BILOXI, Miss. – Innovative, creative, and artful cuisine is in the limelight at Beau Rivage Resort & Casino as Jia unveils its new menu featuring a Latin-Asian fusion concept. Long-known for its exquisite Pan-Asian cuisine, Jia and MGM Resorts International take diners on a new adventure for the appetite incorporating new flavors and textures to its AAA Four-Diamond menu. Highlighting the revamped menu are six Nikkei dishes, a culinary genre that is going from humble to high profile worldwide where innovative food is matched by dramatic design and presentation. Nikkei combines Japanese techniques and ingredients with the exotic flavors of Latin America. Refined elements of Japanese cuisine and the festive and colorful elements of Peruvian culinary traditions are combined to create masterpieces, that are fusion to the core definition. Jia, Japanese for “beautiful,” is known for its authentic sushi, teppanyaki and pan-Asian cuisine created from simple, quality ingredients within three distinct dining experiences – sushi bar, teppanyaki-style or a la carte dining. Nikkei translates into English as “beautiful love child,” and it is just that, using Latin American favorites to take Asian fusion beyond sushi, noodles and teppanyaki. “Our goal with the new menu is to create a dining experience like none other in the South. Introducing Nikkei, which is increasingly popular in major markets, to the Gulf Coast takes Jia to another level, said Beau Rivage Executive Chef Kristian Wade. “Aji, Ponzu, Soy Sauce and Lime are all ingredients that seem to be made for each other and create flavors that surprise people the first time they try them. And then they can’t get enough.”
In Nikkei entrees, Peruvian staples such as quinoa, potatoes and yucca take the place of rice, forming a vastly different spin on Japanese fare. Causa, a Peruvian mashed potato terrine, is the basis for five of Jia’s new sushi rolls. A causa base, with crab stick, a scallop, black quinoa, jalapeno, cilantro and red tobico built upon it creates the Spicy Scallop Causa, while the Yellowtail and Avocado Causa starts with the same base but adds yellowtail, avocado, jalapeno, green leche de tigre (tiger’s milk), aji amarillo leche de tigre and queso fresco for a colorful, enticing fusion. The traditional menu at Jia is also the recipient of a slight make-over, with the additions of Shrimp Ceviche and Crispy Ox Tail as starters, Spicy Wok-Charred Beef Salad, Shrimp Papaya Salad and Spicy Oxtail Noodle Soup for lighter fare. Latin-Asian fusion is featured in several new entrees, as well, such as Wok Fried Quinoa, Kalbi Lamb Porterhouse, Mongolian Ribeye and Gochujang Lobster. Many of the featured entrees are built upon facets of Korean cuisine’s harmonious relationship between nature and humans, an element that is accentuated in Jia’s offerings. That harmonious relationship is achieved by the Jia team’s understanding of local culture, art, and locally-sourced products that are woven throughout the menu. Incorporating more seasonal produce, meats and fresh-caught seafood sourced from local purveyors into the new dishes, as well as many of the favorites, maximizes flavor and freshness and assists in sustaining the local economy. A smattering of local staples, ranging from shrimp caught by Biloxi shrimpers to meats from Sweet Grass pastures and produce from Eubanks, both based in Lucedale, Miss., are found in an array of items throughout the menu at Jia.
“We are very fortunate to have some of the best seafood, literally, right outside our door, and it’s been a great experience working with our local suppliers to deliver some of the freshest items available to our guests,” said Jia General Manager Corey Boykin. “Connecting with our local ingredients, our local farmers and our culture, is important for the future, and the basis for Jia’s evolution in learning and developing cuisine that changes as our palates and lifestyles change.” Putting his creative culinary skills to the test, Jia’s newest chef Young Min Choi will feature a new specialty each night, creating a new variety of options as the chefs produce nearly 300 daily specials. Guests will find many of their longstanding favorites are still on the menu, including Szechuan Beef, Shrimp Pad Thai, Cast Iron Seared Sea Scallops, Korean Short Ribs and Shrimp Tempura from the traditional menu, as well as the Mississippi Roll, Graffiti Roll and Jia Roll from the sushi menu, to name a few. Sweet lovers can complete their meal with decadent selections like Molten Chocolate Beggars Purse, Pistachio Matcha Bar, Jia’s Orange Popsicle, and the Coconut Pot de Crème. An incredible selection of Asian, domestic and craft beers, 10 different sakes and hand-crafted cocktails can be found on the beverage menu. Featured mixed drinks include the SanJia (Sake Sangria), Lychee Martini, Dragon Berry Mojito, Toki Sour, Mezcal Margarita, Lychee Mojito. “Guests visiting Beau Rivage expect something different than they’ll find anywhere else on the Gulf Coast,” said Beau Rivage Vice President of Hotel/Food and Beverage Operations Jeff Segan. “MGM Resorts International puts a great emphasis on guest experience and ‘wowing’ the guests. The changes at Jia, from the 300 different daily specials, to incorporating local-sourced ingredients to bringing Nikkei to the South allow our incredibly-talented culinary team to create an experience that will ‘wow’ the palate, and one they can’t find anywhere else.” Jia is open Wednesday and Thursday from 5 to 10 p.m., Friday and Sunday from 5 to 10:30 p.m. and Saturday from 5 to 11 p.m. Closed Monday and Tuesday.