Shima - Exploring the tastes of Asia
Located in western New Providence and offering a mix of mainland and Southeast Asian cuisine, Shima sits atop the Island House with a breathtaking view of the landscape and hums of the nearby airport. Arriving for dinner, I appreciated the crème-colored canopies that added to the relaxing vibe of the restaurant as well as cushioned seating with stylish pillows. Reviewing the menu in advance, I was aware of their gluten-free, spicy (mild to hot) and vegan options which made it easier to navigate through the selection and is highly beneficial for those with food sensitivities. I also liked how their menu was really designed as more of a tasting, allowing you to try foods in various preparations and forms - from whole to dissected and raw to fully cooked.
So with the concept of taking the diner through multiple forms of the cooking process - I decided that I must follow suit by enjoying an item from 3 menu sections. Let's taste and explore, shall we?
My fellow diner and I started with the small Salmon Poke poke. The poke bowl is a traditional Hawaiian dish of diced raw fish (usually Aku or tuna) with other garnishes and seasonings. Shima’s salmon poke bowl had a lightly seasoned and fresh taste; with the flavor highlights of pineapple, salmon and charred corn (topped with onion and sesame seeds). It was a perfect appetizer that was a delight for the eyes and the appetite. To Share, the Crispy Soft Boiled eggs with Thai basil and roti was my favorite dish of the night - with not even a crumb left on the plate! Its golden, crispy exterior masked the smooth, soft and delicious center , which was perfectly complemented by the Chili jam and sliced roti.
Next were the amazingly soft bao buns of baozi that were like fluffy clouds between my fingers and in my mouth. This traditionally Chinese steamed bun can easily be a meal in itself if you order 3 -4 (one of each on the menu). I recommend the caramelized pork belly (Gua bao in Chinese) as it has a nutty flavor that accents the chili jam.
Ending at our entrees, we ordered the steamed barramundi (Asian sea bass or giant perch that is high in Omega 3s) with bok choy, lemon grass, coconut and turmeric. The fillet was flaky and moist texture – pairing well with each of the meal’s components. The Massaman curry (a mild curry with flavors of star anise, cloves and cardamom) braised beef brisket was tender and rich in flavor (accented by the shallots). Both dishes were paired with a side of Jasmine Rice.
With moderate wait times, low key vibes and a clean atmosphere. I appreciated my stay and would recommend it for brunch, a small social gathering in the evening or a light dinner option. P.S. The Crispy eggs are a must!
Tip: For those who are feeling adventurous there is a ‘Feed Me’ option that allows you to have the chef features his favorite dishes to taste and share. There is also an intimate seating for 8 at the sushi bar for those who enjoy the sushi experience.
Let's chat! Have you visited Shima? What is your favorite dish?
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