Shaolin Chinese Restaurant – Merida

Hooray, the Critic is back in Merida. Actually, he has been here for a while since the outing to Vancouver, but financial concerns have kept him from anything beyond tacos here and there and a repeat visit to La Susana Internacional in Kanasin, which has been reviewed to death. That and a quick regrettable lunch at Las Gordas in La Gran Plaza mall; regrettable because as the Critic foresaw, this cheap and delicious lunch led to a serious bout of gastrointestinal distress the following day.

Shaolin is the subject of this review; this is another entry into the already crowded Chinese food array of offerings in Merida, which range from the dirty and nasty little places in people’s garages to the mall versions to the stand-alone restaurants of which Nao, formerly known as Hong Kong, is the best known.

Located on 21 street between Montejo and Plaza Fiesta, this restaurant cannot be missed thanks to an enormous gold-colored dragon out front. Plenty of parking is available in front or on the street. Inside, the place is all hard surfaces and not particularly pretty, although it gives a good first impression with the ornamental metal bamboo structures and imaginative wall treatments. Once you look closely however, you can appreciate the shoddy workmanship that went into everything from the cement to the aluminum to the gyproc false ceiling. However, the effect is not unpleasant and does not distract one from enjoying the food.

The menu offers a combination of both cream-cheese-plagued Yucatecan sushi and standard Chinese fare seemingly lifted from the Nao menu. The Critic and his always up-to-a-challenge Better Half ordered the sticky sweet and delicious Chicken Chi Maa, the chock-full-of-goodies Chow Fan rice and an order of Tres Torolos sushi. Neither the Critic nor the Better Half understand the Torolos moniker, but there were three kinds of seafood on these rolls; salmon, shrimp and tuna if the Critic remembers correctly. The sushi was, unfortunately warm and so the Critic didn’t even go there. Warm sushi is a no-no. The fish was draped rather sparingly around the rice stuffed with cream cheese and avocado. It seems that folks here think that anyone can whip up some sushi; nothing to it! Wrong.

Service was pleasant and the food arrived quickly at the table as it was prepared. First the Chow Fan, then the Chi Maa chicken and lastly the “sushi”.

There are two televisions, one at either end of the restaurant, which somehow detract from the dining experience, since obvious attention was paid to the china (plates etc) and it seemed a little too nice for a restaurant that shows soccer games on TV. Air conditioning is good.

The bill came to 256 pesos for the above mentioned meal, along with a limonada and a Coca Cola, served from a bottle, thank you very much as opposed to a can or the pre-mix version.

Would the Critic return? Maybe. For the time being, Shaolin is nothing to write home about.

13 thoughts on “Shaolin Chinese Restaurant – Merida

  1. Merci Elsa avec des petit pois (et du fromage)! Will try to get a photo up for you!

    🙂

  2. Thanks for being the guinea pig with these Chinese restaurants. It keeps me from having to try them. I miss good Asian food, but then I'm from San Francisco. If you ever find one that is worth the trip, I hope you let us know.

  3. You are welcome Jonna. It's a responsability I take very seriously, being the guinea pig. Wait a minute… is that an Italian slur?

    I also am on the lookout for Asian food of the non-MSG variety!

    Cheers!

  4. who are you anyway? what gives you the right to come to mexico and talk trash about what you see or eat? if you don´t like our food or lifestyle why don´t you go back to your hometown and stay there? and yes! we like watching sports even if we are not in a sports bar, you better get used to it.

  5. Ah yes, that old argument. If you are going to live here, you better only say nice things. Or go home. How original.

    Actually this review was pretty tame, compared with some others the Critic has written.

    And are you speaking for all Mexicans, MexicanGirl, when you say you like watching sports everywhere? How presumptuous. That wasn't even the Critic, that was Salime's comment. And guess what – she's a Mexican.

    Go eat some cream cheese sushi and relax.

  6. I know she´s a mexican, i can read and speak english pretty well. Also, I don´t care if you don´t like my argument, it´s the truth. On the other hand, I don´t like sushi and couldn´t care less if it´s stuffed with cream cheese or not, actually I´m just annoyed by you saying bad things about every restaurant you go to in mérida.

  7. You know she's Mexican? Because you can read English? Wow. That's amazing. If you could really read English that well you would have read many a positive review (Nectar, Trotters, La Susana Internacional, Tacos PM, La Tradicion, Casa de Frida, to name a few).

    But if a restaurant sucks, I will write about that too. It's called critiquing restaurants not saying 'bad things'. You probably have things that you are interested in and like to write about and so I invite you to do that.

    You should try Campay; they have good sushi – you might like it.

  8. First of all you should do the critic to the restaurant manager but again I don't think you got the guts, however, I have to say that I have been in this Shaolin restaurant and besides what the critic has said about it, I had a good time in it.
    The food was excellent, I had the low-mein and belive me, it was reeeally good.
    Yes I saw the tvs and perhaps I don't like sports all the time, I saw that there was no sports on, I think were music videos or a movie, but again mexican people likes to eat while they are watching tv and most of them like sports like soccer so I imagine that when the mexican soccer team is playing they put the game on and I think it is a good thing.
    It is true that sushi is not the usual sushi that you can get everywhere but it is really good, you should try the 888 maki, it doesn't have cheese and the presentation is really nice. My boyfriend had it and I like it very much.
    For the inside it is really warm I mean you feel really comfortable, it is kind of fancy and on the outside it is amazing it is something really different from the other chinese food restaurants or japanese restaurants.
    Well my advice is: you should give it a chance you won't regret.
    Thanks and have a nice day XoXo

  9. I think is good to have these critics, because thanks to them restaurant owners and chefs would try to improve the quality of their food and places, so we can compete with some great restauants in great cities.
    people will always pay for good food.
    Try the new sushi place ¨Sensei¨ next to Boxito Kalia tha Tuna sashimi it's awesome.

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