Dapur Asian Tapas Restaurant & Lounge in Fort Lauderdale, FL

Author: 
Tim Slivinski
Curator: 
Alisha Riddle

One of the most consistently popular cuisines in the Fort Lauerdale dining market is Asian. In the past decade or so, however, Asian cuisine has grown considerably from the old style family run Chinese restaurant to modern, hip, urban sushi bars that rank among the best restaurants in the area. Just recently, a new Asian restaurant has graced the Fort Lauderdale scene. Dapur, which is the Indonesian word for kitchen, has, in its short time, already begun to set a new standard for elegant, delicious, and creative cuisine. Not only that, but its décor is trendy, beautiful, and very today. 

On a recent stormy Saturday night, my partner and I decided to dine at Dapur after hearing many of our friends rave about their experiences. Making it into the restaurant just before the deluge, we were immediately greeted by friendly hostesses who showed us to a table, The main dining room is large, but well-placed curtains and draperies allow the space to be divided for private gatherings as well as to give the large open room intimacy. Dark tile and silver chairs create a very urban feel, and we were anxious to take a look at Dapur’s signature cocktail menu. The cocktails have been created with interesting mixtures of fruit, juices, and spirits—each one sounding tastier than the next. After deciding on two drinks and appreciating our good fortune of being out of the storm, it was time to ponder our food selections. 

If you are an adventurous diner and you like to experience many different dishes, flavor combinations, and preparation styles, then Dapur will most certainly delight you. The menu offers a wide and eclectic choice of small plates: cold/salads, steamed/grilled, or crispy/pan-fried. As we read through our options, our minds kept changing as each new exotic offering tempted our taste buds. Finally, realizing if we did not make a decision we would not eat, we selected the grilled whole calamari and the rock shrimp. When the calamari arrived, it was an impressive dish to behold. This was not your usual deep fried calamari, not by a long shot. It was an entire Japanese squid that had been grilled to perfectly tender doneness. The first bite revealed a smoky, grilled flavor that was instantly appealing and a texture that was tender, not chewy. We both declared it impeccable. The rock shrimp dish presented lightly fried tiger shrimp and shiitake mushrooms tossed in a semi-spicy mayo. Presented in a cabbage leaf bowl, they were crispy and light, fun to eat and tasty. 

Choices of entrees, our next decision, can be selected from Dapur’s Big Plate menu. The offerings combine flavor profiles of Indonesian, Thai, Japanese, and Vietnamese cooking in various creative menu choices. After considering many options that were variously poultry, beef, or seafood, my partner chose Bakmi Goreng. Egg noodles, chicken, egg, and vegetables were the ingredients listed. When it arrived, it was a  steaming plate of lightly sauced tender noodles that were perfectly seasoned. Chunks of chicken and vegetables offered contrasting flavor and texture to the noodles. I decided to try the Crispy Duck for two reasons. First, I had heard others rave about it, and second, because it is a classic comfort dish for me. The duck was prepared with a perfectly crispy exterior, not at all greasy, and a very moist flavorful interior. The accompanying Dapur Chili Sauce, however, was the real test. Far too frequently these sauces are overrun with too much garlic and are cloyingly sweet. Dapur’s sauce offered just the right amount of seasoning to flavor the earthiness of the duck without overpowering the meat. It was, perhaps, the very best chili sauce I have ever tasted with Crispy Duck. We were both satisfied with our entrees while, at the same time, making a vow to return to try many of the other tempting dishes on the menu. 

In addition to its Small Plates and Big Plates, Dapur offers a large selection of Specialty Rolls. Though we did not order any of them on this visit, tables around us were pleased with their selections and the rolls were plated very attractively. 

After finishing dinner, we wandered into Dapur’s cocktail lounge for a nightcap. The lounge is anchored by a very large bar with bottles of various liquors backlit in a wonderfully beautiful way. High top tables surround the perimeter of the bar as upbeat music creates a very downtown urban feel in the lounge. You can order light fare in the bar to accompany your chosen cocktails or wine. 

Dapur may be new to Fort Lauderdale, but they are already giving a level of service, quality of food, and ambiance that much more established restaurants would envy. If you are looking for a hip, new place to take a spouse, a date, or a friend for dinner, Dapur will impress. I cannot wait for our next visit.

Dapur Asian Tapas Restaurant & Lounge Accolades

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Large Tapas Style Menu
787 agree
Great Happy Hour
682 agree
Hip, Cool & Friendly
678 agree
Knowledgeable of Sake & Wine
678 agree
Big Selection of Wine by the Glass & Sake
677 agree
Healthy Food Options
679 agree
Ideal Location
676 agree
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Mack Mixer at Dapur Asian Tapas
The March Mack Mixer was held during their 10th Anniversary month and was held at Dapur Asian Tapas in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
Chad Thilborger's Birthday Party at Dapur Asian Tapas
Local Celebrity Chef Chad Thilborger recently hosted his Birthday Party at Dapur Asian Tapas in Fort Lauderdale, Florida and was surrounded by friends, family, and husband Frank.
Smart Ride Benefit at Dapur Asian Tapas
Smart Rider Maritza Badoya held her benefit at Dapur Asian Tapas in Fort Lauderdale, FL that featured a live art performance by painter Shannon Defreitas.
Fame Fatale Party at Dapur
Dapur Asian Tapas in Fort Lauderdale, FL hosted a Fame Fatale Ties and Heels Party with Go Go dancers and DJ Citizen Jane spinning all night long.
World Cup Finals Party at Dapur
Dapur Asian Tapas in Fort Lauderdale, FL hosted a World Cup Finals Party with DJ Citizen Jane spinning all afternoon.
Sizzling Sunday Ladies T-Dance at Dapur Asian Bistro
Dapur Asian Bistro in Fort Lauderdale, FL hosted a Sizzling Sunday Ladies T-Dance with DJ Citizen Jane with beats that went on all afternoon.
The Try It Party at Dapur Asian Bistro
Andy Warshaw's The Try It Halloween Party at Dapur Asian Bistro in Fort Lauderdale, FL featured boys and girls in fun and disturbing costumes dancing to DJ JPS.

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