Local restaurant veteran and hospitality entrepreneur, Ken Ray, is thrilled to announce the opening of Jia, a brand-new modern Chinese Dinner Club concept, nestled in the very heart of Miami Beach’s South of Fifth neighborhood. The dining destination serves as the first to introduce elevated Chinese cuisine to the area, spearheaded by award-winning internationally renowned Executive Chef Weng Choon “William” Lai, with notable expertise in the Modern Cantonese Culinary Arts. Jia extends the ultimate upscale South Beach dining and nightlife experience, in a relaxed and welcoming setting that fuses high-style design with an edgy yet sophisticated ambiance.
“We are beyond thrilled to finally be able to open the doors to Jia and bring such a unique experience to the South of Fifth area – a genuine synergistic fit,” says Ken Ray, Owner of Jia. “From the very start, we let the neighborhood and space dictate the Jia concept. The South of Fifth community has the heart of a small island in the Pacific, and the vibrancy of an exceedingly electric city. There couldn’t be a more ideal spot for Jia’s introduction in Miami.”
Jia’s menu presents an elevated combination of authentic Cantonese-style Chinese dishes with a contemporary spin on the classics, that exudes an elegant fusion of ingredients and flavor profiles. The restaurant’s executive chef, Weng Choon “Wiliam” Lai, boasts a long and distinguished history of experience that has earned him many awards, including the Gold Award at the Chinese Cuisine World Championship Competition (2016), the Gold Award at the 19th FHC China International Culinary Arts Competition (2017), and the Asian Gourmet Chef Individual Special Gold Award (2017). Having held leadership roles in multiple prestigious restaurants in Beijing, Thailand, Cambodia, and Macau, including the Michelin guide-listed Pak Loh Chiu Chow restaurant in Macau, Jai’s culinary focus is poised to raise the bar for modern Chinese cuisine standards, beyond that of just South Beach. One of Jia’s standout dishes is Chef’s Master Char Siew, an iconic honey-roasted pork dish representative of authentic Chinese BBQ culture, that has long been a staple of tradition in Chef Weng Choon’s hometown. Chef adds his own creative take to the dish by infusing white wine as the star ingredient, to replace the norm Chinese Rice Wine. There is also a specialty late-night menu available Thursdays through Saturdays, from 11 PM-1 AM, featuring a diverse selection of delicious bites such as Edamame Dumplings, Crispy Honey Garlic Chicken, Prawn Siew Mai, and many more.
“Jia’s menu fuses authentic Chinese delicacies with a contemporary twist that emboldens each dish with a variety of seasonings and spices to create that strong depth of flavor,” says Chef Weng Choon “William” Lai, Executive Chef of Jia. “It’s a really exciting menu that doesn’t fall short on offerings for guests to enjoy from Jia’s Crispy Mushroom Salad, to Black Truffle Sticky Rice, Short Rib Dumplings, Pekin Duck, Alaska Crab Cream Egg, and so much more!”
BEVERAGE PROGRAM 佳
Jia’s cocktail program is led by acclaimed local bartender and internationally-recognized Bartender of the Year Finalist at the 2013 United States Bartenders’ Guild and DIAGEO World Class U.S. Bartender Competition, Michael Parish. Having worked alongside some of the city’s top bartenders at two of Miami’s local’s favorite establishments, Broken Shaker and Sweet Liberty Drinks & Supply Co., Parish has designed a uniquely elevated cocktail menu to perfectly complement Jia’s signature Chinese cuisine. One of the menu’s headliner cocktails is the delicately crafted Jungle Bird, made with Baijiu, Mezcal, Strawberry-Infused Apertivo, Grilled Pineapple, and Fresh Lime. Guests can also look forward to a tableside cocktail service and an extensive champagne pairing program, available by the glass and bottle.
DESIGN & AMBIANCE 佳
Jia’s ambiance embodies the playfully polished vibe of its South of Fifth neighborhood home, with a design that reflects Jia’s bold personality and inherent cultural definition of appreciation and affection. An inspired fusion of Chinese, Art Deco, and Tropical Flair, merge to emit a high-energy spirit that reflects edgy modern elegance throughout the 2,500 sqft. space. International design consultation firm, Casa Conde & Associates, worked hand-in-hand with Jia’s founder, Ken Ray, to conceptualize every minute detail of the venue, from the Chiang Mai Dragon veiled walls to the rustic natural wood accents and focal bamboo chandeliers. At the heartbeat of the enchanting dining room area lies an inviting 12 person seated wrap-around marble bar. Here, Ray tapped famed Miami Ink tattoo artists, Ami James and Morgan Pennypacker to create custom hand-painted Asian tattoo-styled murals to complement the bar’s Raffia backdrop adorned with vibrant detailed Chinoiserie decorative art. Chicly distressed wooden partitions are fitted throughout the venue to create a flow of intimate spaces within. The restaurant features a glamorously decorated private dining lounge and spacious outside dining patio. The private lounge area/dining room lives in the back of the restaurant, with seating for up to 25 guests, offering a closed-off space for exclusive dinner parties and elevated entertainment scheduling such as Karaoke night, which will soon roll out as one of Jia’s weekly night programs. Jia’s music component also plays a fundamental role in catering to the restaurant’s overall dinner club element, with nightly LIVE music activations and music programming by LA-based artist advisor, Hayes Bradley.
“In the movie industry, I’m accustomed to eventized films and experiences that bring audiences together, so I feel right at home partnering on Jia and delivering a memorable experience in an entirely new way,” says Jason Cloth, Jia Partner. “Ken has created a wonderfully unique dinner club that people will absolutely love, in the absolutely perfect location.”
Located in the heart of Miami Beach’s South of Fifth neighborhood, Jia is a brand-new modern Chinese Dinner Club concept, helmed by local restaurant veteran and hospitality entrepreneur, Ken Ray. Sophisticated Cantonese-style dishes, conceived by award-winning internationally renowned Executive Chef Weng Choon “William” Lai, decorously complement the restaurant’s polished and playful ambiance and high-style decor that reflects Jia’s bold and edgy personality. Fusing contemporary gourmet Chinese cuisine, standout signature cocktail programming, and an elevated dinner club entertainment element, Jia aims to redefine South Beach’s ultimate upscale dining and nightlife experience.
Jia is open Mondays-Wednesdays, 5:30PM-12AM | Thursdays-Saturdays, 5:30PM-2AM
A specialty late-night menu is available Thursdays-Saturdays, 11PM-1AM.
Jia is located at 808 1st St, Miami Beach, FL 33139.