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The GW Hatchet


The GW Hatchet

Serving the GW Community since 1904

The GW Hatchet

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Scott’s Spots: Meiwah

This post was written by Scott Figatner.

1200 New Hampshire Ave. NW

Meiwah has played host to some of the biggest names in D.C., as clearly evidenced by the photographs covering the restaurant walls. But Meiwah itself is a big name in Washington; the colossal neon letters can easily be seen from the seven-way intersection nearby.

The two-story restaurant is modern and tasteful, not too ostentatious, with glossy wood floors, expansive windows and a pleasant outdoor terrace. We were welcomed and seated immediately in a large and lively dining room.

There is nothing extraordinary about the menu. There are still the same Americanese standards—sesame chicken, sweet and sour pork, orange chicken, etc.— and they put those little chilies next to the spicy menu items too.

I never like choosing dishes from Chinese menus. The lackluster—or rather, nonexistent—descriptions bore me. Take “orange beef” for example. I like to know what flavors I can expect from a dish, not the color of the food. (Now, if the cow was orange, that would be worth knowing.) Also, for someone unfamiliar with “twice cooked pork,” I’m unlikely to order it based on the extra cooking alone.

I made my decision based on what looked tasty in the dining room. We ordered the Szechuan chicken which, after eating it, could have been described in this way: “A pungent dish of tender chicken, inspired by the Sichuan province of southwestern China, bursting with the flavors of garlic and red chillies, with a subtle pop of ginger.”

This was also the second time we ordered the “bok choy and mushrooms” or—as it should have been advertised— “baby bok choy poached in a simple, delicate broth with succulent and savory black mushrooms.”

The bok choy were cooked just right until sweet and tender, while the shitakes are plump and have that glossy sheen that comes from cooking in a reduced sauce. They absorb whatever juices the chefs add and burst with umami flavor.

We left Meiwah with full bellies and empty wallets. Now, if I could only get up on that wall of fame.

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