbrick, scheduled to open this fall 2013 at the former Acme Bakery spot just across the street from his flagship Sakaya Kitchen, will feature Hales' take on Chinese cooking.
The 50-seat restaurant, named for the bricks of black tea that were once used as currency in China, will feature waiter service instead of the fast-casual counter style of Sakaya.
Though the menu is still being finalized, dishes in development include soy milk pancakes with smoked pork, leek flower sauce, and pickled mustard greens; cornmeal congee with wok-fried marrow bones; a selection of handmade, hand-cut noodles; a full dim sum menu; and house-made Chinese charcuterie.
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Also in the works are feasts that feature nose-to-tail dining from whole lamb and pig. There will also be a wide selection of house-made tofu and vegetarian options. All sauces will be made from scratch, and Blackbrick will feature a custom-made wok station. Menu prices will range from $5 to $12 à la carte, and a five-course menu, served all day, will cost $35.
Richard Hales. Chinese food. Miami might now be complete.