“Weekend Foodtrail” – Me Wah

When I first moved to Hobart from Sydney, I was looking for good Chinese and Asian places to shop and eat. It is not an easy task, especially for those who have lived in Asia or bigger cosmopolitan cities like Sydney and Melbourne. Eventually I managed to sniff out a handful of Asian supermarket and spice shops as featured in an earlier post.

I have tried several of the Chinese and Asian places but none of them excites me as much as Me Wah Restaurant in Hobart.

DSC01505The grandeur entrance of Me Wah is located at 16 Magnet Court, Sandy Bay Road, Hobart, Tasmania. It is guarded by a pair of stone “Fu Lions” (Chinese guardian lions), which is believed to possess mythic protective powers. The pair of lions is a Chinese tradition dated back to the Han Dynasty of 206 BC-220 AD. I was told that the stone lions were specially crafted and imported from either China or Hong Kong, including all the other interior authentic Chinese craftwork; such as rosewood and mother of pearl furniture, glass walls, screens and paintings.

As I walked up to the restaurant and opened the frosted glass door designed in Chinese motif, I was immediately greeted by “Kuan Kung” in a beautiful rosewood altar. Kuan Kung is also known as Kuan Ti, is the Chinese god of war and Chinese gods of wealth. His presence at the front of the restaurant is to protect and defend against all evils, and attract wealth and prosperity to the business.

There is a large bar section separated from the main dining room by a frosted floor to ceiling glass wall in Chinese motifs, specially designed and handcrafted overseas. There are 3 separate private function rooms and a main dining room. Our table of eight was reserved at a far end near the kitchen. I have organised this dinner for work. Most of my guests have never been to this opulent Chinese restaurant before and was delighted with the experience of an authentic Cantonese style cuisine.

I had the pleasure to order and structure an eight course dinner for my guests with the exception of a first course, soup, chose by each of the guest. Stephen Tso, the Restaurant Manager, assisted with the selection and professionally explained to me each of the dishes.

Our first course is a soup; choice selection included Szechuan hot and spicy soup, chicken and sweet corn soup,  crab and sweet corn soup and superior shark fin soup. Everyone was very pleased with the soup. The superior shark fin soup was a generous serve with pieces of crab meats.

DSC01510Szechuan Hot and Spicy Soup

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DSC01513Superior Shark Fin Soup

The second course was steamed Crab Dumplings. The dumpling was soft, smooth and moist with the crab fillings, dipped in Chinese red wine vinegar. A lovely appetiser.

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The third and fourth courses was Peking Duck served in two ways. The third course was served with a piece of pancake wrapped in a thin layer of duck meat with skin, a strand of spring onion and cucumber, dipped in sweet Hoi Sin sauce. This was a first experience for all my guests, and they love it! The duck meat was tender with a sweet roasted flavour of the skin, matched with a nice crunched spring onion and cucumber. The pancake was soft that blended well with the ingredients.

The fourth course was San Choy Bow with finely diced pieces of duck meat, chinese shiitake mushroom, bamboo shoots stir fried with onions and sweet Hoi Sin sauce. The ingredients were served in a cup shaped fresh lettuce leaf. The proper way to eat this (which I showed to my guest) was to fold the leaf with the ingredients inside and eat with the hand. That was why, a fresh hand cloth was provided with both the duck courses, to wipe the hand when finished. I found the ingredients too starchy and gluey for holding the ingredients together. I would have preferred less starch being used. However, the flavour of the duck was beautiful.

The fifth course was Sauteed King Prawn in XO Spicy Sauce served on top of homemade egg noodles. This was my favourite course. The king prawn was large, fresh and crunchy. The egg noodles dressed in the XO spicy sauce was blended well, sweet and not too spicy. The flavour and focus was on the fresh prawn and noodle, not overpowered by the XO sauce.

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The sixth course was the Double Braised Abalone in Oyster Sauce. The focus on this dish was on the fresh abalone flavour. It was a generous size abalone, soft in texture and yet a bit firm to the bite. It was sweet in the oyster sauce. The abalone was accompanied with a piece of braised shiitake mushroom and a strand of Bok Choy green.

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The seventh and eighth courses were served together, Wagyu Beef in Garlic Wasabi Sauce and Special Fried Rice . This was the highlight for my guests. It was a rich dish and a great way to finish up the eight courses. The beef was tender with a nice mild flavour of wasabi. Everyone at the table commented that was the best beef they have ever tasted.

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This was not the first time I have been to Me Wah. I chose this restaurant for my work colleagues to celebrate the completion of a project phase for the culture and experience that they would normally not go on their own. I was not disappointed. As a matter of fact, I was very pleased with the entire experience and the experience was no different from the first time I have been there when they were newly opened.

The service provided by Stephen Tso and his team was exceptional and professional to every little detail, including the wine selection and the way they were served (which is normally associated in a fine dining Chinese restaurant).

9 responses to ““Weekend Foodtrail” – Me Wah

  1. Wow, sounds like an amazing meal Victor! Perhaps we should have a blogger meet up for yum cha one weekend. I’ve been wanting to go back for ages but never get around to making a booking.

    I’m very hungry now after reading your post!

  2. Victor..with apologies for being off topic. I have vegetarian daughter coming down next weekend. With Jeff away there will only be the 2 of us, but I thought to make her something nice. She likes it hot, doesn’t like tofu. Any ideas?

    • Actually I have made an XO sauce vegetarian dish. But, Vegan will argue with me because I do not use a vegetarian cooking oil or light soy. I will put up a post in the next couple of days. However, you can still check my Recipe page. There are some vegetarian dishes and one that uses “mock” meat. Alternatively, you can check Steph’s blog “Obsession Being Vegan” with link in my Blogroll.

  3. I echo Maggie’s sentiments Victor. I’m now hungry for some Me Wah food, and count me in for bloggers YC!

  4. Me Wah is fabulous Victor. I was there on Friday for lunch.
    I have been a supporter of Stephen’s ( yes, yet another one) since before they came to Hobart from Launceston.
    I have had some of the best banquets of my life there.
    They also have an amazing wine list. I shared a half bottle of 1999 Paulliac on Friday with San Choy Bau and Sechuan chilli beef. Great post!

  5. I’ll send out an email to the “gang” from work tomorrow to see if anyone has any preferences for Me Wah Yum Cha mission dates. Will be good to have a catch up where we don’t have to do the cooking, or the washing up!

    Yum! I’m hungry just thinking about it!

  6. Looks very tasty. Just wondering if the cuisine is adapted to local taste oris it still the right stuff? I’m asking because the [many, many, many] Chinese restaurants in Belgian have adapted to agree with local taste. You won’t find much chicken feet dishes, for example.
    JP

    • Hey JP – in my opinion, Me Wah is authentic and true to a Cantonese style cuisine, but at a higher end. The restaurant has a Chinese version A la carte menu, which most westerner diners are not aware unless they specifically requested for the menu. The Chinese menu offers more authentic dishes for the Chinese palate.

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