About the author : Big Fish Restaurant Bar
Besides being known for having the largest selection of fresh fish along the Gulf Coast, our menu’s style and recipes truly set us apart from any other restaurant in the area.
Big Fish is not a typical seafood restaurant by any means, nor are we an Asian cuisine establishment. What makes our menu unique are our Asian-inspired recipes with aspects of Southern and European influences.
The Origins of Our Menu
When Big Fish first opened its doors, our menu was crafted by our owner, Leck Lilayuva who wanted to make a bold move in a traditionally fried food vacation destination.
Leck was raised along the Gulf Coast and grew up working in his father’s restaurant, Niki’s Seafood. Niki, Leck’s father, was originally from Bangkok, and his mother is native to Birmingham, Alabama.
Despite spending numerous days cleaning fish and working in a seafood restaurant, Leck was not convinced he would follow in his father’s footsteps. As a young man, Leck traveled to Bangkok to see family and ended up spending several years overseas, where he often ate food from street vendors and the local markets. He watched these cooks create incredible food with a variety of spices and ingredients.
Years later, after moving back to the area, Leck put what he had learned to good use to prepare a special dinner for the woman who would become his wife and business partner, Jana. This meal would actually be the spark for Big Fish Restaurant and Bar.
While incorporating a lot of the Asian street market influences Leck picked up in his time overseas, Big Fish’s menu is not a typical seafood or Asian restaurant. Instead, the recipes on the menu are inspired by Leck’s experiences, and the seafood is infused with the flavors of Asian cuisine, which locals have fallen in love with.
Award-Winning Seafood With a Twist
When creating their business from the ground up, Leck sat down and wrote out the entire menu himself, infusing it with a blend of Asian, European, and even Southern characteristics by drawing on their origins, experiences abroad, cultures, and influences.
A few months after the grand opening of Big Fish, one of our dishes with an Asian twist was entered into a local food contest and won. Now, our Award-Winning Ginger Glazed Shrimp Skewers is one of the most popular items on our menu that our locals love and return visitors always request.
Our take on our seafood dishes have Asian-influenced subtleties that offer our customers fresher, healthier, and memorable meals.
Take for example our Big Stir Fry, served with napa cabbage, mushrooms, sweet peppers, and red onion sauteed in a Thai seasoned broth with steamed jasmine rice.
Another dish to try is our Sesame Seed Seared Ahi Tuna, paired with roasted red potato and an edamame hash along with tempura-fried green beans and a wasabi crème Fraiche.
If you want a truly original dish, order the “Big Fish Style.” It is a favorite of ours as it is an personal take on sautéed fish crafted by our owner and head chef, Leck. The sautéed fish is topped with scallions and ginger, and it comes served with spinach and jasmine rice in a sherry soy broth.