MEI MEI comes from a long family tradition of loving food
We are a sibling-founded restaurant and food truck catering business serving up creative Chinese-American cuisine made from locally sourced and sustainable ingredients. We pride ourselves on serving humanely raised meat, produce from small farms, and some of the most creatively delicious Asian American food out there.
Several decades earlier, our Grandma and Grandpa Li owned and operated China Garden in White Plains, New York. After fleeing China with five mouths to feed, they dutifully provided Americanized classics like chop suey, but they also introduced “ho go” or hot-pot style cooking, and other regional cuisines to their guests. The dining experience was complete with banging gongs, ladies in qi-pao dresses, and large format banquets.
Their restaurant was widely profiled and active in its local community. Gotham Guide called Grandma a “dynamic, indefatigable, utterly charming lady boss.” They created a life for themselves and their children; we would be nowhere without our families.
At Mei Mei, we work in food by choice, rather than necessity, but celebrate the same joys as our grandparents at China Garden: inventive and exciting food & beverage, kind and generous hospitality, and a hopeful vision for a future that is just, equitable, and delicious.
OUR SIBLING STORY
“Mei mei” (pronounced may-may) means little sister in Chinese. When Andy founded the Mei Mei Group in 2011, he named it after his two mei meis, Margaret (who, incidentally, often goes by Mei) and Irene. Our food truck opened in April 2012 and was awarded Boston's Best Meal on Wheels soon after. Our restaurant, named Eater Boston's Restaurant of the Year, opened in November 2013 and serves up casual counter style lunch and dinner.
We three siblings have always loved food in all aspects – cooking, eating, experimenting, exploring, enjoying around a massive banquet table with all our cousins and aunties and uncles and friends. We started Mei Mei Street Kitchen in order to share our passion for food and bring together the power of our diverse experiences like Voltron to create something new and exciting.
We’ve taken food we have eaten and loved as children in the past, added modern elements and experiences of the present, and also incorporated practices that fit with our vision of how to do business for a sustainable future. With Andy’s many years in fine dining management, Mei’s experience as a successful entrepreneur and MBA, Irene’s time living on a farm and working as a line cook and our combined love of good times and great eats, we crafted a deeply personal venture that we hope you’ll enjoy as much as we do.
For us, food is happiness, entertainment, adventure, education, enjoyment, and love. We look forward to sharing it with you.
The Big Brother
Early Food Love: Deep fried cotton candy.
Superhero Skills: Phone-shouting, flight.
Happy Family Memory: My Papa teaching me my first fire-bending kata.
Last Meal on Earth: The hearts and eyes of my enemies. Also, Yuengling Black and Tan and deep fried Smiley Face potato snacks.
The Middle Mei Mei
Early Food Love: Cheap ramen – the kind that came in a freeze-dried block with a packet of MSG and salt for 10 cents. Yum!
Superhero Skills: Obsessive macaron making, parallel parking, finding great food in random cities.
Happy Family Memory: Creating a full-on bacon thanksgiving with Irene nearly a decade ago. Yep, all eight courses.
Early Food Love: Cinnamon Life Cereal (two grams of fiber per serving!), white rice with ice cubes.
Superhero Skills: Ordering the perfect amount of sushi every time, enjoying farm work, purchasing and consuming pasture-raised meat in bulk quantities, humility.
Happy Family Memory: Going to a Chinese banquet with the family and being endlessly entertained by my brother and sister making faces out of food items and putting on a lobster-head-on-chopstick, all-rhyming puppet show.