Me Soo Hungry, 5372 E. Second St., 987-1688.
• Hours: 11:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. Sunday and Tuesday through Thursday, to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday. Closed Monday.
• Location: In Belmont Shore at intersection of Claremont Avenue and Second Street, in the old PJ Thai location. There is a public lot behind Blockbuster and street parking in the area.
• Staff/Service: The staff was friendly and knowledgeable; service was very quick.
• Food/Drinks: Appetizers include Vegetable Egg Roll, Fried Wontons, Crab Rangoons, Boiled Wontons in Chili Sauce, Fried Shrimp and Pan Fried Dumplings. Soups include Hot and Sour, Egg Flower and Wonton. Vegetable and Tofu dishes include mixed vegetables, broccoli with straw mushrooms and Tofu with vegetables.
Chicken dishes are numerous and include Orange Chicken, Chicken with Broccoli, Mushroom Chicken, Garlic Chicken, Chicken with Snow Peas, Kung Pao Chicken, Chicken with Vegetables and Cashew Chicken. Beef dishes include Beef with Broccoli, Kung Pao Beef, Beef with Vegetables and Mongolian Beef.
Shrimp dishes include Shrimp with Snow Peas, Kung Pao, Braised Shrimp and Crispy Shrimp. Chow Mein and Fried Rice dishes include the House with chicken, beef, and shrimp, as well as chicken or beef or shrimp.
There are lunch specials through the week and daily dinner specials.
• Atmosphere: The dining areas are nicely appointed with granite-style tabletops and white linen. It seems formal but not pretentious. There is a small fireplace for cool evenings. The dining room is super clean, and a pleasure just to sit there and relax.
• The Taste: Jennifer and I stopped for an early weekend dinner. We both enjoy Chinese cuisine and have noted with much joy that there seems to be a revival of Chinese eateries. For the most part, they are much smaller than they once were, but that is fine with us. Me Soo Hungry is one such place, smaller but better. Open just a few months, it brings a fresh face to Belmont Shore and some classic recipes.
We couldn’t decide, so much looked good, so we got way more than we needed. We started with the house special appetizer, boiled wonton with chili sauce. The wontons are gingery with a boiled dumpling texture. The chili sauce is mildly spicy but very tasty. Jennifer would have liked a bit more kick, but I found the sauce pleasant.
Then the feast started. Mongolian Beef. Kung Pao Shrimp. Chicken with Cashews. And House Fried Rice.
The Mongolian Beef is among the best I’ve ever had. The beef is tender and seems to have a slight charbroiled flavor. The dish is very generous, the aroma intoxicating, the flavors of the onions, hoisin sauce and beef meld into a great example of a classic dish.
The Chicken with Cashews was sauced a bit darker than I’ve sampled, but it was tasty and chock full of water chestnuts, straw mushrooms, snow peas, celery, carrots and sliced chicken. The sauce is rich and adds an earthiness to the dish that is unique. Very nice.
The Kung Pao Shrimp was also very good. A generous amount of medium shrimp was stir fried with straw mushrooms, garlic, chiles and peanuts. The dish has a nice snap and can be made hotter by crunching one of the peppers. The sweetness of the shrimp adds a nice complement to the heat and the flavor is classic. Also very nice.
The House Fried Rice was exceptional, made with light soy, not the usual dark sauces. It’s wonderfully tasty and very light. Jennifer said she could live on it. High praise, indeed.
Me Soo Hungry is an excellent addition to the dining choices available in the Shore. Fresh ingredients, classic recipes, excellent preparation, generous portions ands reasonable prices — what’s not to like?
• Price: Lunch for two is $15 to $20, and dinner for two is $20 to $35 for a feast.