Monday, January 24, 2011

Myers + Chang - Yum Dim Sum

I have only been to Dim Sum once.  I was in Montreal with some friends and had no idea what I was getting myself into.  Luckily, one of the people directed everything, and basically I didn't have to do anything except watch the food come to the table and eat it.  I have been wanting to go again, but never knew a good place to go in Boston (Chinatown in particular).  However, after the "Top Chef" episode where the chefs had a Dim Sum challenge, I put a little bit more effort into finding a good recommendation.

One of the recommendations was Myers + Chang in the South End, and while it does not have the traditional carts, it does have a diverse dim sum menu.  After a bit of a long Saturday night, I was just not in the mood for fighting crowds and having to think too hard, so this seemed like the perfect option.  Having never been to Myers + Chang before, I was not sure what to expect...lets just say I am totally on board with their dim sum and wonder why you even need carts!

Myers + Chang is definitely funkier than your average Chinese restaurant, which only adds to the fun.  They totally broke the mold for Chinese restaurants - in a GOOD way.

We were pretty basic in our drink orders: water, diet coke and coffee, but the coffee was in a french press, which always adds a little something special.  They did have plenty of fun cocktails as well as their own soda flavors.  For ordering, they hand you a sheet for you to go through and just check off what you want.  The idea is more like tapas, where you order a bunch of small plates to share.  Taste and share we certainly did.  Each plate just comes out when it is ready. 

First came the shiitake mushroom and chinese greens dumplings.  In general, dumplings are one of my favorites, and these were delicious.  Being the first course, I was amazed at how fresh they tasted.  There was none of that greasy taste or slimy feeling that you see in a lot of Chinese food.  Turns out this was the constant theme for all the dishes.  Also, the sauce had a great bite to it and added a lot of flavor to the dish.

The Dumplings
When you order, you get the option of white or brown rice.  We went with the brown and took the left overs of any of the sauces and ate it with them.  While not necessary to complete the meal in anyway, it was nice to have - a bit of a palate cleanser.

Dumplings and Brown Rice
Nick ordered the nasi goreng with pork and pineapple, which had two asterisks next to it, meaning extra EXTRA spicy and they were not kidding!  While this dish was spicy, it was hot in a good way.  The pineapple was definitely not the dominating flavor to this dish, which worked out well for me.  Again, unlike most fried rice, this was not at all greasy.  The combination had a good texture.

Fried Rice
One of the best things I had at my first Dim Sum experience was steamed pork buns - it was actually the only thing I remembered.  So, those were a must for both Nick and I.  However, we got super nervous when we were checking out the menu beforehand because I did not see it on the menu!  Turns out though, stuffed bao is actually the traditional name for the steamed buns, so we were safe.  (Wikipedia to the rescue again!)  As this was our favorite, we got two different ones to try.  First up was the crispy pork belly:

Crispy Pork Belly
The second was the cantonese bbq:
Cantonese BBQ

While both were good, the crispy pork belly actually got a second round.  One was not enough!  The pork belly was cooked perfectly.  However, for both of these dishes, the bun was really quite amazing.  It was soft and had a lot of great texture.  Again, the whole thing was just fresh and not at all greasy.

Next, we got the sweet potato fritters with Chinese sausage.  While we did not think sweet potatoes were a real Chinese dish, we looked around a bit and they are actually used a lot more than we would have thought!  These were one of my favorite things we ordered.  They had a great crunch on the outside, while the inside had a nice blend of smooth sweet potato with some yummy sausage.  Again, this sauce was incredible and complemented the fritters perfectly. 

The Fritters
During the ordering process we decided we should probably mix in a bit of green and ordered the wok-charred baby bok choy w/shiitake mushrooms.  This was one of the most surprising dishes because it was so good!  The bok choy was cooked to perfection.  Each piece had a hint of char to it, but still tasted so fresh and not at all greasy or limp like a lot of veggies can get.  This is something I would recommend to anyone who just likes green vegetables.  Even if you do not generally like bok choy, this dish will change you mind!

Bok Choy and Mushrooms
Next, we ordered a bit more of a traditional dim sum item, the spicy kimchee pancakes, which again came with a fantastic spicy sauce.  These were fried, but still not overly greasy tasting.  The sauce made the dish for me as the pancake did not have a whole lot of flavor.  Again, that may be specific to this type of dish as I am not sure what kimchee is supposed to taste like. 

Kimchee Pancakes
The last thing we ordered was the dan dan noodles with spicy peanut sauce.  The presentation of this was fun because it was served in a traditional Chinese take-out box.  What surprised me though was the noodles were cold.  While not what I expected, it was a nice change of pace from the rest of the dishes we ordered.  The flavors were great and it had the perfect combination of peanut flavoring and spice, but I think I would have rather had this be hot.

The Dan Dan Noodles

Dan Dan Noodle Box
Now, even though were totally full, we had to order some desserts!  When more than a couple of dishes on the menu called out to us, I figured we had to give them a go.  So we split the coconut cream pie with lime whipped cream and the "ancient chinese secret" chocolate mousse with homemade 5-spice meringues.

Coconut Pie

Both of these were totally worth it.  The pie had a great balance of the tart lime flavor and the sweetness of the coconut.  Both fillings were light and airy.  The mousse for me stole the show - soft and smooth and not overly sweet.  It had a distinct coco flavor.  I would love to know the secret because even Nick loved the chocolate mousse and he traditionally does not really like those chocolaty desserts.  The meringues on top were a great garnish.  Like the mousse itself, they were not overly sweet and were a great contrast in texture to the mousse.

While now warmed up to maybe attempt dim sum in Chinatown, I am not sure I would want to!  I had a fantastic meal from start to finish at Myers + Chang.  To the point where we cannot wait to try their dinner menu.  So for those wanting to attempt dim sum or just a change from the traditional brunch menu, this is a perfect option.  You will not be disappointed!

Myers & Chang on Urbanspoon

1 comment:

  1. I've only had dim sum at Myers + Chang after one of their cooking classes but I've had a lot of the same dishes. I really like their non-traditional dim sum dishes.


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