The China Grill at the Fort Lauderdale Hilton off the 17th Street Causeway is a little hard to find (situated weirdly under a bridge), but once you find it, you'll be glad you did. Whereas 99 percent of Florida restaurants decorate with some variations of flip-flops, fishing nets, flat-screen TVs, and old license plates, this dark, cave-like space place feels like a refreshing, swank getaway -- to Asia.
The menu is based on Marco Polo's trips to the Far East, and the Asian theme continues with waiters dressed in all-black outfits that look like a cross between karate pants and a monk's uniform. The place offers great Intracoastal views, stiff drinks, and tasty (if pricey) entrées. Starting on Saturday, August 13, China Grill starts offering a sushi class called "Sake, Maki and Roll" on the second Saturday of every month.
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The class begins with a crash course on the history of sake, and a description of how it's made. Then comes the good part: a tasting of five Ty-Ku Sakes paired with dishes including Tuna Tartare on Wonton Crisps, Salmon Crudo and Dancing Unagi.
Chefs will teach the basics for at-home sushi preparation - the tools, the different types of sushi and, how to make the sushi rice. Get schooled in hands-on sushi rolling instruction from Executive Sushi Chef Songphon Rawangphan.
Wrap the day with "sake fusion cocktails" -- all under 100 calories each -- and dessert. There is a secret "take home gift" as well.
Class runs from 3:30 to 5 pm and the cost is $59. Call 954.759.9950 or visit www.chinagrillmgt.com to reserve a spot.