Pull up to the Shoppes of Wilton Manors on a Friday night and the party crowd spills out into the parking lot. The main attraction is the popular gay club Georgie’s Alibi, but there’s also a line out the door at the nearby restaurant, Tee-Jay Thai and Sushi. Open since February 2011, this new, sexier sibling to Fort Lauderdale’s Tee-Jay offers a mix of regular tables and low tatami tables — these Japanese tables have a hole in the center for more comfortable seating, but if you plan to have a few sake bombs you might prefer a table.
Tee-Jay, named after two cousins, is owned by six family members, including longtime restaurateur Khrua Wan — who also owns Thai House 2 in North Miami Beach and Tamarind in Deerfield Beach — and her daughter Winnie Gebhard. Tee-Jay has an extensive sushi menu and a huge selection of Thai and Japanese dishes, but the friendly staff will offer recommendations if you’re stuck.
Ambience: The 83-seat space looks unassuming from the outside, but step inside and the decor is either very cool or over-the-top, depending on your style. The interior is glowing with purple and blue lighting (we love the multicolored lights shaped like jellyfish at the sushi bar), but to add warmth, there’s wood furniture, orchids and decorative Thai skeleton leaves.
- Four delicious, silky steamed Thai dumplings stuffed with ground steamed chicken, shrimp and shiitake mushrooms
- Crunchy kimono shrimp rolls – small shrimp, chicken and surimi stuffed into crisp rice skin wrappers
- Bracing & refreshing start seaweed salad lightly tossed with vinaigrette and sesame seeds
- Terrific tuna tetaki – thin ruby red gems lightly seared and sprinkled with sesame seeds
- The opulent Tee-Jay roll – shrimp tempura, cucumber, asparagus & cream cheese served inside out then topped with tuna, salmon and spicy mayo
- Simple Thai-style chicken fried rice with fluffy jasmine rice tossed, fried egg, sweet onions, scallions and a light soy sauce
- Rich, sweet, creamy and aromatic chicken panang curry with peanutty flavor, coconut milk, bell peppers and a slight kick
- Ultra light fried bananas in rice skin wrappers then drizzled with chocolate sauce
What Didn’t Work
- The Atlantic Roll made with escolar