The Boston Phoenix
July 15 - 22, 1999

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Men Tei

Sometimes you gotta have the big bowl

by Liz Zack

[Men Tai] Believe it or not, the Newbury Street crowd doesn't come to Men Tei to be seen -- it actually comes to eat.

Just off Newbury itself, Men Tei, which translates literally to "noodle shop," doesn't feel as exclusive as its neighbors. If it weren't for the parking hassles, you'd hardly guess you were in the same area: people come in casual garb, stowing their Armani shopping bags under the red vinyl seats. True to the name, much of Men Tei's menu consists of big-bowl noodle dishes, but it's worth delaying the main course for the starters. In seaweed salad ($3.75), thin slivers of seaweed, dark and light green, were tossed with a nutty sesame oil and topped with toasted seeds; the shumai ($3.95), dumplings with a smooth shrimp filling, were also tasty.

[Men Tai] The noodle bowls that come next (things really fly out of the kitchen here) made me wish I had skipped lunch. They're huge, and not with filler. We were constantly amazed at how much chicken kept surfacing in the broth of the fried-chicken ramen ($6.95). Likewise, the thinly sliced pork in the miso noodle soup ($6.95) kept appearing amid the scallions and bean sprouts, although the delicate flavor of the miso broth did get lost in the shuffle. Two tips before you embark on a Men Tei meal: fast beforehand. And take the T.

Men Tei is located at 66 Hereford Street in Boston. It's open Monday through Saturday from 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. and Sunday from 11:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. Call (617) 425-0066.

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