For my family, the day after Thanksgiving usually entails lounging at home, spending time together, and making delicious sandwiches with leftover turkey. This year, for some reason, we decided to head to Century City. To our surprise, there weren’t that many people so we decided to try Meizhou Dongpo, the new Chinese restaurant where the Brazilian one used to be.
The Shut-Up-and-Give-it-to-Me-Quick Version:
Good, not great.
Would not return, things looked delicious, but it just did not deliver. It lacked that wow factor.
The I-Like-to-be-Wrapped-Up-in-All-the-Details Version:
Let me say that I am very adventurous food wise and I have been to China and loved it! This restaurant isn’t your typical Chinese-American cuisine. They actually claim to be very authentic and have many locations in China (they also catered to the Olympic village back in 2008). For all those reasons, I was super excited to try it and let me tell you, the menu looked great, they have pictures of almost everything and I couldn’t wait to be seated.
The restaurant is large and fits about 100 people, it was busy when we went, but not packed. I did notice, right of the bat, how nice everyone was, the staff were all friendly and very welcoming. This may be a generalization, but I feel that most Chinese restaurants (at least the ones I have been to) don’t have the best service so this was a nice change.
The host and our waiter recommended some “must haves” so we stuck with those. We really wanted the duck, but we just weren’t that hungry so we stuck with a few “house favorites”.
Mon-Thurs, Sun 11:30 a.m. – 10 p.m.
Fri – Sat 11:30 a.m. – 10:30 p.m.
Attire is laid back, seeing as it is part of the mall, most people were dressed very casual.
What we ate:
- Dongpo Pork Belly ($18)
- Serrano Pepper Beef ($20)
- Sichuan dumplings ($8)
- Dan dan noodles ($6)
- Meizhou fried rice ($10)
The pork belly was good, although it had fat it didn’t taste fatty or greasy which was nice, but it lacked flavor. I was dying to put chili paste and luckily, once they brought it out, that made it much better! This is not the fried pork belly you are expecting, it is braised, sliced and served over cabbage and mustard greens.
The serrano beef was just alright, it was thinly sliced and wok-fried served with slices of serrano pepper, chili oil, and sichuan pepper corns. The result was surprisingly not that spicy, it was just a bit bland. The broth that the meat was served in (basically meat juices) was tasty, but the meat itself lacked flavor. Even the blend of multiple spices didn’t amp it up. The meat was good because it was thin and relatively tender, but it just wasn’t great.
The dumplings were okay too, nothing special and definitely not the best pork dumplings I have had, but they tasted good (these were a tad spicy). The dish had five pieces that came with scallions, chili oil and ginger. Again, they just didn’t wow me and considering you can’t royally screw up dumplings I was expecting more.
The noodles were probably the best, they were extremely spicy though, but it was a nice spice. They were served with ground pork and peanuts in a sesame-chili broth. I think I liked this so much because everything else lacked flavor so this was a good contrast.
The fried rice comes with either vegetables, shrimp or chicken. This was the worst dish, by far. It was so bad that we sent it back. It had absolutely no flavor and did not taste fresh at all.
Overall, the restaurant is too pricey for what you are served. I am all for paying more for something I love, but I didn’t love this place (not by a long shot). The service was good and the ambience was nice (you can sit outdoors), but I won’t be rushing back here anytime soon.