When it comes to Asian food, one usually thinks of the local Chinese take-out, the Japanese hibachi restaurant, or a chain like Pei-Wei or P.F. Chang’s. While all of those may be good everyday choices, if you’re looking to go gourmet, you have to give echo in Palm Beach a try.
echo is one of the restaurants that’s part of The Breakers – the historic resort on Palm Beach island. While not on the hotel property, echo is just around the corner from the hotel on Sunrise Ave.
Before moving to south Florida around a dozen years ago, I used to stay at The Breakers several weekends a year. It was during one of those weekend getaways when I discovered echo and I’ve been hooked ever since. In fact, it’s become one of my favorite restaurants.
Now, let’s set the record straight. A visit to echo is going to set you back a bit more than any one of the places I mentioned at the start of this post but in my opinion… it’s worth it. Even if it’s just for a treat every now and then!
echo has indoor and outdoor seating as well as the Dragonfly Lounge, the restaurant’s bar which isn’t big, but has some seating and serves as a place to grab a drink before dinner or while waiting for a table. If you don’t mind eating at the bar, you can.
The outdoor tables are warmed by heaters on colder evenings and there are a few tables with a built-in fire pit. Inside can be a bit noisy at times and it’s usually dimly lit and crowded on busy nights.
When it comes to drinks, echo can make your favorite and they also have a drink menu with Asian-inspired cocktails, beer, and wine.
The first thing you notice when you walk into the restaurant is the sushi bar. Sushi, sashimi, and rolls are available on echo’s sushi menu and most of your common selections are there. I tend to go traditional and stick with the “cooked” variety of sushi and go with the Crispy Shrimp Roll (tempura tiger shrimp, leaf lettuce, avocado, Japanese mayonnaise, inside-out with sesame seeds) – $14.
Not in the mood for sushi? echo offers a selection of appetizers – or small plates as they call them – and include favorites such as Kung Pao Lettuce Wraps (diced chicken, red bell pepper, snap peas, water chestnuts, scallions, carrots, roasted peanuts, spicy soy sauce) – $15, egg rolls, tempura veggies and traditional Dim Sum.
On to the main course! My absolute favorite item on the menu is the Peking Duck. In fact, it’s really the only thing I order there. It’s a half duck with crispy skin served with Mandarin pancakes, cucumber, scallions and Hoisin sauce. It sells for $37 per person and if there’s two or more of you ordering it, they will prepare it tableside.
I do have other top picks as well. My second favorite would be the Lemon Chicken (lightly breaded, wildflower honey lemon sauce, stir fried vegetables) – $27, and rounding out the top three, I’d have to pick the Braised Short Ribs (sweet red pepper, chili fried rice, red onion, Napa cabbage) – $29. Be forewarned tho, the short ribs come served on top of what I consider to be an insane amount of fried rice.
Speaking of rice. Most menu items come with either white or brown rice shared for the table. If you want an order of fried rice it will set you back a hefty $16, but there’s enough to share.
If you’re looking for something more traditional, the menu does have classics like Sesame Chicken, Beef and Broccolini, Ginger Beef, and Cashew Chicken.
If you saved room for dessert, they offer a few different souffles which have to be ordered with your dinner as they take time to prepare. Honestly, they’re a bit of a gimmick – unless you like souffle. My top dessert pick has to be their New York Style Cheesecake which is…. really, really good.
During the season, echo can get quite busy and like I mentioned earlier, a bit noisy. On the past few times we’ve been there, even though we had reservations, we had to wait upwards of 20 minutes for our table to be ready. I never experienced that during the off-season, so just a heads-up on that.
Parking is in short supply in Palm Beach, but valet is free. If you’re staying at The Breakers, a shuttle will take you back and forth.