Thursday, April 8, 2010

Mie N Yu. . . more like Mie N Pew

Scallops cooked Indonesian style: seared then left to cool in the kitchen

Last weekend four of us decided to make the most of the break in the weather and enjoy an outdoor happy hour at Sequoia on the Georgetown waterfront. Sequoia’s outdoor patio is quite the scene, really crowded, and all in all a good HH spot. As the evening gave way to the night we all began to get hungry. The group made the collective decision to not eat at Sequoia because the food is overpriced and underwhelming, this choice would later prove ironic.

So we walked back up to M Street and passed an assortment of restaurants (including my pick Johnny Rockets) before settling on Mie N Yu. The other blogger had been there before and was eager to share this unique restaurant with me. I had never been there, but the other three had and were aparently ‘wowed.’ Mie N Yu is a self proclaimed “Silk Road Celebration.” Well there must have been an accident on the Silk Road because our meal was as enjoyable as rush hour traffic on the beltway.

I’ll admit, I was initially impressed with the place. The décor was unlike any restaurant I have ever been in. Tables are uniquely arranged, Middle Eastern awnings cover each table, lavish pillows adorn the seats, and real candles burn in hanging lanterns. As we sat down and I continued to inspect the surroundings the initial wow factor began to wear off. The décor seemed like an exaggerated caricature of Middle Eastern/Asian furnishings. It was almost as if the owner was basing decoration off of over the top Ali Baba cartoons. I felt like we were on a live action ride at Disney World. I half expected our unnecessarily ornate booth to start moving around the restaurant to see an animatronic Aladdin and Jafar sword fighting.  I had enough time to create this crackpot theory because our food took FOREVER to arrive.

First off the girls were disappointed because they had removed sushi from the menu. Our waiter was very nice and had two feet out the door (he was promoting his next restaurant), so he was willing to give us some good information throughout the night. He said that the sushi was too difficult and costly to make so management removed it from the menu. I guess the Silk Road stopped running to Japan. Side note, do you know how big the silk road was/is? Check out Wikipedia’s map. Attempting to cover this large a region with so many cultures on one menu is ambitious to say the least. 

It took forever to get our order in, during which time the group went from hungry to starving (and for some of us grumpy). Aside from drinks we ordered Lettuce Wraps, Beijing Style Lacquered Duck appetizer, Cantonese Wild Rockfish, and two orders of the Indonesian Scallop “Kare.” It was taking so long that we complained to our waiter. He was sympathetic towards our situation and explained that the kitchen was understaffed and there was a disconnect from management. He insisted that we complain to the manager because that was the only way to get change in the kitchen/restaurant. It felt like we were acting as pawns in some longstanding Mie N Yu drama.

Lettuce Wraps

Duck Appetizer

The lettuce wraps and duck appetizer were very good, but it was an hour after we received our menus that the entrees finally came out. The scallops were cold, so was the rockfish. If you are going to pay 26$ for four small scallops then they better be piping hot and do a song and dance routine. Again we complained to our waiter. That’s What She Fed (despite the fact my stomach was eating itself) sent our plate back and didn’t bother accepting a redo from the kitchen. The others in the group were too polite (or hungry) to do the same.


The manager finally came out as we were receiving the bill. Usually managers are über apologetic (especially since we refused another dish) and offer their condolences and maybe a free dessert. She, on the other hand, was like a Georgetown sorority rush chair telling the nice fat girl (us) that we weren’t cool enough to rush her house.  We all looked at each other dumbfounded and she quickly ran through what I guess one could consider an explanation. The main point of her reasoning was that they expect people to sit for 2 or 3 hours. But that doesn’t explain the cold food and raised questions about the tiny plate of edamame they provided the table for snacking. She said that we didn’t have to pay for the scallops like she was doing us a favor. We couldn’t get out of there quick enough. The bill, despite the fact that there were only 2 entrees, was still $150.

Mie N Yu is a gimmicky trap set for people out for a night in Georgetown. It may be a good spot for some high schooler to impress a date, but it should be avoided by any food enthusiast. We may have caught an isolated bad experience, but the issues we saw that night were emblematic of larger problems.

Mie N Yu on Urbanspoon

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