Update from the Bitches: Mei n Yu is now closed.
Of late, the Bitches have been invited by one or two restaurants to sample brunch as their guests (read: they comp the meal). Last month we received such an invitation, via a comment, from the owner of Mie n Yu in Georgetown.
I feel awful writing this review, because I do appreciate Mr. Molovinsky’s generosity, but not as awful as I would feel leading you astray. Truth be told, Mr. Molovinsky might regret inviting the Bitches to brunch at Mie n Yu.
I had been to this popular spot for cocktails twice, and I had really enjoyed myself—and the cocktails. Described as a “Silk Road Caravan,” Mie n Yu is Middle Eastern/Asian fusion. The restaurant is set up like a bazaar: dark wooden tables nestled underneath Turkish tents and Moroccan lanterns and accented by Buddha statues, fountains, and scrolled candle sconces on the walls. This atmosphere, which in the evening is sexy, fun, and lively, becomes cheesy and contrived in daylight.
But, that is not what I take issue with. That I can get over.
The service is what destroyed the entire experience—making what could have been a C a failing grade. What is even more remarkable is that the restaurant knew we were food bloggers: It was on the reservation when we checked in. (I’m sorry, Mie N Yu, but you dug your own grave.)
To be fair, the host was absolutely lovely—he checked our coats, stopped by to take our photo, and filled our water glasses upon our request and the waitress’ failure. (The waitress, on the other hand, may be getting fired before I’m finished.)
Brunch took more than two and a half hours, despite the fact that there were only six tables and five servers that we could count. The waitress was unfriendly, lacked personality, and was unfathomably slow. It took 15 minutes for her to bring us our water. Our water and coffee cups were perpetually empty. I ran out of things to talk about with my close friends because we had been sitting there for so long, and we were just so hungry.
Mie n Yu offers a great brunch deal: a $20 prix fix that includes a mimosa or Bloody Mary, an appetizer, an entrée, and a dessert. I ordered the prix fix, which began with the Bombay Peanut Salad, made with mixed greens, shallots, and curried peanuts, and served with a crispy pappadam basket with warm toasted cumin vinaigrette. The salad was unique—the dressing had a deep, spicy flavor more like a marinade than salad dressing. I really enjoyed the salad—it was like an explosion of flavors in your mouth.
However, it could have been fresher—it was a big soggy—either from excessive dressing or from sitting out too long in the dressing. Another gripe on the service, the waitress brought the salad out early (about the time we should have been getting our entrees), even though I had requested she bring it with the rest of the meal. It’s rude to eat while your dining partners sit there, hungry, watching you, don’t you agree?
When our entrees did finally arrive, they were cold. My banana walnut pancakes, which could have tasted great, were cold and hard. The walnuts were a lot more prevalent than the bananas, perhaps they should call them walnut pancakes.
Lacy, who ordered the Eggs Benedict, put it aptly: “It would have been good … if it would have been hot.” She said the Benedict had a nice flavor, but, honestly, who likes to eat cold eggs? She only ate one of the two Benedicts, and, bless her heart, she probably went home hungry. She also found unidentified chunks in her sausage; never a pleasant experience.
Lindsey, who had the Sunomono Blue Crab Salad, was also displeased. She says, “It was probably the best dish of the brunch but I was still not impressed by its lack of presentation and its complete void of flavor.”
In typical Lindsey form, she also ordered a side of fruit skewers. When the skewers arrived, they were mostly honeydew—and you know how we feel about honeydew. She adds, “I was immediately appalled by the honeydew and cantaloupe fruit skewers that came out after what I was imagining to be a delicious and fresh treat of exotic fruit. At least put some pineapple in there!” The fruit wasn’t fresh, and it looked plain old icky. I certainly didn’t want a bite. More importantly, if the fruit isn’t fresh, what does that say about the quality of the rest of the ingredients?
Positive comment: The spicy cumin breakfast potatoes, served with both the pancakes and the Benedict, were (somehow) hot and very delicious.
We were so eager to end this most unpleasant experience that three-quarters of the way through our entrees, I was trying to get the waitress’ attention to close out. Of course, it took multiple attempts to catch her eye because she was undoubtedly very busy. Finally, I was so very distressed I let out an uncharacteristically loud howl of desperation, “Exxxxcussseee me miss, the bill, PLEASE?”
Somewhere amid this flurry, she brought out my prix fix dessert, an Asian pear strudel, which had pear mush, instead of fresh pears, making me feel like I was eating baby food.
The Bitches say: D. The food could have gotten a C, but the service took it down to a D.
Mie n Yu
3125 M St. N.W.