If you were a Top Chef fan during its early seasons (can you believe the show is gearing up for its 15th run?!) chances are you know who Dale Talde—the unapologetic and outspoken American-Filipino chef—is. Not because he won Top Chef Chicago 2008 or Top Chef: All Stars (cause he didn’t), but because there’s a certain presence about the guy who’s honed his culinary culinary chops at places like Morimoto and Buddakan. Almost two years ago, Talde brought his talents to South Beach to open his first eponymous restaurant outside of New York. And it’s that high-octane energy, along with some seriously flavorful food, that keeps locals and visitors coming back to Talde for more of what he’s dishing out.
On any given night (when Talde is in Miami) you might find the extraverted chef walking around Talde in a bathrobe, gold chain, and slippers (freestyling about Korean fried chicken), or trying to put down as many shroom buns as his 5-foot team member in a bao bun eating competition—both true stories. But our personal favorite time(s) with Talde are when he’s sat down with us for late-night ramen on Saturday (hungover) after a successful night in the 305, which usually always involves some type of awesome story and E11even.
Late-night ramen aside, however, Talde has now introduced a daily happy hour exclusively available in the redesigned lounge area. On the menu: Dollar Kung Pao Chicken Wings (as in the same chicken wings Food & Wine named one of the best in the country). There’s also half off beers, wine by the glass, and select cocktails including a Lychee Martini that doesn’t suck with Beefeater gin, Hana lychee sake, soho lychee liqueur, citrus bitters, lemon and lime . And that’s not all—there are also a slew of new dishes to savor like Zesty Shrimp Toast, buttered and grilled to perfection with preserved vegetables and soy vinegar aioli and Avocado Bao Buns with tempura avocado, pickled squash, cilantro, and spicy mayo.
While there’s still oodles of noodles, the Hong Kong variety with minced pork, Chinese sausage, and smoked oyster sauce will have you thinking of noodles all day. Walnut Shrimp with twice-cooked long beans and lucky orange elicit childhood nostalgia (Canton, anyone?) with each and every bite. Chicken Fried Rice pays homage to Miami’s love for arroz con pollo with chicken—wait for it—chicharrones and has more Asian flair thanks to basil, dill, scallions, and bean sprouts than the Cuban rendition. Plus, it’s a hell of a hangover cure.