Chef Jacqueline Siao, who oversees the kitchen and food menus at both Adelaide on the first floor and Van Ryder on the sixth floor of the hotel, brings her Le Cordon Bleu training, knowledge of hotel guests’ and Utah diners’ tastes and her own multi-cultural heritage to the table for this weekly summer special at Van Ryder.
“I’m Asian,” Siao—who is Filipina and fluent in English, Chinese and Tagalog—jokes as she explains the flavors she chose to highlight in the Thursday offerings.
Take, for example, the lobster and shrimp tempura which is a decadent treat of sweet lobster meat and plump shrimp encased inside crispy tempura batter and countered by a black pepper marmalade and tangy yuzu kosho—a Japanese chile condiment—for extra kick. The kombu hamachi with ponzu, Szechuan peppercorn and chives and the tuna tartare with shitake ginger soy, a rice cracker and cucumber slaw are artfully presented to make your mouth water.
Other starters include a summery salmon carpaccio with truffle vinaigrette, pea tendrils and black summer truffles; and Agedashi tofu with fluttery bonito, earthy dashi and scallions.
Sushi rolls like the Real Cali, which might sound like a boring California roll, instead feature luscious Dungeness crab and black caviar, plus avocado and toasted sesame. La Bonita Hamachi with amber jack, avocado, jalapeno, cilantro, ponzu and bright orange tobiko is a treat for the eyes and the palate. The spicy tuna roll will set your mouth on fire with cucumber, avocado and sriracha.
Non-fish lovers can have some fun with Chef Jackie’s crack fries, which are just that due to the combination of sweet soy, a siracha emulsion, and furikake and toasted sesame. Don’t miss out on a perfect shared dish of the ridiculously addictive salt and pepper popcorn chicken dressed with crispy basil which she recalls eating fondly as a young woman.
To pair with Chef Jackie’s inventive sushi and bar food offerings, a special beverage menu featuring various sakes and Japanese spirits and beers is also available on Thursdays—in addition to Van Ryder’s regular offerings. Try Shiokawa Cowboy Yamahai Sake; Rihaku ‘Wandering Poet’ Junmai Ginjo Sake; Takatenjin ‘Sword of the Sun’ Fruity Sake; Tozai ‘Snow Maiden’ Junmai Nigori Sake; Yomi Junmai Ginjo Sake; Hatozaki Japanese Blended Whisky; Nikka Coffey Grain Whiskey; Haku Vodka; Roku Gin; and Asahi Super Dry Japanese Beer.