Mei Jing Chinese Restaurant is situated off the corner of Boronia Rd and Mountain Hwy in Wantirna. It was formerly known as ‘Superstars’ Chinese Restaurant which has now changed management and is still known as Superstars on most websites including Urbanspoon – it’s obviously time for me to update its details ;). If it wasn’t for my family friend finding it in the Chinese newspapers, we would never have dined at this restaurant as it really was in the middle of nowhere.
The decorations of the place was that of a typical Chinese restaurant, nothing too special, apart from the very golden ceiling reflected by the awfully bright lights just above our table. I tried to take a photo of it but the shine hurt my eyes so didn’t end up working out too well. The table where we enjoyed the meal was right next to air-conditioning vents and made us all shiver with coldness, as it was reasonably warm outside and most of us only wore a thin layer of clothing. The waiter was very nice and quickly turned down the air-conditioning for us. I’ve had many experiences like this in Chinese restaurants and most of the time I get rejected by phrases such as ‘but the other customers might be warm’ or the likes of ‘sorry all the air-conditioning vents are connected so I can’t turn off just this one, please put up with it’. I was pleasantly surprised at the good service here.
Whenever we go out with these family friends, it’s always occasion to open a bottle of red wine. This time it was Bowen Estate Cabernet Sauvignon 2005 made in the Coonawarra region. This wine’s actually quite popular with everyone I know who’ve had it. I’m not a big wine drinker so I can’t really comment but I do find it easier to drink than others because it’s not as dry and is a bit sweeter.
We ordered the usual mixed cold platter entree with jellyfish and realised that Mei Jing’s is actually fairly different. It’s usually individual portions of jellyfish and other things such as marinated pork, chicken/duck feet, duck tongue or some other variation but Mei Jing’s is actually marinated duck strips with peanuts, carrots and other veggies. I liked it! We finished off every little bit of it, even all the peanuts.
We also ordered a mixed roast dish, including roast pork, roast duck and cha siu. I personally didn’t like any of them, the duck itself was too fatty and wasn’t that tasty anyway. The cha siu was WAY overcooked and totally dry and tough I didn’t even want a second piece. The worst was the roast pork which was salty and the skin wasn’t crispy! I hate un-crispy pork skin. Although it wasn’t a very good start to the evening, it quickly got better as our main dishes came on.
it’s not unusual for us to order cooked oysters as well and this time it was a huge plate of it. I’d rather eat raw oysters just because it’s refreshing and tasty but I guess cooked ones were ok too. It came in two flavours – garlic and chilli bean paste. I liked the chilli bean paste one more because there was more flavour.
It was lobster and crab season when we went. Having heard that lobsters were dirt cheap after exports to China fell through just before Christmas last year, all we really ate that night were lobsters and crabs – not that I minded of course since those lovely shelled sea creatures were as plump as they could have been and luckily enough, Mei Jing wasn’t too bad at making it. The lobster came on top of the usual noodles and cooked with ginger and shallots. The noodles were moist and tasty, the lobster was juicy. I like eating lobster because I’m lazy and the pieces of meat are large :P, except the legs. I hate eating lobster and crab legs!!! They should make dishes that consist of only lobster/crab meat and no legs. I also prefer raw lobster more any day.
This took me forever to eat as I’m fussy with getting every little bit of it clean before I move on and when everyone else’s eaten two or three pieces, I’ve just finished my first one.
Finally when I finished the silly lobster legs I was given, the crabs came on. It was different in cooking style, this time they were covered with salty duck egg yolks which gives it a beautifully salty and eggy aroma. I love anything covered in salty duck egg yolks, including the chicken ribs that we always get at Chinese restaurants. The crabs were a highlight for everyone because the flesh was very tender and juicy and cooked to perfection. So delicious! If only it wasn’t so shelled.
My family friends made the mistake of ordering 4 more dishes after the crabs, how silly right? Well, they’re Chinese. My parents insisted on cancelling all of them except one veggie dish and told the waiter exactly that. Usually when you cancel dishes towards the end of an evening, within minutes the dishes will come out and the waiter will say ‘sorry, it has already been made!’. I was totally expecting it but, lo and behold, the waiter came back and said ‘the orders have been canceled for you’. O_O Gosh. At that point, I was totally impressed with the service! We were left with the sauteed snow pea shoots. I found it too tough which meant it wasn’t baby snow pea shoots. The flavours were ok but the texture made it almost difficult to swallow. Not the best one I’ve had.
I had mixed feelings during the night. The roasts were just terrible and definitely not worth getting, but the crabs were beautiful. I’d come back to eat the crabs. The service on the other hand was fantastic, probably one of the best I’ve had at a Chinese restaurant in Melbourne. I’m not sure if it was because the restaurant was reasonably empty or because management was recently changed and they’re still in the process of trying to impress customers but it certainly hit the spot for me.
As we didn’t pay for the meal, I couldn’t bring myself to ask to see the bill so, no prices unfortunately. I don’t believe it was expensive.
Mei Jing Chinese Restaurant
Phone: (03) 9887 1580 or (03) 9887 1508
703 Boronia Rd, Wantirna 3152