Any new restaurant that offers an Asian dumpling assortment immediately gets our attention and Temple Street Eatery has been on our radar since it opened a short time ago. Temple Street Eatery is located on US1 in Fort Lauderdale right in the middle of all that exciting new construction, just north of Broward Blvd. The concept at Temple Street Eatery is Asian-American Comfort Food and is owned by the same team behind Christina Wan’s (just north a few blocks). Look for the happy Buddha face on the banner next to Fresh Market and you’ve found it.
Temple Street Eatery recently opened and the space looks very nice. Grey tiles and light wood tones make the place look sleek and the large number of windows allows for lots of natural light. There is bar seating (craft beers are on tap) next to the ordering counter to the back of the restaurant and you can even see into the kitchen a bit. Being ‘fast-causal’ means that you order and pay at the counter, they give you your number to place on the table and they bring out your food when it’s ready.
The menu was larger than expected and was sectioned off into Small Bites, Dumplings, Rice Bowls, Noodles (Add Ons), Salads, Sandwiches and Sides. It was hard to decide, since they had quite of few items that sounded really good. We were in a shareable type mood so went with a few Small Plates, Dumplings and a Side. Ordering was a breeze and the cashier was very helpful and didn’t skip a beat.
In almost no time, she read back our order and had our total ready. They have the cool new POS system that looks like its iPad based. My credit card was swiped, then they swivel the tablet around to sign, with your finger! Cool! They do have a spot to designate a tip in set percentages, but you can also opt to decline the tip or leave cash on the table. I chose to have the receipt emailed to me (love this feature) and that was it. Our order number in hand we found a seat. Our first item came out in maybe 10 minutes, with spacing of the remaining orders at about 10 minutes each.
Wonton Tacos ($8) – Poached shrimp, guacamole, lettuce gochujang cream, pineapple salsa. You get three with this order and we liked them a lot. The shells were light and crisp and not greasy and the shrimp had a fresh flavor.
The pineapple salsa was outstanding as well, very fresh and bright. Good thing we could easily cut the third piece in half so we didn’t have to fight to see who got it.
Kimchi Quesadilla ($7) – Lemongrass grilled chicken, kimchi, caramelized onion, cheddar jack, gochujang cream, guacamole, pico de gallo. This was a large portion with four pieces, so it’s easily split (unless there are an odd number of people). While it looked almost burned, it tasted great. No hint of charring on the outside as it was nice and soft with a slight crispness.
The kimchi was a bit more mild than expected and the chicken, while it was good, lacked the lemongrass promised in the menu description. We thought maybe there were so many flavors, the lemongrass got a bit lost. The gochujang cream was a bit spicy and they give you plenty to dip into. The guacamole and pico de gallo was really fresh too.
Lemongrass Fries ($5). There was no menu description, just the name. When the fries came, they were crisp, hot and fresh, but lacked any lemongrass flavor. We pondered on if the name really meant they are seasoned with lemongrass, or maybe it’s just a name with no meaning. They were good fries, but we feel they should pump up the seasoning, or explain they just call them Lemongrass Fries to sound more elevated. At $5 it was a bit expensive to be lacking any flavoring.
Buddha Mix Dumplings, 8 pcs ($7.50) – Chicken, Shrimp, Pork and Vegetable Dumplings, two of each. All the dumplings had a similar wrapper, which was very delicate and thin allowing for the flavor of the filling to shine through. These are not pot stickers and a very healthy alternative. We chose the traditional dipping sauce (vinegar and ginger) which was a bit on the sweet side. Here is the description and our thoughts on each dumpling type:
- Shrimp Dumpling – Minced Shrimp, house seasoning. The filling, while simple, really packed a good shrimp flavor.
- Pork Dumpling – Ground Pork, nappa cabbage. This was one of our favorite dumplings and we could taste some ginger too.
- Chicken Dumpling – Ground Chicken, onion, nappa cabbage. Another one of our favorites. The chicken seemed to have lots of flavor layers too.
- Vegetable Dumpling – Edamame, carrot, vermicelli noodle. A good attempt at a healthy dumpling, the filling was lacking some flavor and they seemed a bit under filled.
Overall we liked our visit to Temple Street Eatery and felt that after only being open a short time, they seem to be running things very well. The menu seems pretty solid with only a few tweaks needed to really hit it home. We would definitely return and try some other menu items, like the noodles and sandwiches. We smell local chain possibilities too.
Temple Street Eatery is located at 416 N Federal Hwy Fort Lauderdale FL.