Mulan - eh.
After reading all the favorable posts about Mulan, we went tonight. Ordered pork and string bean dumplings, shredded beef w/crispy well vegetable and shredded pork w/dried bean curd. The dumplings were good, but not nearly as flavorful as those we've had at Qingdao and Wang's. Of the two other dishes, the beef was our favorite - had a subtle smoke flavor and the "well vegetables" were tasty. But none of the food had much flavor . . . we're not sure if we've been eating too much Sichuan food or if we just don't love Taiwanese food.
Post script - after our movie, our car smelled so foul from the leftovers (and folks, we're huge fans of stinky cheese, etc.) that we jettisoned them in the Kendall cinema parking garage.
An off night? Just us? I wanted to love Mulan!
I thought Mulan's food was extremely bland, the exception being the interesting chicken appetizer. My daughter surprised me by saying she'd go back there, so I'll give it another chance, perhaps ordering things that sound like they'd be very flavorful. If all goes as planned, we'll do that on Sunday, and I'll report back in.
I picked up dinner from Mulan last night. Everything was great -- the salted spicy chicken and the beef and leek wrapped in pancake. I wanted to try something new but so far I can't get past these dishes. They wrap up the food nicely for takeout (eg: putting a doily in the styrofoam to soak up any grease from the chicken) and garnished the order of pancakes with cilantro, scallions and long strips of peppers so it really was still a lovely meal when I got it home. I still enjoy the dumplings at Quindao and Wangs a little better but am sorry to hear some poor reviews of Mulan.
I haven't been to Mulan, so I can't comment on that restaurant in particular. However, a lot of Taiwanese food is kind of bland, especially compared to Sichuanese food. I don't really consider it bland, just more subtlely flavored, but it doesn't have the heat and strong spice that Sichuan food is known for. I remember eating a bowl of noodle soup with my mother (we're Taiwanese, BTW) and she commented that the flavor was subtle, in a Taiwanese style, instead of very strong like more middle-of-the-road chinese restaurants. That said, the food shouldn't be flavorless, I just think it's a level of seasoning that allows the natural flavors of the food itself to come out more. That makes sense, given the abundance of fresh seafood on the island, which could easily be overwhelmed by strong flavors.