Dinner only tasting menu from Elizabeth Haigh at Singaporean Kopitium Mei Mei
Bā at Mei Mei (meaning little sister in Mandarin) is the tasting menu that Elizabeth Haigh has rolled out at her casual, all-day dining venue Mei Mei in Borough market. Having been to Mei Mei several times during the day and especially for brunch, I was looking forward very much to this, even more serious menu from the chef / owner having thought very highly of her menu when she earned Pidgin a Michelin star. Eight courses (the number is lucky in Chinese culture) for £45 was very good value for money and overall was extremely enjoyable. As the stools and tables are in the middle of the market, you are, at times at the mercy of whomever is passing you by or which groups bump into your back etc, but this was a decent meal.
Milk bread with brown butter and caviar salt was first and a very nice start. Beef from rump formed the satay with peanut sauce and was customarily very good. Mei Mei chicken came with avruga caviar and a miso mayo and tare dipping sauce made with mirin rice wine. A lovely, sweet combination for the pleasant fried chicken and utterly satisfying.
Essex heirloom tomatoes cam with burnt chive oil and a sensational Hainanese chicken vinegarette with Thai basil. Next was a Laksa with a mackerel coconut base, lemongrass, Laksa noodles, Vietnamese hot mint and fresh shiso. This was a fabulous dish with delightfully cooked mackerel and sumptuous flavour combined.
Next up were crystal lemon cucumbers from Crocknam Farm in Cornwall served with a Timur pepper dressing showing fresh Thai style aromats, with nectarine. Unfortunately, this is the one course that did not agree with me as was overly too pungent to enjoy its unique armoats and flavour. Hainanese chicken was poached and came from free-range chicken, served with spring onion and ginger sauce chillun, served warm. The real star here I think is the actual rice which has a sensational flavour from the Hainanese chicken, almost more so than the enjoyable chicken itself which sounds strange I know, but do please try this for yourself to try and get a sense of what I mean. The dessert was rice pudding with roasted plum, coconut sorbet, pandan and coconut. This was well done and hugely enoyable.
I enjoyed this meal hugely and it was great to be able to speak to the chef in the kitchen who was digging out and leading by example. The reasonable £25 corkage charge allowed us to enjoy our favoured wines through this good quality, Singaporean meal, which is a rare find in London, let alone the UK.
Food Grade: 71%