Me Wah – Introduction
Me Wah in Sandy Bay is a large, elegant and opulent establishment in the style of many of the better Melbourne or Hong Kong Chinese restaurants.
The friendly and respectful service that has helped put their Launceston restaurant on the map continues here. This is quite a feat for such a busy restaurant that is full almost every night.
The other feature of the restaurant is the ever-improving wine list that features a range of superb wines from around the globe. It is rare to walk into a suburban restaurant in this country to find a list containing thirteen vintages of Penfold’s Grange Hermitage tucked among other stellar performers such as Giaconda Chardonnay, Bass Phillip Pinot, Domaine A Reserve de Patron Pinot, Dalwhinnie Shiraz, Bollinger Grand Annee, Albert Mann Tokay Pinot Gris Grand Cru Hengst, Mount Mary Pinot and a Chateau La Nerth Chateauneuf du Pape.
And if you can’t choose from that range then there is even a Domaine Romanee-Conti Romanee St-Vivant that should satisfy even the most discerning palate.
If you are unsure what to order, simply ask and you will receive good advice.
And now to the food. Our meals here follow a fairly predictable, but very satisfying, path. We start with lovely fresh oysters that have been lightly cooked with spring onion, soy and ginger. We then enjoy a plate of beautiful steamed dumplings which include garlic chive (particularly good), prawn and pork and maybe scallop and chive or prawn and bamboo shoot depending what is available on the day.
The care and attention to detail is no more clearly expressed than with the serving of the Peking duck which we always order next. The thin slices of highly-lacquered duck skin are carefully constructed on a trolley brought to the table. The duck is encased in the pancake along with some hoisin sauce, shallots and cucumber.
The duck is served two ways with the second round seeing the meat of the duck turned into a wonderful filling for san chow bow where the meat is cooked with other ingredients and then placed in nicely trimmed iceberg lettuce leaves.
At one meal we felt the desire to cut loose and ordered an expensive but beautiful long-cooked dish of braised abalone cooked with Chinese mushrooms – it was sensational!
As an added bonus they also serve yum cha on Saturday and Sunday (check their web site for hours).
The procession of dishes is amazing and vies with many of the best Chinese yum cha restaurants interstate. The dumplings are particularly good (we love the xiaolongbao and the vegetarian dumplings), the tripe with chilli and black bean is perfect and the turnip cake is some of the best we have encountered.
We always accompany our yum cha with pu-erh tea from the Yunnan province of China. This is a perfect accompaniment to the food as it is an aged tea that looks very strong but is actually quite mild while having a satisfying texture and flavour.
We also like the fact that the aging process (which can be up to twenty years) promotes the development of antioxidants.
We also always order a bowl of their excellent XO sauce to accompany the snacks that we have ordered. This sauce which was invented in Hong Kong a few decades ago adds an extra dimension to the food, with the dried shrimps and scallops creating a complex flavour.
The picture above shows a dish of xiaolongbao (soup dumplings). The dumplings have a jellied stock inside, which when steamed prior to serving causes the jellied stock to turn into liquid soup inside the dumpling wrapper. These must be eaten with care!
Street: 16 Magnet Court
Town/Suburb: Sandy Bay, 7005
Phone number: +61 3 6223 3688
Opening hours: Lunch and dinner Tue – Sun
You can find out more about Me Wah on their Hobart Web site by clicking on the link below:
The Me Wah has been included in our story on places to eat in Hobart: