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Restaurant review: Fat Git gets lost in the Mei-Mei

Food-loving cabbie Fat Git indulges in manic abandon at the Mei Mei Chinese restaurant

Published on May 16th 2008.


Restaurant review: Fat Git gets lost in the Mei-Mei

IT is frankly amazing what people get up to in the back of a cab, and I think you know what I mean.

Now I am a man of the world, which means that if someone wants to fiddle around with someone else then they are welcome. So long as my clock is going up too.

I am a man of generous proportion, and it's not easy to reach past the love handles when you are sailing along the road and groping around in your Bermuda shorts

But I do draw the line at three things: People having a cigarette for afterwards in the cab, people leaving items of clothing behind and other people in other cars peering in.

It was a hot day last week. I was out on the bimble with all the windows down when my hand held device suddenly went off in my pocket. Now, I am a man of generous proportion, and it's not easy to reach past the love handles when you are sailing along the road and groping around in your Bermuda shorts.

Actually, we were crawling along The Strand, the phone was going off, over and over. I could not feel it in the right pocket anywhere.

There was an exasperated sigh. “For fuck's sake. I'll find it.” It was Cousin Tony. I take him on the box quite a lot when I'm out and about. Tony has got issues and normally he just sits there in a world of his own. But this was rattling him and suddenly his hand lunged into my other shorts pocket and started frantically searching to retrieve it.

He was fumbling about in the left, I was fumbling about in the right, when suddenly I felt a pair of eyes boring into me. I looked out to see a blonde piece in a big gleaming Range Rover staring down. She was a bit gorgeous but her nose was all wrinkled up.

“People like you disgust me,” she said, shaking her head, before going from 0-60 for all of ten yards in the Albert Dock lane then slamming the brakes on once more.

One hour and 20 minutes later, we finally arrive at the Mei Mei. This is in Chinatown, next to the best car park in Liverpool, where I often bang up for the night.

The Mei Mei is always packed to the rafters, and not because it does all-you-can-eat buffet either (although there's nothing wrong with that).

Now Cuz, for once, can see mega bucks. He is within a whisker of settling his compo claim with the council. It's been going on for years and he's off to the Beijing Olympics when the dosh comes through. He therefore is on an “up”, is getting this one in, and wants to order every single thing on the massive menu. I tell him not to be daft.

“Shiu mai to argue?” he keeps guffawing.

Tony has already had four Tsing Taos (£3) and is interrogating the waiter about Cantonese and Mandarin languages. He's off on one, but the young lad is friendly and takes it in his stride.

From the Dim Sum list, Gern Chun Ow Yuk sounds like an old Les Dawson sketch, but is, in fact beef dumplings with ginger and spring onion. Fun Kuo is a deep fried prawn parcel, like a tiny Chinese pastie. Char Siu Bun, is a roast pork bun, Shiu Mai is prawn and meat dumplings.

Hat gau is a prawn dumpling. Crispy spring rolls are crispy spring rolls. He orders all of these at £2.50 apiece, plus Ribs in OK sauce (£6) and Baked Mussels in Szechuan Sauce (£5.50) and a stash more beer “to be going on with”.

I have eaten at some of the best Chinese restaurants in the world, Hong Kong, San Francisco, New York and London, and this lot, when it arrives is the best looking and tasting Oriental grub I've come across in recent times. Mind you I haven't been out of Liverpool for a while.

Anything deep fried is hot, bone dry and crisp. All the seafood has been cooked to a whisker of the correct time so it is neither dangerous or bullet like. The ribs are meaty and plentiful enough to fill up the average stomach (not mine), and the sauce is thick, dark and shouting with flavour. No finger bowls though. The baked mussels are huge, languishing flat in their shells, and are generously drizzled with a perfect hot and sour Szechuan. Get tucked in Tone, and get a bottle of Australian Sauvignon Blanc in.

I am on incapacity benefit and find that the Cantonese diet is very healthy, so don't mind ordering a few other things, especially when I'm not paying. Therefore we get three main courses: Fried scallops with capsicum (that's green pepper to you) and black bean sauce(£10); fillet steak in Mei Mei Special Sauce (£10.50) and, just to be sure, Pan Fried King Prawns in Garlic and Coriander (£9.50), which you won't find in the Wong Kok chippy by my mum's.

Tony is giggling maniacally and can eat no more, so I dig into all three.

The scallops are huge, perfectly cooked, there are loads of them and the fresh bean sauce in no way overpowers them. And it could. The beef dish is equally delicious in its Mei Mei sauce which tastes of everything (MSG, bring it on) and the prawn/coriander thing is an equal treat and tastes of just that.

I polish off the lot and lie back. What bliss is this, readers?

The phone goes off again, but this time it's Tony's. It's his legal team, by the look of it, but he's talking up some strangers by the window, all about his trip to China and buying them drinks. He's on a roll and I've never seen him so made up.

I look at it. I answer.

Two minutes later it is my turn to sigh and I look over at the cackling Cousin.

I will be working a lot of overtime this summer.

Rating: 16.5/20
Breakdown: 8.5/10 Food
4/5 Service
4/5 Ambience
Address: Mei Mei
9-13 Berry Street
Liverpool
L1 9DF
0151 707 2888

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JinxyMay 16th 2008.

After extensive research I have concluded the best Chinese restaurant in Liverpool is the New Capital at the bottom of China Town. Try to resist the urge to stumble drunkly into first restaurant you reach under the arch - its soooo worth the extra effort. The New Capital is consistently good (unlike many others) and serve some of the best Char Sui and Roast Duck I have ever had. And trust me, I've had a lot. Enjoy!

Confucious he sayMay 16th 2008.

The North Garden is still fantastic, especially when you've had a skinfull and need to soak it all up with a few poppadoms and a chicken madras at three in the morning.

MichelleMay 16th 2008.

This made me feel a bit sad at the end! Poor Tony!

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