The long-awaited opening of Jaya at The Setai is finally here. Many South Floridans have been waiting for this new restaurant concept to open for many reasons. One of them being that Chopped star Mathias Gervais is the Executive Chef behind the concept. The second, of course, being the food.
The restaurant, which seats 200 people, is serving very approachable regional specialities from Southeast and Northern Asian cultures. I have to admit, I had never tried Indian food before until the night I checked out Jaya. Definitely not disappointed.
Jaya, which means ‘victory’ in Sanskrit, was chosen by the team to honor of The Setai’s renowned interior designer Jaya Ibrahim and the hotel’s first decade of successful Asian-inspired hospitality. Executive Chef Mathias Gervais and Executive Sous Chef Vijayudu Veena have collaborated to create standout dishes from Thailand, Vietnam, Korea, India, China and Japan.
To start off I suggest you try the pork belly bao. This plate comes three to an order, so if you aren't very fond of sharing I would order two. It’s that good. You have to order at least one dumpling, and my personal favorite at the moment has to be the truffle dumplings. These guys come with both white truffle mixed into the sauce, as well as topped with black truffle.
Then for your main plates there are so many delicious dishes to choose from. For first timers I would suggest getting the thai plate. When I went to the restaurant the plate came with lamb bhuna, sea bass amirithabi, chicken masala, bhindi tamatar, eggplant kara curry, and saag chana. So flavorful, and the perfect dish to share. Don’t want to share? Order the sea bass, it literally melts in your mouth.
Lastly, for dessert I would suggest you order the dessert tasting because that way you get to try a little bit of everything. Something to note here, this changes everyday depending on what the pastry chef wants make that day! So exciting. I tried the tofu cheesecake, almond bread pudding, nougat glacé, and the mochi.