Finka Table and Tap: Multicultural Fusion from Chef Eileen Andrade
Welcome to MIAbites Guest Contributor, Eleanor Hoh aka Wok Star. Eleanor is a Miami cooking teacher, creator of Wok Star Kit, blogger and soon a digital content producer. Follow her on Instagram @wokstar. Her website is: http://eleanorhoh.com.
Expect the unexpected when you visit Finka Table and Tap, a Cuban, Korean, Peruvian Fusion gastropub, inside a brick building in West Kendall that previously housed a KFC. It is a 260 seater that would make any chef/owner run a mile, but not pint sized Chef Eileen Andrade. She’s a little firecracker with enough energy to shoot off a rocket!
I love the many ways the restaurant is divided into cozy areas which include a wonderful greenhouse terraced dining room and not one, but two bars, famous for their eclectic cocktails and craft beers. The vintage, rustic, shabby chic decor makes you feel as if you’re in a dining room of a private home and not a restaurant.
It is exciting to see that Eileen has found her own niche. It all started when she fell in love with Korean food after traveling to Korea and learning to cook alongside an old Korean lady. Her mentor then was a Peruvian chef and with her Cuban background, when she put all three flavors together, she knew it would work. Of course, only after having her friends be her willing guinea pigs. This video showcases her philosophy and how Finka came about.
Her grandparents opened and her family still owns today the much-respected Isla Canarias, and both locations are located near Finka. Wow, that was some genius marketing to capture the demographic of people who enjoy Isla. I know foodies who travel 2 hours to get their fill of her outrageous fusion dishes. You just have to see the stack of meal tickets on Instagram every night to understand Finka’s popularity.
I love Eileen’s concept, I always enjoy a good mash up, as it’s how I cook and encourage my Wok Stars to do the same. I would rather have people cook good food with a mix of ethnic flavors than put out mediocre traditional dishes. Her menu is clever, she covers a wide spectrum of dishes from flatbreads, wok dishes to lighter fare and lots of vegetarian options as well as the more unusual Ostrich or Bison and what about that Cuban Bibimbap!
We started with Korean Brussels Sprouts with Bacon and topped with crispy noodles, which were crunchy and tasty, just how we like it.
Duroc Pork Belly with Sriracha Glaze had a crispy skin and was very succulent.
The Alligator Jalea, Amarillo with Salsa Criolla was very tasty, I would have preferred without salsa because it made my alligator not as crispy, but that was just my personal preference.
The KFC Korean Fried Chicken was covered in a fiery blend of Gochujang and a sweet chili sauce, very tender and yummy; and finally a Cuban Fried Rice with shrimp, maduros, pineapple, red peppers, cilantro aioli and fried egg. Now I know why Hispanics and Latinos love fried rice, heaven in one bowl.
Rock on Eileen! To read more of Eleanor's full article about Finka Table and Tap visit link below: