One of Miami Beach’s most upscale neighborhoods is getting a fancy Chinese dinner club this summer.
From hospitality veteran Ken Ray comes Jia, which will bring upscale Cantonese-style cuisine to the South of Fifth neighborhood. The restaurant, which features a wrap-around marble bar at its heart, has an outdoor patio as well as indoor dining and a private lounge and dining area that can seat up to 25 guests for exclusive dinner parties.
The menu will be curated by internationally known executive chef Weng Choon “William” Lai, who won the Gold Award at the Chinese Cuisine World Championship Competition in 2016 as well as the Asian Gourmet Chef Individual Special Gold Award in 2017. He has worked in restaurants in Beijing, Thailand, Cambodia and Macau, including the Michelin guide-listed Pak Loh Chiu Chow.
Diners will soon have the chance to try specialties from his hometown, like Chef’s Master Char Siew, a honey-roasted pork dish. He’ll also serve up such menu items as crispy mushroom salad, black truffle sticky rice, short rib dumplings, Peking Duck and Alaska Crab Cream Egg.
“Jia’s menu fuses authentic Chinese delicacies with a contemporary twist that emboldens each dish with a variety of seasonings and spices to create that strong depth of flavor,” the chef said in a press release. “It’s a really exciting menu.”
Because South Beach needs its fancy beverages, Jia will also have a specialty cocktail program featuring drinks like the Jungle Bird, made from baijiu, mezcal, strawberry-infused Apertivo, grilled pineapple and lime. The restaurant also prides itself on its champagne pairings, with champagnes available by the glass as well as the bottle.
But Jia isn’t just about fine dining. The restaurant hopes to be something of a late-night entertainment venue, with nightly music and a special, late-night dim sum on weekends, which fits in with the South of Fifth vibe, according to Ray.
“We let the neighborhood and space dictate the Jia concept,” he said in a release. “The South of Fifth community has the heart of a small island in the Pacific, and the vibrancy of an exceedingly electric city. There couldn’t be a more ideal spot of Jia’s introduction in Miami.”
Where: 808 First St., Miami Beach
Opening: July 2021
Hours: 5:30 p.m.-midnight Monday-Wednesday; 5:30 p.m.-2 a.m. Thursday-Saturday; 5-11 p.m. Sunday. Special dim sum menu available 11 p.m.-1 a.m. Thursday-Saturday.