Kiko

 

Three stars for Plantation Asian Fusion

Kiko Review photo
Richard Huang, the owner of Kiko's Japanese restaurant in Plantation, presents the Smiling Mona, made of tempura, lobster, cucumber, crab, scallions, avacodo, and special house sauce. Photo by Lilly Echeverria
 

Rochelle Koff

Richard Huang isn't waiting for the dust to settle at The Fountains shopping plaza in Plantation. He's already building a new reputation for his Japanese and Thai restaurant, Kiko. Born in Taiwan, Huang was the head chef at Kiko before he took over as owner three years ago. He keeps adding creative rolls and Thai accents, getting ideas from his wife, Rattana, who's from Bangkok. In one roll, for instance, tuna is marinated in a Thai basil sauce with vinegar and capers. The menu is so extensive you could easily drink a bottle or two of sake while you figure out your order.

Kiko offers sushi and sashimi in what seems like every conceivable combo -- the menu changes every few months -- plus hot dishes like traditional Thai soups, tempura, teriyaki, noodle dishes and curries. Most come with soup, salad and rice; some add sushi or sashimi.
 
Ambience: Kiko got a hip makeover when it moved a few doors down because of plaza renovations. Huang has added sleek sushi and saketini bars and a more spacious, contemporary design. Comfy booths that can seat up to eight hug walls decorated with delicate strands of seaweed sealed in acrylic 3-D panels. Earthy hues of deep orange, chocolate brown and field green add a soothing touch to the 150-seat dining room. Though the space is actually smaller, the new design allows for more tables and private parties.
 
What Worked

  • Lobster Lava - a refreshing starter made with slipper lobster (a clawless Australia crustacean that taste like its American counterpart) marinated in house-made eel sauce and served with kimchee and red onions
  • Fish Burned Roll – a suhi roll with  wahoo is scorched on the top, giving it a hint of smoke
Greaselsss chicken katsu lightly battered in panko bread crumbs and deep-fried
  • Chicken panang curry snow peas, bell peppers and meat marinated in coconut milk
  • Delicious pud keemow (with a choice of chicken, beef, shrimp or seafood) - rice noodles stir-fried with onions, bell peppers, basil, scallions and carrots in a pepper sauce with a slight kick
  • Not-too-sweet beef teriyaki studded with apples for a fruity accent
  • Super-decadent fried cheesecake
  • Thai donuts with sweetened condensed milk for dipping
  • Fried bananas 
Mango sticky rice with coconut milk

 

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