Sunday, January 16, 2011

Myers and Chang take on the South End

I am sure many of you have heard of Flour bakery on Washington Street, one of the South End's claims to fame and best bakeries.  What many people are not aware of however, is that the owners of this joint are also the owners and creators of Myers and Chang, the only American-Chinese cuisine in the South End (especially now that Ginger Park has regrettably closed its doors). 
Located on the corner of Washington and East Berkeley, this restaurant is a fun, up beat dining destination with an interesting menu featuring small plates, or dim sum and larger, entrée sized plates of chinese/taiwanese dishes.
Although Myers and Chang has been around for a while and has held a steady flow of business, and although I am a huge fan of their bakery, I have always been slightly skecptical.  Perhaps its because when I think of chinese food, I think of Chinatown where you can get heaping amounts of food for nothing and dim sum restaurants with rolling carts of various dumplings.  Or maybe it's because I have heard mixed reviews, some positive and some rather negative.  Either way, I finally decided that heresay was not a good enough reason not to form my own opinion of the place. 
And so, a few nights ago, my friend and I took the leap and tried it out. I am glad we did, because the place is not trying to be a typical chinese restaurant, it holds its own atmosphere and offers a higher end style of dining and inspired dishes.
We started with the fresh rolls as an appetizer, your typical rice paper rolls stuffed with vermicelli noodles, shrimp or tofu, some greens and mint.  I was indifferent towards this dish, it was what you would expect: fresh tasting and light, but nothing special.  The peanut sauce is always what does it for me and theirs I would give a passing grade. 

Luckily, the following dishes we ordered surpassed my expectations.  I ordered the triple pork mushu stir fry which was a very interesting concoction of pork loin, bacon and chinese pork sausage with shiitake mushrooms and spring onions. It came with tortillas and sweet steamed buns to roll the stir fry in.  I loved the dish, anything with bacon is fine by me. My only criticism would be that the sauce was a little too salty. When you have all that naturally salty food, you can go easy on the sauce, a little less coating would have made the different kinds of pork flavors stand out on their own.

My friend ordered the Beef and Brocoli Chow Fun made with coulotte steek and rice noodles.  This dish was very tasty with crispy onions and tender beef. The sauce was a little lighter which I appreciated. The noodles were also cooked to a perfect degree of tenderness.

Myers and Chang does not offer an extensive dessert menu, however they add a really nice touch at the end of the meal by bringing out some complimentary pieces from Flour Bakery.  We were given some coconut meringues and gingersnap cookies.  I love how they tie the two together, even though they are completely different places, it really shows the range of expertise of Christopher Myers and Joanne Chang.

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