Brenda Benoit tries out the colorful Haitian restaurant Tap Tap in Miami Beach, and falls in love with their equally colorful cuisine.
By Brenda Benoit
Nostalgia drove me here. It had been ages since I visited and I wanted the chickens to see and taste the good food that comes from Haiti.
First of all, the restaurant was a riot of color. Murals adorned the walls, every wall, from the entrance to the toilets to the ceilings. Just being in an atmosphere like this was delicious.
We started with Plat Fritay – a platter of akra (malanga fritters), Banann Peze ( plantain with Ti-Malice and watercress sauce) and Taso Kabrit (goat tidbits with creole dipping sauce). Every morsel was delectable, the goat being a favorite for everyone.
The sauces (Ti-Malice, creole and watercress) added a huge amount of flavor. The Ti-Malice was especially ferocious because it was so, so hot. The watercress sauce was the opposite: calming, cooling and soothing.
To my surprise, my little one ordered the Pumpkin Soup (Soup Joumou). It was a hearty brew that combined a mixture of vegetables and beef. The soup was creamy and thick with pumpkin: a true delight.
We had a salad called Salad Zaboka Ak Tomato – avocado and tomato salad with onions and house dressing. We all loved it but I sort of hogged it and ending up eating most of it. Greedy Masala.
The Grilled Conch (Lanbi Boukanen) almost made me faint with pleasure. It was served with white rice and beans sauce (Diri Blan Ak Sos Pwa). Truly extraordinary. It was a rare treat as conch is not as plentiful as it was before.
The Grilled Chicken (Poul Boukanen) was bursting with flavor and practically flawless.
Stewed Oxtail (Ke Bef Nan Sos Kreyol) was another winner – succulent, falling-off-the-bone-goodness served with white rice, fried plantains and bean sauce on the side.
The desserts were good, not very impressive, just all right. We had the Blan Mange (traditional coconut dessert) and the Gato Zannanna (upside down pineapple rum cake).
There is live music on the weekends. You can sit by the bar and sip a cocktail while enjoying the sound of Kompa and Reggae.
The restaurant gets its name from Tap Taps, which are gaily-painted buses, or pick-up trucks that serve as share taxis in Haiti. Tap Tap is a feast, both for the eyes and the palate. It is a place worth visiting. I promise.
TAP TAP Haitian Restaurant
819 5th St | Miami Beach FL 33139
Tel : 305- 672- 2898
* No website available
Brenda Benoit was born in the city of St. George’s in Grenada and grew up in Caracas, Venezuela. She has been living in Miami for over 20 years, loves to cook, eat and to try new restaurants & cuisines - always with her camera as a companion. She's a dedicated cookbook collector and is in the process of writing one of her own.