It was planned originally as a holiday celebration, but getting all of the MIAbites contributors together that busy time of year turned out to be impossible, so two weeks ago most of us met up at Chef Piyarat Potha Arreeratn’s (aka Chef Bee) hot new Thai restaurant NaiYaRa in Sunset Harbour for a family style dinner with menu hand-picked by Chef Bee himself.
Chef Bee selected over 17 dishes from his extensive menu.
But, no evening with Bee begins without cocktails including gin based Gaeng Kiaw and vodka and lemongrass Mekhong Mule. But it is his signature cocktail, the frozen Killer Bee, a Beefeater gin based cocktail with lemon, ginger, lemongrass with the kick of Thai chili that was the favorite.
It was a remarkable evening of constantly flowing food, with Chef Bee and his knowledgeable servers introducing each dish as they came out of the kitchen.
So instead of running through every dish, the MIAbites team collaborated on their favorite dishes so here they are:
Andrew Giambarba- My favorite dish of the evening was the Waterfall Salad; skirt steak, cucumbers, onions, bell peppers, tomatoes, cilantro. The sweet, salty, spicy, sour flavors all balanced very well. I will order that on my next visit for sure. I was so happy to see the place packed on a Wednesday night. It’s a tribute to how appreciated Chef Bee is in Miami and how many people enjoy his great food and very gracious hospitality.
Jennifer Massolo- The Liquid Projects- My favourite dishes that night were: The Waterfall Salad. As Andy said, it was very well balanced in flavour but also was not drenched with sauce. The Fried Rice. This dish was not much to look at but the flavour was spot on! The Beef Jerky. I loved the flavour and texture of the beef for similar reasons to why I liked the beef salad. Also the dipping sauce and that sticky Burmese yellow rice was the bomb!
Marian Bacol-Uba- Coming from LA, I am always in search of authentic and delicious Asian food, and Chef Bee has really captured Thai food in an understandable way. My favorite dish was the Crispy Duck with Panang Curry. The duck was crispy on the outside and very meaty and the sauce was delicious. We all kept going back with spoonful’s of rice to mop it up.
Amber Love Bond- I'm still dreaming about the brilliant things coming out of Chef Bee's kitchen and it makes it impossible to pick one thing - so I'm going to cheat and pick one from each course! The Crispy Bok Choi was the unexpected winner of our starters. There was so much flavor and texture packed into each crispy little bite! The Beef Jerky and the Thai Street Dumplings are tied for best appetizer. The spices and the flavors were so authentic and on point that I could almost be completely satisfied stopping dinner there - but we didn't! The NY Strip was an incredible entree, cooked to perfection and hands down the prettiest topped with crispy bok choi and colorful flowers! I really loved the use of flowers to decorate the dishes to add an extra pop! Now for the dessert, because as the Dessert Expert we knew that was coming, I went crazy for the Thai Basil Panna Cotta! Typically I gravitate toward chocolate (the Chocolate Pots de Creme is out of control) but there's something about the panna cotta and its freshness that makes it my favorite of the night. The yuzu and fresh strawberries made it so light and refreshing, it was the best possible way to end our meal - well that and the Thai Coffee with Jameson foam.
Ellen Bowen- I actually had to write down all 17 dishes to see what I liked best as overall the whole meal was stellar. Having just been to Thailand, I appreciated the nod to authentic street food in the crunchy and spicy Papaya Salad, the Beef Jerky and the Pad Thai. And swooned over the coconut soup and crispy bok choi with garlic chips. But the sweet and spicy Sriracha Wings were my favorite. And had me licking my fingers and fighting for the last one.
Maria Acevedo - My favorite dish of the night was the Coconut Soup with chicken, mushrooms, coconut milk, chili, lemon. The coconut milk and the acidity of the lemon was a party in my mouth. My only regret was that I didn't ask for more or that the bowl was bigger.
Deanna Dominguez- I would second the Coconut Soup. I also liked the delicate Shrimp Crackers with Truffle Oil as an alternative to bread for something to munch on. They seemed to melt in your mouth as well. I also liked the Crispy Bok Choi. It felt like a vegetable cotton candy! There was soo much food so hard to decide! Just delicious.
NaiYaRa is open for dinner Monday thru Saturday 6-11 pm and Sunday 6-10 pm And now open for Happy Hour 5-7 daily!
1854 Bay Road
Miami Beach, FL
786 275 6005