Friday, May 5, 2017

Local Eats: Say Hello to Ocean Hai

Sushi and sashimi display

Last Friday I had the pleasure of attending a blogger dinner at Ocean Hai - the asian fusion restaurant located inside of the beautiful Wyndham Grand on Clearwater Beach. I was so happy to receive the invite and try out this restaurant. The entire meal was delicious, from the cocktail hour to the main courses! Today I'm sharing with you all of the yummy food we got to enjoy while we were at Ocean Hai.

The invite to the dinner came from Chef John Capponi, more formally known as the Chef de Cuisine at Ocean Hai.

I brought my sister Kaci along as my plus one for a night of drinks, food, and music from upcoming local country music singer Aubrey Wollette (side note: check her out immediately). We arrived a little early to walk the Wyndham property. This is one of those hotels that every time you drive by it on Clearwater Beach, you have to wonder if the inside is just as beautiful as the outside. Spoiler alert: it is.

As the evening began we hung out by the pool area around high tops, with drinks in hand during the cocktail hour. Servers floated freely and passed around h'ordeurves. Hands down my sister and I's favorite one was the shrimp toast. Seriously delicious.

Shrimp toast

Sushi and sashimi display

Sushi and sashimi display

Once the cocktail hour ended, we moved inside to begin our adventure into the dinner entrees. Ocean Hai's atmosphere oozes classiness - there's honestly not a bad seat in the house. Kaci and I were seated with a gorgeous view of the water and sunset. I could see where this restaurant would be so prime for a fancy date night with your hubs, or classy evening out with friends. I'm keeping it on my list to bring Ben back to for an anniversary dinner.

We started our meal out with the plated baby beets and an order of edamame. Both were fantastic! The baby beets were almost too pretty too eat. ALMOST. They were accompanied by mini spring rolls filled with goat cheese and caramelized onion:

Baby beets

For our entrees, I ordered the Tandoori Spiced Scallops (very Indian-esque) and Kaci had the Lobster Fried Rice. I am big on scallops and the ones from Ocean Hai are no exception to deliciousness. I LOVED the Indian style spin on them, especially with the cauliflower yogurt puree. The crispy chick peas were a bonus on the plate. I made sure to try a bite of Kaci's as well. The chunks of lobster in the fried rice were generous, and the egg on top was delightful. I would recommend either dish if you plan on trying out Ocean Hai.

Tandoori Spiced Scallops
To end the night on a sweet note, Chef Capponi recommended an off-menu treat: Pandan waffles with drizzles of sea salt caramel, topped with candied walnuts. That's not all. It was accompanied by the most delicious ginger ice cream. Holy wowza. My taste buds were literally in a dessert dream with this one.

I would absolutely recommend booking your next date night at Ocean Hai. It's quite a treat on Clearwater Beach and you can't beat the sunset backdrop while dining.

Have you tried Ocean Hai yet? What have you ordered?

*The meal shown above was provided by Ocean Hai for review. All opinions expressed here in this post are my own. A special thanks to Chef John Capponi for hosting us!

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