Ding, ding, ding! New Miami food hall, Julia and Henry’s serves up Asian cuisine, all on one floor. The newest curated food hall with a lineup of numerous celebrity chefs finally opened in downtown Miami in the iconic art deco building that housed Walgreens. Story goes this food hall was named after Julia Tuttle and Henry Flagler, considered “the mother and father of Miami”!
About the decor:
Your first impression of Julia and Henry’s is, WOW! You’re immediately hit by the multi level, colorfully lit up wine cellar (I’ve only seen it blue and pink).
It’s MASSIVE, I like that there’s an atrium in the middle that spans all three floors. With “balconies” on each floor, this makes the food hall very open and light. There’s a modern, see through staircase and walkways which lets light in also and regular staircase in the rear back wall. The design is modern, whimsical, industrial with hints of colors especially with the bar lounge sofas and wall art.
Currently open in the food hall: ground, mezzanine & balcony third floor. Future will be a floor dedicated to music and “experiences”. The third floor balcony showcases SIX Asian Food Concepts and a craft cocktail bar, The Lasseter and that’s where we went straight to! I mean food not bar.
Scout, then action:
I loved visiting with my foodie buddy @epicurean305 we enjoy the same pacing and like exploring new flavors, do check him out on Instagram. We took a quick tour of the SIX Asian food concepts before settling on two: Fried Snapper bowl from Achar and Pork Lechon Gyozas from Hitchi Haika.
We did end up getting a third dish from Osso on the Ground Floor but that’s for another post.
About the 6 Asian Food Concepts:
Created by restauranteur, Maher Murshed, who also opened Byblos in South Beach among many others. His vision with Achar was SPOT ON! He nailed it with all aspects for a fantastic dining experience. I mention this constantly…ambiance, presentation and of course, delicious food. Interesting Achar is tagged as Burmese but Murshed is Bangladeshi and the chef is Peruvian??? I don’t care as long as the food is tasty!
About Achar’s food:
Fried Snapper Bowl, $18 came with basmati rice, turmeric cauliflower & potato, mashed tomato with onions & a gorgeous colorful, chopped salad. I loved this complete meal and it was great value. The fried snapper was dipped in a chickpea batter so it’s gluten free and seasoned with a house mix. The snapper was perfectly executed, moist and tender. You could taste flavors of each ingredient in that beautifully presented bowl.
There were options of tandoori grilled, beef or chicken skewers which looked very tantalizing. I got to film some fiery grill action there. Definitely going back to try those! There was also a Tamarind tossed Chick Pea Bowl for vegetarians.
I managed to have a brief chat with Chef Marco who had worked at Byblos & Bazaar by Jose Andres. Chef definitely has operations organized, you could see colorful bowls laid out ready which just needed the skewered protein. Our dish was ready quite quickly.
He gifted us Sweet Rice Pudding (Firni) served in a traditional earth clay bowl. It’s made with chinigura rice, rose water and pistachios. A flood of food memories rushed at me in the first bite, this dessert reminded me of a semolina dessert my mom used to make in Hong Kong. I loved this sweet end to what was a well thought out concept and most importantly, our Fried Snapper Bowl was really very delicious. Well done Achar!
Japanese Gyozas filled with 7 flavors from around the world by Chef Jose Mendin (Pubbelly & many other food concepts) & Chef Jorge Mijangos. Between $14-$16. We tried Pork Lechon Gyozas with citrus mojo, green herbs. 5 in an order, very tasty and lovely presentation, maybe a little bit teeny.
Lucky @epicurean305 scored a fantastic window seat right next to Hitchi Haika, it was PERFECT for photo taking.
Now, for the other 4 Asian Concepts:
@shimujaflorida Master Ramen Chef Kei San was serving authentic ramen bowl made fresh in front of you. I’ve heard so much about this restaurant. I can’t wait to try, my only issue is I can’t eat a lot of starchy noodles.
@palmarmiami described as “Dim Sum” by Javier Ramirez who also opened Alter, Bachour and Palmar in Wynwood where I’ve dined several times. Described as “blending Latin flavors with modern Asian street food and tropical Miami vibes”! The spicy pork noodles and papaya salad looked scrumptious.
@sankuay by Chef Charles Thomson. A Peruvian-Cantonese Chifa Wok concept and Asian street food. Lomo Saltado looked delightful, priced at $22. I need to try one of his Wok dishes, hey, I am a wok cooking teacher and know a thing or two about this!
@yabairolls serves Japanese hand rolls. Yabai brings the vibrancy of Kabukicho, an entertainment district in Tokyo known for their neon signs!
I would love to hear what Asian dishes you’ve tried or want to try!
Julia & Henry’s is definitely a fun food hall to check out with so many options. Maybe weekday? We went Saturday, around 1:45pm and only waited 5 minutes in line to get in. However, when we came out, the line was half a block long! Or wait a couple more months when it’s not the newest and latest food hall to try?