I love Asian flavors so I asked Mister H. to come sample some dishes with me. I really needed a salty infusion of soy sauce and the marine and comforting flavor of sushi. He agreed. We went for lunch on a Monday afternoon. When we got there it was almost full. We were welcomed by a server with a brilliant smile; a smile as vivid as a thousand suns….
We were both broke, so we had to keep the bill to a minimum but still enjoy and have a happy chit-chat. We started off with the Asian Nachos.
Asian Nachos ($6.95)
These nachos were crispy wontons topped with shredded braised pork, avocado, tomatoes and cilantro cream. The dish was not very attractive but it was certainly tasty. There was nothing complex going on in the plate but the blend of flavors was comforting in its simplicity and the direct approach of calming hunger in an instant. The cilantro cream added a big dose of liveliness to the nachos.
Lan’s Salad ($6.95)
We also shared a Lan Salad which was a happy mixture of field greens, tomato, cucumber, red onion, wonton crisps and a cilantro- ginger vinaigrette.
Lunch specials (Mon-Sat 11:30am – 3pm)
I stuck to the lunch special as a main dish and ordered the Red Curry Beef. All lunch specials include miso soup, salad and a California roll. I did not realize how much food this would be and as the “sides” arrived at the table, how to fit all this in one stomach?
The Red Curry Beef ($8.95) itself, was infused with a deep and gorgeous flavor. They used skirt steak for this, which I have never seen used in this dish before. Skirt Steak is a long, flat cut that is prized for its flavor rather than tenderness, so it has to be cut against the grain in order to soften it… Sweet potato, onions, mushrooms, snow peas, red peppers and spinach provided additional depth: a veritable vegetable garden in a bowl brimming with coconut broth and morsels of steak.
Another lunch special was the Garlic Chicken which was also very yummy: chicken breast grilled with roasted garlic and lemongrass. What was not to like?
Beef Flat Noodles ($12.95)
Mister H. opted for the Flat Noodles with Beef. It smelled like heaven. It was a concoction of rice noodles, beef, bell peppers, bean sprouts, spinach, onions, chives and garlic-soy sauce. Mister H. liked it even though he was not too keen on the beef. He asked me to take a bite and I thought it was good but the texture of skirt steak, if too thinly sliced and stir fried for too long, can be a bit stringy for some folks. I did take the leftovers home and my kids enjoyed it.
On another day, my sister, Yasmin and I came for desserts only.
Thai Donuts ($4.95)
For dessert, Thai Donuts were compulsory, seeing that Yasmin is totally obsessed with them. These were served with three sauces: strawberry, chocolate, and condensed milk, the chocolate sauce being the hands-down winner.
Bubble Teas ($4.00 to $4.50)
Bubble Tea is a specialty in Lan Pan Asian Café, a Taiwanese beverage with large tapioca pearls. Also called Boba Tea. The teas come in two varieties: traditional tea flavors (served over ice) and blended, smoothie-style fruit flavors.
We shared the Canteloupe and Passionfruit-Orange Fruit Smoothies and they were so much fun to drink! The tapioca pearls had a consistency similar to gummy bears but round and dark, floating playfully in the smoothie. Boba teas (their Asian name) are as entertaining as they are tasty and are usually served in clear containers with an extra-wide colorful straw. We got pink straws.
Chef Johnson Teh has over twenty years of experience working in the restaurant business both in Asia and in the United States. He creates dishes that are traditional but are reinterpreted with a light contemporary touch bringing new tastes and textures to classical favorites. Lan Pan-Asian Café specializes in cuisine from Southeast Asia primarily from China, Japan, Thailand and Korea
If you are in the mood for some noodles, exotic Asian fare and Bubble Tea visit Lan Pan Asian Café in Miami and you will not be disappointed.
On the contrary, you will be enchanted.
Lan Pan-Asian Café
8332 South Dixie Highway in South Miami.
Open for business seven days a week, Monday through Saturday, from 11:30 am to 3:00 pm for lunch and 5:30 pm to 10:30 pm for dinner. On Sunday, open from 1:00 pm to 9:30 pm.
Bubble Tea Hours:
11:30 am – 10:30 pm Monday – Saturday 1:00 pm – 9:30 pm Sundays.
By Contributor Writer Brenda Benoit