Leaving an additional restaurant at Tamiami Sq. in North Naples, I observed the nearby O’mei and my stomach sank.
I hadn’t frequented this upscale Chinese cafe since it returned to this plaza off U.S. 41 previously this year. Then my tummy growled when I remembered how delicious O’mei can be.
Executive chef Mark Cheng and his wife, Mary, first opened O’mei Chinese Delicacies in this incredibly spot 11 many years ago. They packed up and moved to a Naples Boulevard spot in 2014 in advance of returning to their primary property in April.
“We have some constant customers that have come given that we had been in this place,” Mary Cheng reported in an April job interview. “People beloved this location, and we did much too.”
I wished to learn more about that like, and hence this critique discovered me tucked into the corner of an O’mei booth in a dining area that seats about 150 but, on this day, only contained the 3 people in my celebration and the occasional buyer bobbing in and out for takeout.
At O’mei, diners can uncover everything from Peking duck to Basic Tso’s chicken to Yangzhou fried rice. O’mei dishes wonton and egg drop soups and drizzles its salad with a selfmade sesame and soy vinaigrette. It packs its eponymous pan fried noodle dish full of rooster, shrimp and scallops.
All that is to say the menu is massive, catering to Chinese and Americanized preferences and doing both quite well.
The eating area, way too, is well performed. Lanterns cling from the ceiling and an open up kitchen area allows the scents from the kitchen waft into the eating area, tantalizing you with the assure of foodstuff before long to observe.
The initially dish to fulfill that assure was a steamer basket of pork soup dumplings positioned on important carrot slivers.
The factor about these suckers was that they’re comprehensive, as the name implies, of soup. That soup, if you’re pondering, is scalding warm. The matter about me, if you’re curious, is that I have not one particular affected individual bone in my body. I experienced no faster tossed aside the basket lid than I’d bitten gum-deep into a crimson-hot pool of broth.
The suffering was value it. But a better concept would be to wait around a number of minutes right before tucking in and spare oneself my agony.
I do, nevertheless, issue my comprehension of the drunken fish. At $25 a pop, you get grouper stir-fried with Chinese mushrooms, scallions and a yellow sauce infused with wine. It is good, and chewing as a result of the rubbery-then-soft mushrooms was entertaining.
For that price tag, it didn’t entrance me the way the other far more cost-effective (and admittedly far more mouth watering) entrees did.
Exactly where O’mei shed me with the drunken fish, it won me back with the Kung Pao rooster.
The Sichuan dish arrived swaddled in a measured portion of plum sauce. Chili peppers extra a welcome heat, and peanuts brought yet another pop of texture. I could swim in a pool of that sticky-sweet sauce, its heat bit by bit fading with each and every fluffy chunk of brown rice.
Even though nothing at O’mei astounded me, the cafe was strong, refreshing, great. The Chengs choose common dishes and infuse them with attractive elements. They see no require to fix what is not damaged but continue to control to elevate and enliven these classics.
Their regulars enjoy this unique spot, and I can see why.
Jean Le Boeuf is the brand name under which our restaurant critics have published for more than 40 several years. This post came from team author Andrew Atkins. Observe our critics at fb.com/jeanleboeufswfl or @JeanLeBoeuf on Twitter and Instagram electronic mail [email protected] Link with this reporter: [email protected]
O’mei Chinese Cuisine
14700 Tamiami Trail N., Naples
Cellular phone: 239-631-8106
Hours: 4:30-9 p.m. day-to-day
Pork fried dumplings, $8.95
Hen lettuce wraps, $11.50
Salted pepper calamari, $12.50
Normal Tso’s chicken, $18.95
Orange crispy beef, $20.75
Mango prawns, $22.95
*hours and costs issue to adjust
What the symbols signify
$ – Regular entree is beneath $10
$$ – $10-$15
$$$ – $15-$20
$$$$ – $20-$25
$$$$$ – $25 and up