Myers + Chang

IMG_5325Menu: The menu is set up Dim Sum style with offerings from $5 Crispy Spring Rolls to  $11 Thai Pork Lettuce Wraps to $18 Chicken and Waffles. You can also choose from cold or hot noodles, dumplings, rice, vegetables and sides. While this is an Asian-inspired menu, many items are American dishes with Asian influences that won’t be unfamiliar to the unadventurous diner.

Food / Presentation: 
Salmon + Green Apple Tartare – spicy soy, spinach, sesame crisps
One of the best tartares I’ve ever had! Each element in this dish really brought it all together. Even amount of apples and salmon. Touch of sweetness from the apple and just the right amount of spicy soy. And the sesame crisps were a great texture and large enough that you didn’t run out of a vehicle for the tartare. This is a must try!
IMG_5349Crispy Arctic Char Roll – nori, hot Chinese mustard
We at first thought this would be similar to a rice sushi roll, but I’m glad it wasn’t. Essentially this dish is 2 fried Arctic char rolls cut in half to create 4 “open-faced” rolls. Another great dish, with a spicy but not too spicy dipping sauce. I couldn’t figure out what the pink veggies were, but they offered a nice relief to the spicy mustard.
ImageDumplings-Potsticker Style – edamame, mustard greens, wasabi
I originally wanted the Mama Chang’s Pork + Chive dumplings, but ended up ordering another pork dish, so I went with this veggie version instead. Had we known there were 5 pieces we may have not have ordered this plate, as we clearly over ordered! Regardless, we had 3 and took 2 home (which was perfect for a late night snack). The dumplings weren’t bad, a pretty simple veggie dish with a bit of a spicy kick. I’d try the pork ones next time.
IMG_5347Wok-Roasted Mussels
To me, mussels are mussels. They really differ based on the bread served with it and the sauce they’re swimming in. This dish came with 4 slices of grilled garlic toast and a lemongrass broth. Pretty good as mussels go.
IMG_5338Fish Tacos + Kimchee Sesame Salsa – crispy hake, soft corn tortilla, whipped cilantro
Each of the two tacos came with three crispy chunks of hake. I love fish tacos, and I typically prefer grilled to fried fish, but these were really good. The fish pieces were thick enough that the fried part was really only a thin layer. The menu indicated this was a 1 out of 3 on the hotness scale which holds true.
IMG_5348Thai Ginger Chicken Salad – lemongrass, rice vermicelli, butter lettuce
Layered from bottom to top with lettuce, vermicelli, and chicken salad mixed with the lemongrass. This dish gave us light and refreshing flavors among the other sauces, spices, and fried pieces we ordered. Marked as a 1 out of 3 stars for spicy ness, I think it could have been a 2 for sure!
IMG_5334The General Lee’s Pulled Pork – collards greens, bean curd, pickled mustard seeds
We did not need this last plate, and I took 3/4 of it home, but I’m glad we ordered it. I loved pulled pork, and while it was served simply on a dish mixed with the above fixings, it would have also been great on a sandwich. 1 out of 3 hotness stars… My mouth/lips were on fire at the end of this entire meal.
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Restroom: Full of Asian influences and decor, including the soap!
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Service: I was thankful our server asked if this was our first time at the restaurant – which it was – because we definitely needed some guidance with ordering. He said typically people order 2-3 dishes per person. With that advice Matt & I ordered the above 7 plates, 3 each and then 1 to split. Dummies! We went home with 2 dumplings, 1/2 of the chicken salad, and 3/4 of the pulled pork. I wasn’t mad. We had our $100 OpenTable gift card to use up, and I now had lunch for 2 days!
Service in general was great. Keep in mind, when ordering, they bring out plates as they’re ready. Matt & I ordered everything at once and got a bit overwhelmed when we had 4 different items at once on our table. I think our server thought we were crazy when I listed off the 7 dishes. As soon as I finished he reminded “Ok, I think that’s good to start!”. Yes. That was good to start, and good for the night!

Overall: This was my first time at Myers + Chang and it definitely lived up to the expectations set by reviews, friends, and reputation. Chef/owner Joanne Chang (of the infamous Flour Bakery) created a menu inspired by Chinese, Taiwanese, Thai, and Vietnamese cuisines. The atmosphere is casual and the dining room is more of a funky diner adorned with some kitschy objects. An Asian tea tin held plastic and wooden chop sticks, as well as forks and knifes for those who have yet to master the sticks.
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The food was great, but next time I would definitely space out my orders and pace myself. The only disappointment was when I ordered the Pineapple Express cocktail (pineapple-infused vodka, thai basil) only to discover they were out. Out of what?? House-made infused vodka? Make me more! I instead went with the Luckiest Kitty (herb-infused sake, St. Germain, grapefruit, smoked salt) which I was nervous about since I don’t like sake, but I love St. Germain and am developing a nice friendship with grapefruit, so this drink really worked for me.

