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Volume 36, Number 23

 
 

MEIWAH: Great Chinese food outside of Chinatown

by Marisa "Moochie" Megur, 2L, and Matt "Mutt" Beck, 2L, Law Weekly

Let’s be frank: outside of the Chinatown area, downtown D.C. lacks decent Chinese food. Moving here from New York, this has been a source of much anguish for the two of us.

How times have changed! The best Chinese restaurant in town has recently opened its doors in Washington. MEIWAH, located on the corner of M Street and New Hampshire Avenue, directly next to Lulu’s (for you cheesy party animals) has quickly become a neighborhood phenomenon in its brief two-month existence and definitely warrants a visit.

Before we even get to the food, we must talk about the restaurant itself. MEIWAH has two distinctive features that make eating there that much more pleasurable.

First, huge two-story high windows that surround the restaurant provide a bright and airy feel. This is a welcomed change from the basement venues in much of Chinatown.

The second distinctive characteristic of MEIWAH’s interior are its dramatic 400 pound, 25-foot metal doors which greet the customer immediately upon entering the establishment. These doors, which were shipped over from a small village in China, provide an authentic feel to the restaurant.

We were seated at a great window table which provided a fantastic view of the drunken revelers leaving Lulu’s after their St. Patrick's day celebrations. Almost immediately, we were greeted by our waiter and given glasses of water (there were always full). This prompt introduction was characteristic of the fantastic service we received throughout the night.

We were both famished and ready to order lots of food. The menu, whose cover replicates the massive doors previously described, opens up to display an impressive range of offerings.

We started where all good meals should: the appetizers. Being the rookies that we were, we wanted to try a traditional dish Moochie knows well, shrimp tempura (the deeper the fryer, the small the smile). Upon house recommendation we also tried the roasted pork and spicy squid appetizers.

The shrimp tempura’s four jumbo shrimp, fried in a light batter, were good, but clearly surpassed by our other two choices.

The spicy squid, the manager’s recommendation, was fantastic. Also lightly fried, it was flavored with sea salt, ginger and fresh chili. While the squid did have a little kick for those with weak tastebuds, it was a great taste. (Little red peppers on the menu indicate those dishes that might sear the buds.)

Our third appetizer, the roasted pork, was clearly the best. It was a large portion of thinly sliced pork covered in a very light brown sauce and topped with green onions. A very simply dish, but it left a lasting impression.

Following a Tsing-Tao (a Chinese beer) that the waiter did not have to force Mutt to drink, we moved on to the main courses. In our quest to provide a comprehensive review, we decided to order much more than we could handle. Unfortunately, we ate it all.

We first started with their most popular and classic dish, Hunan chicken. The large portion of chicken and mixed vegetables is a safe bet for those nonadventurous souls out there. The dish was covered in a very tasty sauce that mixed well with the large portion of white rice, which is served with all meals. (By the way, MEIWAH will make most dishes steamed and without sauce for those of you trying to fit back into your summer wardrobe. In our pursuit for truth, we declined the healthy option.) Our next dish, pepper steak with white onions, was probably the most flavorful we tried. This was Moochie’s clear favorite. It is large strips of succulent steak immersed in the most tasty onions you’ll ever have. A definite must for the carnivores.

Finally, against our bellies’ wishes, the manager brought us the shrimp house special. Matt was grateful ass this turned out to be his favorite. It was four jumbo shrimp, quick fried in a butter sauce, served impressively in a carved out red pepper. But don’t take our word for it, this dish has a unique taste that you must try for yourself.

While the atmosphere and food alone are worth the trip, MEIWAH’s most endearing quality is its people. Owner Larry La and Alan, the manager, opened the restaurant after leaving a very popular Dupont Circle Chinese restaurant. They wanted to open a place where they put their customers first. Their mantra, "neighborhood first," exemplifies their commitment to their clientele. They refuse to advertise, preferring a steady growth based on word of mouth. Don’t worry guys, you’ve got it.

MEIWAH is open seven days a week and delivers within a three miles radius which included Dupont, Georgetown and the Adams Morgan areas. It is open until 10 p.m. every day. Over all, the restaurant provides the best Chinese food around at highly competitive prices.

 

 


(c) 2005 Meiwah Restaurant. Meiwah Restaurant and the Meiwah Restaurant logo are trademarks of Meiwah Restaurant. All other logos are trademarks of their respective owners. The stories, reviews and comments published here are copyrighted by their respective owners and reprinted here by written permission.

 


Meiwah Restaurant

1200 New Hampshire Ave. NW, Washington, D.C. 20036,
At the corner of New Hampshire and M Street between 21st Street and 22nd Street
Phone/Takeout - 202.833.2888 - 202.833.2882

Hours of Operation:

Mon-Thu: 11:30 am - 10:30 pm
Fri: 11:30 am - 11 pm
Sat: Noon - 11 pm, Sun: Noon - 10:30 pm

FREE DELIVERY within a limited area. (Minimum Order $15.00)
FAX - 202.833.2828 | email: (NO ORDERS, PLEASE)
meiwahrestaurant@gmail.com

-- NEW LOCATION - NOW OPEN! with Sushi Bar --
4457 Willard Ave. Chevy Chase, MD 20815 | Tel: 301-652-9882 | FAX: 301-652-3988

New Food Court - Meiwah Express: 1331 Pennsylvania Ave., NW
Washington, DC 20004 - Tel: 202-393-8884

 

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