The one thing I’ve learned about myself in this blogging experience is that if I don’t have much to write about a restaurant I’ve tried, the longer it takes for me to write it. Seems counter-intuitive. I mean if you don’t much to say, it shouldn’t take very long to say it, right? But the more jazzed I am about a restaurant, the more I have to say, the more I want to write about it and spread the word. Same goes if I really don’t like a restaurant – I may procrastinate since it is uncomfortable to write something bad about a business which may be owned by a family who makes their living through the success of that restaurant, but rarely am I at a loss for words. So what happens when a restaurant is only average. Not great, but not horrible either. Words, I have found, are definitely harder to come by.
Having said all that, it has now been almost two weeks since I’ve been to Hsiu Yu. Initially, I thought that the food was pretty good (I even tweeted as much), but after reflection and inevitable comparison, I’ve decided that Hsiu Yu is really only average. The food is alright, but ultimately forgettable, blending in with dozens of its competitors. To me, there were just no distinguishing features, from the food, to the service, to the atmosphere, setting this restaurant apart (with the exception that you have to buy a fortune cookie if you want one!).
If someone I was with really wanted to go to Hsiu Yu – I wouldn’t say no; the food there is okay, not terrible. But given a choice, I would go maybe a mile away, just outside Loop 410, to Formosa Garden – the food there is, in my opinion, better, although soup is not served with the lunch specials there either. Or, more likely, I’d go two or three miles south on Broadway to Mon Thai where the food is much better, includes Chinese options along side their signature Thai dishes and the atmosphere infinitely more interesting and intimate. Other Chinese restaurants I believe do it better are Wah Kee, on Blanco just outside Loop 1604, (although I would not give it higher marks on atmosphere) and the Taipei/Mencius family of restaurants (great food, great atmosphere, but pricier).