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The Perfect Bite: By far, the Salmon + Apple Tartare on a sesame crisp.

http://www.myersandchang.com

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Blue Ginger

Bread: Three varieties of bread came with a small side of butter. The flat cracker sesame bread and potato-like bread didn’t need any butter as they had their own unique flavor, but I did spread a little on the slice of plain white.
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Menu: The structure of the menu is simple, offering Appetizers and Entrees. There’s also a note at the bottom of the page about the Chef’s Tasting Menu, but I didn’t inquire as I had a hard enough time with the options in front of me. The prices are definitely steeper than I’m used to but I knew this going into dinner, as Chef Ming Tsai is one of the best in MA, is nationally known, and has appeared on The Food Network numerous times. This is the kind of meal you don’t mind paying $40+ for because you know you won’t be disappointed, and it will probably be one of  the best versions of whatever it is you’re ordering. That being said, I was torn between 3 dishes and opted for one of the signature dishes which has been on the menu for over 10 years.

Food/Presentation:
Tempura Sole-Avocado Roulade with Black Garlic Aioli and Ponzu Vegetables
I wasn’t sure what to expect with this appetizer, but our server did a great job of describing how it was prepared. Three sushi roll-like pieces topped the vegetables and were surrounded by small dollops of black garlic aioli. The typical “rice” section of this roll was actually the sole which encompassed the avocado and carrots. The outside may have been deep fried but it didn’t make the dish heavy or greasy. Definitely a great way to start the meal!

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Garlic-Black Pepper Lobster with Lemongrass Fried Rice: Pea Tendril Salad with Tamari-Ginger Vinaigrette
For my entree I was deciding between this and the other signature dish which a friend recommended, the Sake-Miso Marinated Sablefish (a.k.a. Butterfish). I think either choice would have been a good one, but I’m really glad I chose the lobster. The shell of the body was stuffed with spinach and rice, and the plate was covered with big pieces of lobster tail, more rice, a few mushrooms, tomatoes, and incredible flavor! A fantastic lobster dish without the typical mess and work that comes with de-shelling.
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Peanut Butter Creameuax: chocolate sorbet, pomegranate jelly, black sesame cocoa shortbread
The dessert menu looked to good to pass up, so my cousin & I split this take on PB&J (one of my favorite combinations). The chocolate sorbet had a strong flavor, the jelly was amazing, and the peanut butter component had a smooth mousse consistency. Great way to end the meal!
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Restroom: The women’s room has 2 private stalls with wooden shutter doors (my favorite), a nice granite countertop, and warm and comfortable hues. I wouldn’t mind basing my home bathroom off of this design!

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Service: Our server was well informed and shared with us the signature and popular dishes as we had never been to Blue Ginger before. When deciding on appetizers he made a helpful suggestion; we were thinking of ordering the Tempura Sole-Avocado Roulade and the Shiitake-Leek Springrolls but he pointed out that they were somewhat of a similar appetizer, so we went with the Caesar instead. We were taking our time with the first course and he was great about not rushing us. When our entrees were ready and we still had some salad left on the plate he asked if we wanted to delay the second course until we were done with the first. We said it was fine to bring the entrees over, but it was nice of him to ask and make sure we were ready!

Overall: Blue Ginger is Ming Tsai’s first restaurant, opening in 1998 and serving East meets West cuisine. A recent 2008 renovation added private dining rooms as well as a modern lounge featuring an Asian style tapas menu. The casual and chic dining room is set up with free standing tables and banquettes. Based on the high prices I thought the dining area would be a bit stuffy but I was happy to see it was more of a comfortable atmosphere. The service was great and the food was really excellent, just be prepared to spend! Appetizers run from $10-$17 and entrees range from $22 for a tofu dish to $41 for lobster or the signature sabelfish, most plates being $30+. Blue Ginger has an impressive beer, wine, and cocktail menu as well. I went with the Polly-Tini: Ketel One, lychee puree, and pink grapefruit. The menu of course has Asian influences but offers standard items like scallops, halibut, beef, lamb etc. I highly recommend whether you’re in the Wellesley area or not, Blue Ginger is a must try.
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The Perfect Bite: Lobster, fried rice, and all the goodies!
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http://www.ming.com/blue-ginger.htm
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