By Anna Ing
As a big fan of Mei Mei’s Street Kitchen, I was ecstatic about its brick and mortar location in Brookline after a successful Kickstarter campaign. Conveniently located near the Green B, C and D lines at 506 Park Drive around the corner on Buswell Street, I no longer need to worry about following the food truck schedule.
The bright dining room features colorful chalk renderings of the menu and other pertinent information. Behind the counter, diners can see the cookbook collection. Restroom décor includes wallpaper from “The Encyclopedia of Chinese Food and Cooking” plus pennies to decorate the floors.
Like the food truck, the restaurant remains committed to being green. It is a certified Sustainable Business Leader by the Sustainable Business Network of Massachusetts by using local and sustainable foods in its menu.
We started with the sweet potato dumplings ($9): four hearty, fried and hand-rolled sweet dumplings filled with feta cheese and sweet potato. They were served with homemade chunky applesauce that had a great tartness, while the sour cream balanced out the sugar of the sweet potato and barely discernible salt from the feta.
Next came the fragrant wok stir-fried greens ($5), which were kale and tsoi, aka baby bok choy cooked at high heat with chili oil and tasty garlic panko, creating a wonderful blend of spicy, crunchy and slightly bitter.
The roasted mushrooms dish ($18) consisted of maitake, shiitake, blue and gold oyster mushrooms, and caramelized parsnip. They were topped with an herb salad made with pineapple sage, arugula and sorrel, dressed in a surprisingly light maple soy vinaigrette. Roasted almonds added to the crunch factor. The earthy taste of the roasted mushrooms, sweetness of the herb salad and the roasted almonds added a great touch.
Next came the daily tacos ($14). The special of the day was beef tongue that was pulled and then fried.
Three tacos were topped with yogurt, sour cream, garlic and chive sauce. The local veggies were corn, carrots and onion, along with a bit of toasted nori (seaweed) for texture. All together, the lovely saltiness from the cured beef tongue, light and tangy yogurt sauce and seasonal veggies simply shone.
The night ended with a special dessert called sour patch brownie ($6). It was moist fudge brownie pieces over cocoa crumbs, served with housemade basil ice cream and candied mushrooms in citric acid. The purple bits were basil flower garnish. Following the recommendation to eat all the elements together was amazing. The crunchy cocoa crumb went well with the soft brownie, while the fragrant basil ice cream offset the sweetness. The candied mushrooms were barely discernible.
Mei Mei’s sells its trademark Chinese fusion food with flair and constantly changes the seasonal menus, filled with delicious and inventive flavor combinations. The service continues to shine — everyone was friendly, knowledgeable and patient. Mei Mei’s star continues to rise as it serves delicious quality food.
506 Park Drive, Boston, MA 02215
This post is also available in: Chinese