By Brittany Llorente
SEBASTIAN -- There are few restaurants that I have visited that make you look forward to your next visit after the first bite.
Sea Jasmine Thai Restaurant, 971 Sebastian Blvd., is a restaurant tucked into a shopping plaza and opened in April 2012.
The restaurant is family run by Scott McLeod and his mother Pann McLeod.
The inspiration for most of the dishes in the restaurant is from Mr. McLeod's grandfather and Ms. McLeod's father, Sea.
"I remember growing up Isaan [in Thailand]," Ms. McLeod said. "My father made all kinds of foods and I remember always being surrounded by the jasmine gardens."
The family restaurant makes you feel like family as you dine on dishes including chicken, beef, fresh fish and even duck.
The fresh ingredients jump off the plate and are hand chosen by Mr. McLeod, who cooks all of the dishes with the care of cooking for his family.
"I only use my freezer for the ice cream," said Mr. McLeod. "Everything I use is fresh and we make everything here, even the noodles, sauces and chosen by me including the salmon, grouper and tilapia."
Immediately I was surprised with the first course of the meal, a watermelon and cilantro soup. It is a must try at the restaurant and prepares you for the feast of the other dishes. The soup was made for Ms. McLeod by her father when she was young.
For an appetizer, Mr. McLeod recommended the Thai fish cake, which was loaded with salmon and crispy on the outside. A cucumber dressing completed the dish.
For the main course, I had the roasted Peking duck stir-fry over a generous portion of greens including sprouts, baby corn, peas and more crisp and fresh vegetables, all tossed in a house red curry sauce. The dish was served with a helping of jasmine rice.
Bite after bite, the curry sauce complemented the tender duck.
My companion enjoyed the ginger chicken stir-fry and each plate was finished to the last bit of rice.
The Thai iced tea was delicious before and during the meal, but toward dessert I changed to the lemon grass and ginger tea and fell in love.
The fresh drink was a perfect palate cleanser and delightful to the taste buds.
Make sure to leave room for dessert or the experience of Sea Jasmine will not be complete.
I had a sampling of all the desserts, from the deep fried banana, flash fried after being wrapped in rice paper and then drizzled with honey, to the sweet rice with mango which was light yet more than satisfying.
My favorite is a new addition to their expanding menu, which was the vanilla ice cream with walnuts and tapioca pearls.
The restaurant is constantly expanding its menu, now including a lunch menu filled with delicious dishes and great prices.
Restaurant hours are from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Saturday for lunch, and from 4 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. for dinner. It's closed on Sundays.
For more information on Sea Jasmine Thai Restaurant, call (772) 589-6393 or visit www.seajasminethaicuisine.com.