Tee Jay Thai Sushi, nestled among the Shoppes of Wilton Manors, has been a staple of our little GLBTQ community for over 9 years. Upon entering, the modern Asian decor looks more like one of the neighboring trendy bars, rather than a traditional Thai eatery. One half of the room is separated by a giant aquarium with neon fish built into a half wall flanked on each side by banquettes. If you are longing for a more traditional experience, the other side of the room is for you with the Japanese-style tearoom tables. Dramatic lighting, metal sails attached to the ceiling and lavender bathed walls all add to the beautiful interior. With a setting like that, the food presentation has a lot to live up to and at Tee Jay’s, they do not disappoint. Each plate presented looks like an eatable sculpture.
On this particular day, I arrived with my lunch companion and was greeted by general manager Jackie Semukdha. Neither of us were prepared for the lavish lunch we were about to enjoy. Jackie explained that Tee Jay’s takes pride in using only all-natural products with no MSG, hormones or antibiotics and they never accept anything produced in China. The staff, most of which have been with the company between five and nine years, makes everything from scratch daily using strict proprietary recipes.
Jackie sat with us during the meal and explained everything that we were served in great detail. Our waitress, Bee, brought out our first course…an appetizer called the Sashimi Bomb. Imagine Sashimi sushi fell in love with Latin America and had a lovechild named Japanese Ceviche! Delicate slices of raw tuna, white fish, salmon and conch are lightly tossed with cucumber, red onion slivers and Tee Jay’s special dressing… a mind-blowing Kimchee Yuzu sauce. This is a “must order” for both Asian and Latin food connoisseurs!
Next, a beautiful sushi course was presented. What literally looked like a dragon on a plate was actually a magical combination of Thai and Japanese cuisine. The Massaya Roll contains King Crab tempura, salmon, white and yellowtail tuna topped with mango and red pepper salsa, red curry and wasabi cream. This dish is truly a work of art!
For mains, Jackie selected the Duck Pad Thai and the Seafood Red Curry for us. The Pad Thai is available with chicken or shrimp but don’t be boring… go with the duck! This famous Thai pasta dish is turned on its ear with the addition of a Tempura fried duck breast, sliced and topped with scallions, egg and bean sprouts served over rice noodles which have soaked up the goodness of a Thai peanut and Tamarind sauce made with palm sugar.
Equally enchanting was the Mixed Seafood Red Curry. Mouthwatering shrimp, colossal scallops, squid rings and mussels swim among vegetables and a sauce made of red curry paste, rich coconut milk, bamboo shoots, red pepper and fresh Thai basil. Be sure to sop up every bit of the sweet and slightly spicy sauce with the fragrant side of Jasmine rice. If you aren’t a shellfish fan, feel free to substitute tofu, salmon, tuna, cod, crispy duck, crispy whole snapper, sea bass or lobster tails. Wow…we certainly left delighted with full bellies and a giant to go bag after that Queen-sized feast!
Tee Jay Thai Sushi is a brilliant gem tucked in a strip mall on Wilton Drive. With impeccable service, the freshest ingredients and innovative recipes, they have managed to flourish for years in a town where the clientele can be very fickle in just months. Their price point may be slightly higher than your average Thai restaurant, but the old adage is definitely true in this case… “You get what your pay for!”
Tee Jay Thai is located at 2254 Wilton Drive in the Shoppes of Wilton Manors and is open seven days a week for both lunch and dinner. Reservations are available at 954-537-7774 and are highly suggested for dinner, especially on the weekend.