Not too long ago, Stephanie and I met up for some food and a bit of catching up. We had put together a list of restaurants open for a weekday lunch; one spot after another got crossed off until we were left with Myers and Chang, an Asian restaurant on Washington in the South End. We had both been wanting to check it since it opened, so we had made plans to meet up at noon.
Myers and Chang calls itself an “indie diner” serving variations on traditional Asian fare. I don’t know if I would personally describe the restaurant as a diner per se, mostly because the space is way too stylish and slick to be your everyday greasy spoon. After all, the first thing I noticed when I walked in, even before I saw Stephanie at our table, was the bold and graphic dragon decal emblazoned across the floor-to-ceiling window. What other diner has décor like that?
After much deliberation, Stephanie and I decided to share a few small plates — the better to tour the menu, right? We chose the pork belly buns ($9.00), the crispy spring rolls ($5.00) and what the menu described as “Mama Chang’s pork dumplings” ($11.00).
The first of our dishes to arrive were the spring rolls, which were made with chives, bamboo shoots and shiitake mushroom. They had a pleasantly green flavor, very fresh, and weren’t the least bit greasy, even though they had clearly been deep-fried.
While we were busy eating and having a gossip, the pork buns appeared. While these pieces of braised pork smeared with hoisin were nothing compared with Momofuku Noodle Bar‘s drool-worthy buns, Myers and Chang’s little sandwiches were still quite nice, moist and fatty.
Our last dish were the potsticker dumplings, which, like the buns and rolls before them, were nice. I guess that’s where I have trouble with Myers and Chang. Everything was fine. And that’s it. I left scratching my head a bit. Where were the chefs’ personal touches and updates on these typical Chinese and Korean dishes? Our food tasted good, don’t misunderstand, but why would I be drawn into a self-stylized diner with Chinatown a few subway stops away? I’d give Myers and Chang another chance to blow me away with their food — they’ve won me with their aesthetic and with their servers’ cheerful demeanors — but I’ll make sure I’ve got a few Chinatown backups at the ready.
Myers + Chang
1145 Washington Street
Boston, Massachusetts 02118