When Peter Fang owned New Dragon in Hollywood, the restaurant served the typical Chinese-American staples: The menu was crammed with sweet-and-sour-this and that-fried rice. But Fang is determined to winnow down the standard dish list at his newest venture, Wei Mei Diner.
“We try to have a simple menu,” Fang says. “You go to any Chinese restaurant, it’s too many things.”
The Wei Mei menu is remarkably streamlined. The bulk of the entrée section is devoted to 19 “classic” preparations, such as ginger broccoli, cashew nuts and Hunan, and five noodle bowls; customers can request them with chicken, beef, shrimp or tofu.
Wei Mei, located in the former Yogurt City at Northwoods Marketplace on Rivers Avenue, won’t specialize in exclusively Chinese cookery. “We are doing like all kinds of popular food from Asia,” Fang says. “We just pick a popular item from each country.”
So in addition to sesame chicken and “crazy fish” (which Fang describes as “crispy, with sour sauce — I think this is the most popular dish in China”), the menu lists pad thai, udon, curries, Malaysian pork, Korean grilled chicken, salads and smoothies.
“It’s mostly healthy,” Fang says.
Fang, 30, was born in Fujian, a province on China’s southeast coast. He moved here in 2005; he sold New Dragon two years ago.
“We want to do something different,” he says. “We don’t want to do something traditional and follow the rules.”
Wei Mei, 7620 Rivers Ave., Suite 385, is scheduled to open on Apr. 20. For more details, visit weimeidiner.com.