By Mitchell Nover
Phuc Yea (7100 Biscayne Blvd, MiMo) is the brainchild of husband and wife team, Chef Cesar Zapata and Aniece, of The Federal fame. But, did you know, that Phuc Yea was actually their first restaurant collaboration? That’s right, the Viet-Cajun concept (yes, you read that right) was born back in 2011 as Miami’s first pop-up restaurant, and now this true labor of love is back in full-force with its own permanent space and an innovative Vietnamese inspired, Cajun influenced menu that is “phucking” fantastic.
Menu highlights: I recently visited for a taste of Phuc Yea’s take on Sunday brunch. As expected, this is not your typical brunch fare, but rather a twist on Dim Sum service, featuring new twists on classic dishes with their special fusion flare. The dishes come out in true Dim Sum style, randomly and constantly, and all you have to do is decide what looks good. The rest is eat, enjoy, repeat.
Here’s what I ate: Smoked Duck “Chao Vit” (duck confit gravy, corn grits, wood ear mushroom, corn, and scallion); PY Noodles (egg noodles, parmesan, oyster sauce, and garlic chives); Salt ‘N Peppa Fishies & Shrimp (salt ‘n pepper mix and Sriracha aioli); Cajun Fried Rice (Andouille sausage, crawfish tails, Chinese sausage, pineapple, oyster sauce, Sriracha remoulade, and fried egg); and Silver Dollar Pancakes (ricotta cream, bananas, Vietnamese coffee, and dark rum).
Standout dishes: Not your mama’s brunch benedict, the L’oefs Benny bring smoked pork shoulder, cha lua, and hollandaise sauce on a Federal biskit. First of all, this dish is everything that’s right about the Viet-Cajun concept: rich, smokey pork, a salty and a slightly sweet slice of cha lua (a Vietnamese sausage/ham), and a decadent, creamy hollandaise. It’s a perfect balance and the dim sum size is just right so you don’t fill up on the otherwise heavy dish. Second of all, hello Federal biskit. Welcome back, old friend.
Another standout is the Pig Wing & Waffles. Yet another cameo by an old Federal favorite, the fried pig wing is no longer glazed in Buffalo sauce, but rather “phreshened” up with sweet & sour sauce, pineapple, bell pepper, and chilies, all atop a crispy and light waffle. Simply delightful.
Are we boozing? Phuc yeah, we are! And not only are we boozing, but we’re drinking pink with bottomless rosé and rosé Prosecco for $22. #RoséAllDay (well, there’s actually a 2-hour time limit).
Check this place out if you like: …and miss The Federal. #SadFace #GoneButNotForgotten
Mitch’s take: As the old saying goes, “you win some, you dim sum.” Oh wait, I just made that up. Regardless, at Phuc Yea, you do both, and in all seriousness, it’s no secret that I’m a big fan of Chef Cesar and Ani. They’re a super creative and extremely friendly and down-to-earth couple, and that comes across loud and clear in any dining experience that they put together. But you can tell that Phuc Yea is a true passion for them, making this Dim Sum brunch experience one that is not to be missed.