Sunday, June 6, 2010

Mei Wah Takeaways

Critic Issue 14 - Num Nums

Soy Sauce Chicken

Everyone has a favourite takeaway shop, and mine is Mei Wah Takeaways. Since fish and chips and the like have been covered in the Review Issue (issue 9), I am going to focus on ‘the other stuff’. The two things that I order the most at Mei Wah are the ‘BBQ Pork and Tofu on rice’ and the ‘Soy Sauce Chicken on rice’. They taste great and you get quite a decent portion for $8.90. Now, if you are one of those people who are grossed out by the texture of tofu, do not order the BBQ Pork and Tofu – duh. The tofu used in this dish is the really soft, smooth (silken?) kind and of course, when stir fried with barbecue pork and vegetables, breaks up. The end product isn’t particularly pretty but is quite tasty. The barbecue pork pieces are sweet and tender and the sauce that everything is stir fried in is savoury, garlicky and slightly spicy. Perfect hearty, comfort food for a cold day. If you can’t stand tofu, you can simply order the ‘BBQ Pork and Vegetables’ instead.

BBQ Pork and Tofu

The ‘Soy Sauce Chicken’, which is my favourite Mei Wah dish, is absolutely delicious. The chicken is delectably tender and moist and very, very tasty. Most of the time, the actual flesh of the chicken is quite bland and it’s the sauce or the flavour from seasoning on the skin that makes a chicken dish taste good. Soy Sauce Chicken, however, is traditionally made by steeping the chicken in a soy sauce mixture for quite some time, which allows the flesh to absorb the flavours, making it extra tasty. I don’t know if that is how they make it at Mei Wah, but whatever the recipe is, it’s a good one.

Half Honey Chicken

The ‘Honey Chicken’ is another, quite spectacular Mei Wah speciality. Basically it is honey flavoured deep fried chicken and you can order half a chicken, the whole chicken, with or without rice. The caramel brown skin is beautifully thin, crispy and savoury, with a light honey coating to give it that mildly sweet, honey flavour. Biting into a piece and tasting the salty sweetness of the skin coupled with the juicy, mouth-watering chunks of chicken is bliss, particularly when you have that ‘fried chicken craving’. I prefer this to KFC when I need my fried chicken fix.

Chicken and Cashew Nuts

I also like the ‘Chicken and Cashew Nuts’ dish, which, besides the chicken, comes with loads of cashew nuts and vegetables. The serving is such that I always have to split it into two meals. I realise that I have written about mostly chicken dishes, but generally you can order the same type of ‘stir fry’ dish with lamb, beef or seafood. I also really appreciate that most of the stir fry dishes come with vegetables, because then I can be lazy and not worry about my vegetable intake for the day.

Finally, if you’re on a budget, you may be interested to know that Mei Wah, which is just a little over a block away from the St David lecture theatres, offers really cheap lunch specials such as, a variety of fried rice, meat and vegetable and sweet and sour dishes for only $5.90, seven days a week. I think that these would fill you up a bit more than fish and chips or burgers.

Mei Wah Takeaways
660 Great King Street
North Dunedin

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