We both started with one of the house-made sodas on the menu, J with a lychee-vanilla soda, and me with a mint lime rickey. J's lychee-vanilla soda was delicious, not too sweet, and my mint lime rickey was a bit like a mojito, without the rum. We then ordered several dishes off the dim sum menu, still unaware of the amazing food we were about to eat.
The first dish to hit our table was the Thai ginger chicken chicken with rice vermicelli. Served in a Chinese take-out box, the chicken was tender and rice vermicelli perfectly cooked. A good start to our meal for certain, but the best was yet to come.
Next to hit the table were Mama Chang's pork dumplings. Three deep fried pork dumplings, crispy on the outside, deliciously tender and flavorful on the inside, served with a slightly sweet and savory dipping sauce. J and I both prefer our dumplings steamed but these were really good.
At this point the plates were coming at us fast and furious and our table was filling up. Our table was now covered in plates of garlicky and spicy chicken wings, salt + pepper calamari, braised short rib with Asian pear bao, 5-spice grilled tofu bau, and the most amazing, incredible, delicious, wok-roasted lemongrass mussels.
The garlicky and spicy wings were, as the name would suggest, garlicky and spicy. These excellent chicken wings were meaty, perfectly cooked, and drizzled with sriracha, our favorite condiment. I could eat these wings all day long and would have ordered more were it not for all the other delicious plates on our table.
The salt + pepper calamari was also perfectly cooked. Lightly dusted with some salt and pepper then very lightly fried. At least I think they were fried, does anyone know any different? The calamari is served atop a spicy aoili and garnished with cilantro. A perfectly simple preparation with a most delicious result.
Next up were a couple baos, the word bao means bun in Chinese. Now you may know that I am not a big consumer of pork, but one of my absolute favorite dim sum items is char siu bao, preferably baked but steamed is great too. Char siu bao is a steamed or baked bun filled with barbecue pork and I absolutely love the flavor of the bbq pork and the bun. At Myers + Chang, they maked steam bao and stuff them with your choice of braised short rib with Asian pear, 5-spice grilled tofu, soy braised chicken, roasted duck, or crispy pork belly. J and I ordered one braised short rib with Asian pear bao and a one 5-spice grilled tofu bao.
The braised short rib with Asian pear bao was the winner of these two. Incredibly tender, flavorful short rib on a perfectly steam bun. The 5-spice grilled tofu bao had good flavor from the sauce but really didn't excite us too much. At this point in our meal, all we could talk about were the incredible, amazing, best we've ever had, wok-roasted lemongrass mussels!
Yes, the dish we likely would have missed had we been able to order banh mis from the regular lunch menu are the wok-roasted lemongrass mussels. I can make some pretty awesome mussels myself, I even once considered them the Best Damn Mussels, Period. However, now, I have to give that title to Myers + Chang for absolutely knocking it out of the park with these incredible, amazing, wok-roasted lemongrass mussels. These mussels have such incredible flavor from a combination of lemongrass, garlic, ginger, salt, pepper, lime, chili, cilantro and fish sauce but what really set these mussels apart is the cooking method. The wok-roasting over incredibly high heat imparts this amazing charred/grilled flavor that would simply not be possible on your average home cooktop. I'm seriously considering buying an outdoor, propane-fired burner capable of up to 65,000 BTU's just so I can make these mussels at home. The average home cooktop is capable of less than 10,000 BTUs with more expensive models having high output burners capable of up to 18,000 BTUs. Most restaurants have commercial cooktops capable of 20-50,000 BTUs while others even have dedicated wok burners capable of up to 250,000 BTUs! Until I have a worthy burner, I'm just going to have return to Myers + Chang for my mussels fix.
There are many reasons why J and I want to return to Myers + Chang including trying the banh mis but it is definitely the wok-roasted lemongrass mussels that will keep us coming back for more. Myers + Chang can be found at 1145 Washington Street in Boston's South End neighborhood.