The name of Overtown’s Soi Chinese Kitchen is a play on soy, meaning “I am” in Spanish, and on soy sauce. Soi also means a narrow lane or alley in Thai, perfect for this Overtown spot across from the UM Life Sciences & Technology Park.
Come here for dumplings, buns, lettuce wraps, satay, fried rice, noodles, char siu ribs, stir-fried shrimp in Cuban sriracha sauce (made in Homestead in small batches) and guava-glazed pork belly.
There’s a takeout window plus several patios, and Soi Chinese Kitchen also delivers to downtown offices and condos.
Owner Oscar Ferreira is a Cuban American who brought modern Chinese home after living in San Francisco for a few years . He met chef Angel Vergara through a mutual friend.
Angel was born in Puerto Rico, grew up in Orlando, graduated from the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, N.Y., and came to Miami for the hospitality-management program at Florida International University. The kitchen crew also includes Isramil “Izzy” Almonte and Hong Kong-born Erick Luo, who learned Spanish working in Panama.
Shrimp Rangoon brings wonton cannoli stuffed with chopped crustaceans in creamy soy sauce with mango foam. Steamed buns are folded around sautéed shiitake mushrooms with truffle butter or pork belly with apple jam and pickles.
Wings are battered in a mix of flour, cornstarch, beer and vodka for a crisp crust. Signature dishes include pan-seared tofu with bok choy in ginger-garlic-soy, honey chicken thighs with long beans, and hanger steak in spicy sake-soy glaze.
End with guava Bundt cake or Nutella tucked in a bun with seared banana slices.