So it appears that we have a new trend in town and the first trend is this amazing girls night haven, a place where women can get all dressed up, live in the liberty of not being constantly hit on by busters, the autarchy to be able to order as much as you want without judgment, and the freedom to eat and drink without being overly concerned about immediate stomach bloating showing through my cute outfit. Now this is not to write that men aren’t allowed or that there weren’t any men in Mei Mei restaurant located in Philadelphia, but I only saw two men so that is the equivalent of being a safe eating place for all fly women everywhere.
Mei Mei is an asian fusion restaurant, that’s pretty in its decor, that’s hip in its vibe, with just the right amount of dark lighting, and the right amount of delicious. Now when we arrived the hostess walked us to our table and immediately informed us that we had 80 minutes, which brings me to the second trend. Lately, I have noticed that restaurants are giving patrons the time limit upon entering the restaurant, and I have to write although the restaurant may fancy themselves as being efficient, I call this methodology tacky and here is why. Sure it may be incumbent upon the patrons not to excessively lollygag, but the responsibility for constant momentum during the dining experience should rest totally on the kitchen and the server. The server should know how to gently move along the eaters, adding a gentle nudge if necessary to get them to the finish line, and to inconspicuously help the patron know when the culmination of their evening is quickly approaching. Mei Mei when you tell the patron on the onset their time limit, without even knowing it you have sprinkled some water on an evening that was supposed otherwise be lit. So not only do I have to use my phone to view the menu, now I have a time limit, and does the clock start when I sit down or does the clock start after I make my order? Mei Mei experience is everything, it is the secret sauce to the return patron, it is accompaniment to any amazing meal.
So speaking of the meal, this dining experience was all about the small plates, and not because the entree was not there for the taking, but it just seemed as though the small plates were way more intriguing than the large. So first up was the Shrimp Bao also known as steamed buns. These buns were absolutely heavenly, the shrimp was lightly fried, covered in an aioli sauce, a dollop of radish and a dollop of pickle to give you a smidgen of crunch, a morsel of sweet, and an entire mouthful of perfection. Now I wouldn’t be me, if I didn’t notice where the restaurant could have upped the ante with this dish. You see there were only two people eating, but the restaurant served three bao buns, you see how this was a bit troublesome? You see when the third bun is on the plate, then Mrs. Manners is forced to emerge, I am forced to forgo my desire and offer the bun to my eating partner, I am coerced to get into a mindless back and forth of “you can have it, no you can have it, yeah please take it, I’m good” until my greedy self simply just says enough is enough and eats the last bun. But if you had given an even number or had the option to get a single additional one, then this insincere verbal entanglement would have been avoided.
Next up, the Pork Spare Ribs, or otherwise known as the bone tender ribs. These ribs were sweet from the char siu sauce, these ribs were sticky, these ribs were smoky, and so darn tender I accidentally bit a piece of bone and was able to chew through that bone like I was in a backyard barbecue and not a fancy smancy restaurant, where etiquette is totally important.
Last up, was the Scallops and Risotto. Now readers I am not gonna tell a fib, upon first bite of those scallops and risotto, my eyes closed just a bit and I involuntarily began to shake my head in a yes motion for a second. The scallops were impeccably cooked, the risotto was so creamy and bright tasting from the scallions, my tastebuds did a dance I will not soon forget.
Mei Mei my palate was appreciative, and although I was given a time limit, with the good service every minute was executed perfectly. This restaurant has officially turned into becoming one of my go to spots for girl night fun and palate pleasing foods all around. Well done, Mei Mei, well done🍽