Foreign Policy Analyst • GIS Mapping Specialist • Bookseller • Freelance Writer & Photographer


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Saturday 31 March 2018

MEJU: The Captivating Culinary Delight in Davis Square

A short walk down the hill from Tufts University, on the outskirts of Boston, quickly brings you into the bustling streets of Davis Square. There you will find the welcoming aroma of freshly brewed coffee, mingled with the sweet and spicy scent of enchiladas wafting up from the Painted Burro Mexican restaurant. Into this delightful mix of sights and sounds comes a Korean restaurant to rival any of the culinary competition on the block.

Aptly named "Meju" due to its prevalent use of the popular ingredient throughout its menu; the dishes that come out of this kitchen are so delectable they’ll have you planning your next visit before you've even finished the appetizer. Speaking of starters, Meju has a great selection ranging from traditional dumplings to scallion pancakes, spicy rice cakes and sweet potato fries. A personal favourite is the restaurant’s fusion take on Korean buns. These fluffy, feather-soft buns are dripping in bright orange sauce filled with succulent pork and delectable cream cheese and pickles.

As for entrees, Menu has several options or “Big Plates” and you certainly can’t go wrong with the Kimchi Fried Rice. 

After coming in from the cold on a chilly New England night, this warm bowl of rice, crunchy scallions and spicy homemade kimchi complete with my choice of shrimp or chicken and topped off with a bright yellow fried egg, was just the thing to defrost my frigid bones and put a smile on my face. Last time, I went with shrimp, but I see that they have since added bacon as an option, so I'm definitely going to head back and give this a go!

A novel and interesting item on the menu is the optional side order of purple rice. While I haven’t tried it yet, several of my friends have and couldn’t really tell the difference between it and the regular rice, in terms of taste. So, if you’re looking for something daring and new to excite your taste buds then you may want to pass on the purple rice. However, if you’re interested in something visually unique and aesthetically pleasing then definitely give it a try. One’s attitude towards the purple rice ultimately boils down to what they expect to gain from a dining experience.
Moving on to a definite crowd pleaser: The Cocktail Selection

The signature Meju Mule is made with Soju:“Korea’s most popular alcoholic beverage”, ginger beer, sun-dried pepper and lime. These subtle yet crisp flavors blend harmoniously to make an exquisite complement to any meal. So if you’re not where to start on the menu, this drink is the perfect place to begin.
Another inspired creation is the Thai Basil Gimlet. The fresh basil used in the Gimlet heightens the texture of the gin, creating a robust, full-bodied flavour with a smooth finish. Definitely, worth a try especially if you are an avid gin-drinker.

If you think the Gimlet may be too strong for you, I would suggest the Citron Gin Sparkler. While both contain gin, the splash of Prosecco in the Sparkler creates a very delicate drink that is dangerously refreshing. The flavours of honey, citrus and sparkling wine so expertly mask the power of the gin that you could easily drink five of them and end up dancing on the tables before you know it. 

Overall, the warm ambience, fantastic food and decadent drinks on display at Meju make the it just the place for a romantic date, dinner out with friends or just drinks with the girls. This is a difficult balance for one restaurant to strike, but I believe Meju does so with ease.

*Pro-tip to my fellow blogger/Insta-foodie friends: The lighting in Meju is rather dim and can prove challenge for the average smart phone camera in the evenings, so be sure to bring along something that is capable of getting great shots in low light*