FTLToday Quik Bite - Wild East Asia Bistro, Ft. Lauderdale
(Wild East Asian Bistro - Las Olas)
Wild East Asia Bistro is located on Las Olas, yet…due to its location, many people don't seem to know about it. It's not on the more 'popular' ends of Las Olas…rather in the middle, off of the small canal at SE 12th Ave. Wild East's' location allows for some 'waterfront' dining with both inside and outside seating areas. With it still being quite warm outside, we opted for indoor.
(Wild East Asian Bistro - small bar tucked in the corner by front door)
The restaurant is deceivingly small on the outside. There is a bar tucked in the front of the restaurant, which had a few people sipping on wine when we arrived. We were sat at a table by the window near the front of the restaurant. The window didn't really give us a view of the canal…the walls of the patio blocked our view. I believe you have a better canal view if you are sat further into the restaurant. Looking around, Wild Asia has a nice look. It's simply decorated with clean lines and muted earth tone colors with large green 'bamboo' trunks separating the kitchen and dining area. The ceilings are high and the whole room is slightly curved, so it gives it some additional personality.
(Wild East Asian Bistro - Dining area)
(Wild East Asian Bistro - Faux Bamboo kitchen separator)
We were greeted right away and ordered a soda and iced tea. Soda is served in small bottles…so no free refills here. Iced Tea is refilled often. The menu was explained to us by our server. They offer a 'Tapas' style menu of like 60 items, which also serves as their appetizers. The large 'card' shows a picture of the dish and they all were $6 each. We chose the Firecracker Calamari and Sweet and Sour Pork. I didn't get to snap a picture since it came out quite fast (sorry about that). Both dishes were steaming hot. The Calamari was not fried and cooked in a spicy/sweet sauce. The calamari was fresh..but cut a little too small. The sauce could have used a little more kick too. The pork was large chunks/strips of fried pork in the sweet and sour sauce. While a few of the pieces were a little tough…it was a good dish.
The menu has a sections that looks like more appetizers, but it's actually their noodle dishes and fried rice. They also have a fairly large sushi roll list. We actually went for the entrees. I ordered the Steamed Sea Bass (trying to be a little healthy) and Jeff ordered the Xian Beef. The entrée seemed to take longer than our 'tapas', which I expected since many in the restaurant were ordering multiple 'tapas' dishes. The kitchen hopped and was cranking out small plates quite fast.
The Steamed Sea Bass is served as a whole fillet with a garlic, ginger and light soy sauce and scallions. You have a choice of white or brown rice…I went for brown. The Sea Bass was flaky and tender…but had a really mild flavor. The 'sauce' was a great accent and I actually could have used a lot more of it. Overall it was a good light choice.
(Wild East Asian Bistro - Steamed Sea Bass)
Jeff's Xian Beef was served 'shredded' (cut into strips/pieces) with peppers, string beans and a Malaysian satay sauce. The server asked if he liked it spicy or mild and he quickly answered spicy. It was also served with rice and he opted for white. The dish was quite a healthy portion and was covered In the Malaysian sauce. While the sauce had a spice/kick…it didn't have the kick he was expecting. He should have said 'extra extra spicy'. Jeff always has a problem at Asian restaurants when he orders something spicy…they never put enough in for him. I'm waiting for the day they really are heavy handed and steam rushes our if ears from the heat…I'll be right there to take a picture too! He finished the portion and was satisfied.
(Wild East Asian Bistro - Xian Beef)
Overall…we liked our visit to Wild East Asia Bistro. It was a relaxing dinner with a cool/hip vibe and it's not only a local spot…but it's a step up from PF Changs. They also have 'Saki-tinis' (Saki mixed with flavors)…which they seemed to be selling a lot of. We'd head back to Wild East Asia and probably try their noodle dishes next time. It's always good to test a place on their Pad Thai.
(Wild East Asian Bistro - The bill...$58.30)
The price for our meal wasn't that different than most on Las Olas. While it was $58.30..we got 2 soft drinks, 2 appetizers and 2 entrees. You could definitly get your bill lower if you stick to the $6 items and the noodle dishes or sushi. Oh...we also had a Living Social coupon....we paid $15 for a $30 voucher....so the actual cost of the meal was $43.30.
Wild East Asia location:
1200 E Las Olas Blvd
Ft. Lauderdale, FL
FTLToday Score: B