The goods: The revamped Surfcomber hotel channels Southeast Asia with Lantao Kitchen + Cocktails, a stylish noodles and ribs joint named after an island in Hong Kong.
Ambience: Helmed by executive chef Freddy Ortiz (China Grill, Asia de Cuba), Lantao has a classy Shanghai supper club feel with rustic wooden picnic tables, black lacquered chairs, colonial-era printed curtains and an outdoor patio with pool views, beige banquets and red lanterns.
The grub: Eclectic, authentic (and spicy) Asian street food. Dishes are served family-style and the menu is divided into four categories: Gansig (snacks), Shala (salads), Bo ling (bowls), and Zhuban (main plates). Prices are wallet-friendly: most small plates under $10, noodle dishes $12 and mains $20.
Menu highlights include a spicy papaya and pork belly salad; BBQ pork ribs (pictured); chicken wings marinated for 24 hours in fish sauce; duck confit with refreshing tomato-mint slaw; and Banh Mi “Miami” style with beef, pork belly, pickled vegetables, cilantro and spicy mayo. Crispy Napa cabbage salad comes with a hefty portion of miso-marinated cod; street noodles in spicy coconut broth blends noodles, chicken, shrimp and mushrooms in a fiery soup; and orange duck noodles combines glass noodles and shredded duck in a citrus broth. A short Western “pub” section adds items like fish and chips, an 8oz Angus burger and spinach and bacon salad.
Save room for a generously portioned ice cream sandwich with coffee and cinnamon ice cream or black rice pudding topped with dragonfruit puree and coconut cream.
Verdict: Well-priced Asian delicacies at the Surfcomber’s handsome new spot.