Shanea Savors: Blackbrick
Fresh and flavorful Chinese cuisine in Midtown Miami
It is located at 3451 NE 1st Avenue, phone # 305-576-8096.
In 2014, Chef Richard Hales was nominated as one of the top 50 Best New Restaurants by Bon Appetite Magazine, and voted best Chinese Restaurant by the Miami New Times.
He continues to whip up hot, cooked to order dishes in his casual, small 60 seat restaurant. You can eat inside or al fresco. The restaurant has graffiti and framed paintings of martial artists and even Keith Richards. The tables are close together, all the better to see what everyone else is ordering.
Chef Hales does a modern take on staple Chinese dishes. His food has flavourful updates to traditional Asian recipes. He is also one of the few restaurants to serve dim sum for dinner. He does a steamed and fried variety. We had the steamed shrimp and cilantro dumpling and a pork bao bun. I have heard mixed reviews on his egg rolls, but everyone at our table enjoyed them. We devoured the Florida shrimp egg roll, in pumpkin sweet and sour sauce and the vegetarian roll with hot mustard sauce.
We tried some house made noodles, the Dan Dan Mian, which were a bucatini noodle with Sichuan pork and peanuts, which reminds me of an Asian Bolognese. I would call it mildly spicy. Some items on the menu are called explosive spicy, so order with care. The shrimp fried rice with green beans and carrots in a cilantro aioli was delicious and a very generous portion. The Chinese fried chicken with ginger scallion and secret spices was a hit at our table. Warning it was extra crunchy, probably due to being double fried. We added two vegetable sides that both packed a punch in the flavour department. The spicy dry wok white cauliflower and the baby eggplant with hoisin are both great. Please note if you are looking for a light dinner, go elsewhere. Things here are rich and on the heavy side.
The menu is large and varied. Each individual dish is made fresh and comes out when ready, piping hot. His produce comes from top Florida purveyors, and he credits them on the menu. For my vegetarian and vegan fans, you will be pleased to note that you can substitute any protein on the menu for tofu, or you can select from a number of veggie preparations.
The drink list is well thought-out with excellent beer, sake, and wine selections.
We ended our meal with homemade waffle fortune cookies. Not only were they good, the fortunes had some pretty modern and funny insights.
Our server Natalie was friendly and very helpful.
So, in conclusion, I can still recommend this small, casual, hip and welcoming eatery!