I had been Googling for places to eat in Boston and I gotta say, Boston is one major foodie city. I was there with colleagues for work and in just one week, I managed to eat very very well and very very easily (I made bookings for almost everything only 1-2 days prior). High on my list was Myers+Chang, a restaurant owned by Christopher Myers and Joanne Chang (the latter is also the pastry chef and owner of the very popular Flour Bakery) featuring an Asian fusion menu. I was intrigued. And on Mondays and Tuesdays, they have a Cheap Date Night offer – set menus for two for $45. Budget menu? Excellent! Five colleagues and I were game.
The place (in South Boston) is a bit of a walk from the closest metro station and it being Monday night, the streets were empty – a huge contrast from the hip hop music blasting through the packed restaurant. Between the six of us, we ordered one of each of the three available Cheap Date Night menus. Everything came out at once, necessitating the addition of another table, but I’ll break them down here.
The “Bro Date”
Their Green Papaya Slaw, chilis, peanuts, fish sauce had a good chilli heat that was unexpected. Though it’s “fusion” cuisine, the seasonings haven’t been dumbed down.
We had no idea what to expect with the Crispy Arctic Char Roll, nori, hot Chinese mustard but what arrived was fantastic. It’s a whole piece of arctic char wrapped in a spring roll wrapper and fried – gorgeous.
Of course, the Grilled Pork Belly Porchetta, shiitake, black vinegar, soft egg was one of my favourites! You can’t go wrong with tender pork belly and a soft boiled egg!
Spicy Silky Tofu, peppered pork, scallions, kimchee was pretty good, though perhaps lacking in spice.
The “Girls Night Out”
The Fresh Rolls, herbs, lettuce, tofu, chili peanut sauce were very much like the Vietnamese summer rolls.
I love anything to do with roasted or fried cauliflower so the Sweet and Sour Cauliflower Bites, pickled shallots, fresh mint, toasted rice was right up my street.
A particular favourite of the table was the Kale and Sungold Salad, Korean chili vinaigrette, crispy shallots. Kale salad! I mean, really! It’s excellent!
The only slight dud in this menu was the Black Pepper Shanghai Noodles, tofu, shiitakes, peanuts, cilantro which I found a bit dull. Oh well, they’re fine as a filler-upper but I think there are other more exciting-sounding noodle or rice dishes on their regular dinner menu that might work here.
The “It’s Complicated”
Their Island Creek Oysters, yuzu snow were utterly fantastic – very fresh and set off with the slightly sweet and highly aromatic yuzu snow.
These grilled Peel and Eat Szechuan Shrimp, caramelized lemon, mouth numbing pepper were also excellent, with a kind of fusion Sichuan sambal thing going on on top.
I also enjoyed the Stuffed Rainbow Trout with Coconut Rice, tomato ginger jam, Penang spice – why haven’t I paired rainbow trout with sambal? It’s fantastic!
The Hakka Eggplant was very good, being all soft and silky, but the seasoning on it seemed a bit muted to me.
For six, this was just the right amount of food, leaving a little space for dessert (I was looking forward to trying Joanne Chang’s creations). It was a little difficult to split some of the items and I reckon it’s easier to split things between four rather than six. It’s clear though that these Date Night menus are well designed for two.
A Silky Chocolate Mousse, black and white sesame brittle, tamarind caramel was certainly very rich and very popular with our table.
The Frozen Vanilla Bean Parfait, fresh orange granita was a cute play on the orange creamsicles I grew up with. And it was certainly superior to the creamsicles I grew up with.
My favourite was the Lemon-Ginger Mousse Coupe, homemade fortune cookie and yes, there was a message inside the fortune cookie! I normally hate cheap fortune cookies but this homemade version, with lots of ginger in the batter, was outstanding, all buttery and crisp.
This is the kind of food I love – it may not be entirely “authentically” Asian but it tastes good and that’s what matters. I’m just upset I never had a chance to eat off their a la carte menu! There are so many things on their menu I want to eat: Korean bbq sloppy joe, fried chicken and ginger waffle, beef and broccoli chow fun…
Anyway, reservations are imperative for Cheap Date Nights.
1145 Washington St