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The Best Thing I Ate This Week: Tilefish Fried Rice

April 15, 2014

by Jordana Rothman, CNTraveler.com

Xiao Bao Biscuit’s tilefish fried rice(Photo: Olivia Rae James) 

You can’t talk about the food renaissance shaking up Charleston, South Carolina without mentioning chef Mike Lata. The James Beard Award winner showcases lowcountry flavors and ingredients at Fig and his oyster bar The Ordinary. Lata’s trust in his local purveyors is so strong, he’s followed their scent to other Charleston eateries—the fish in the fried rice at Xiao Bao Biscuit comes from the same vendor that supplies Lata’s own restaurants. Here he tells us about the simple, cross-cultural dish.

What I ate: Tilefish Fried Rice

Where I ate it: Xiao Bao Biscuit (224 Rutledge Ave, Charleston; 843-743-3880, xiaobaobiscuit.com)

Why it’s so good: What I love about Xiao Bao Biscuit is that you can tell there’s respect for the integrity of the cuisine. We had a smattering of dishes during a recent meal—all were bright and full flavored—but the tilefish fried rice really stood out. It was such a focused dish: The rice was perfectly cooked, the tilefish was from a local fisherman that we also use to source our fish, and the quality of the product was just incredible. The dish was all about execution and simplicity; there was nothing to hide behind. Texturally, it was spot-on and so well balanced—just simple and sublime.

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