Sherman's Food Adventures: Maji Restaurant

Maji Restaurant

After my initial visit to Maji, it didn't seem like I was going to return anytime soon.  Well, famous last words, because I had to go back due to an SD card failure (lost all my pictures!).  So after my 2nd visit, I thought the food was solid, but again, wasn't planning on returning in the foreseeable future.  Again, I had to eat my own words as I met up with Joyce, Chloe and Jesse to try their 3-cup chicken for the CRA.  In addition to that, we decided to order as many weird dishes as possible just for the shock value.  Interestingly, we weren't phased by any of the food, so I guess we are weird?

To starting things off, we had the Crispy Chicken Skin with pepper, salt, garlic and chilis.  Sometimes, fried chicken skin can turn out to be a disaster as it does not "crunch-up" like pork cracklings.  Well, there was no problem here as they were crunchy throughout and well-seasoned.  I particularly liked how they didn't feel greasy nor fatty despite we were eating fried skin.  Next up, we had the Deep Fried Pork Intestines. As expected, there was a level of gaminess and pungency to this dish.  For myself, I enjoy that particular flavour and it was definitely evident here.  The pieces were slightly crisp on the outside while the inside was fatty and soft with a touch of chewiness.

Moving on, we had the Five Flavour Squid with Taiwanese 5 spice, shredded ginger and pickled cucumber.  Of all the dishes we had, this was rather surprising as we didn't peg it as a potential favourite.  Well, for me at least, it was the best dish of the meal.  Each piece of squid was chewy with a rebound texture that was easy to eat.  Doused in a fragrant and well-balanced sauce including the unmistakable hit of 5 spice, this was addictive.  Next, we tried the Pan-Fried Oyster that arrived bubbling in a cast iron pan.  Due to their similar texture, the tofu and oyster were hard to tell apart, especially drenched in a considerable amount of well-seasoned black bean sauce.  Not a bad dish, but a bit boring.

Now onto the dish we were actually here for - the San-Pei Chicken (or 3 cup chicken).  This was a pretty good version with succulent pieces of chicken that were bathed in just enough sauce.  The flavours were pretty balanced where it could've used a bit more zing.  With that, we headed off to another "normal" item being the Taiwanese Stir-Fried Noodle.  Having ordered this dish twice in the past, I knew this was more of a filler dish than anything else.  Hey, not saying it wasn't good, but compared to the rest, this was ho-hum.  Similar to the other visits, the noodles were soft with some chew while the flavours were pretty mild.

Back to the strange, we shared the Pork Kidney which looked almost like a soup.  It really wasn't a soup, but ate like one (sounds like a Chunky Soup ad...).  I found the pieces of kidney to be cooked just enough where the texture didn't tighten up.  It was still moist with a subtle snap.  As for the broth, it was sweet and naturally gamy from the kidney.  Lastly, we had the Deep Fried Century Egg tossed with minced garlic, chili and green onion.  Since I personally love century egg (darn, why wasn't I on Fear Factor?), this was a good dish in my books.  It was aromatic and flavourful from the toasted garlic and chilis.  Based on the dishes ordered on this 3rd visit, I've gained an appreciation for Maji as they seem to nail almost everything at a reasonable price.

The Good:
- Extensive menu
- Generally consistently good across the board
- Open late

The Bad:
- Service a bit indifferent
- Ah the parking...

Maji Restaurant 麻吉台式熱炒 on Urbanspoon


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