When I attended the Michelin Award ceremony in Miami last month, I was surprised to see only one Orlando restaurant, Z Asian, serving food at the reception on the concourse of LoanDepot Park, where the event was held. Then again, seeing as how this was Miami’s gig – Orlando hosted last year at the Ritz-Carlton; they’ll be in Tampa next year – perhaps it was unusual to have even one Central Florida participant.
And the area was well represented by the staff of Z Asian and its owners, Hien Q. Pham and his wife and the restaurant’s chef Huong Nguyen, who operated a food station overlooking third base. Z Asian was invited because it is a Michelin Guide Bib Gourmand restaurant, two years in a row. Bib Gourmand, named for the Michelin tire mascot whose name is Bibendum, designates “good food at a good price.”
The next day, while driving back to Orlando, I was mulling over some choices to go for dinner with some friends that evening. I thought of Z Asian and said, “Why not?” I hadn’t been since the restaurant first opened in 2019, replacing Mai Bistro in the Mills 50 District. And as it turns out, the menu has changed quite a bit.