With Three Weekly Themed Dinners Exploring the Culinary Globe
By: Jeff Walker, Business Review
Daniel Island has a handful of fine eateries, but when it comes to breakfast and midday meals not so much. However with the opening of MPISHI (Swahili for chef) this past spring, that has all changed on Charleston’s Island Town. Tucked inside the Publix shopping center directly across from Volvo Stadium, MPISHI is a pleasant mix of American, Mediterranean, British, and Asian fare, with a dash of the rest of the world mixed in.
Open 8am-2pm seven days a week, MPISHI offers up traditional breakfast and lunch items, alongside signature dishes reflecting more of an upscale roadside diner, catering to both mild mannered and adventurous palates. There are no rules any longer when it comes to meals. If you want Soup of the Day with Swiss & Gouda Grilled Cheese at 9am, or Buttermilk Pancakes and a Fresh Fruit Salad at 1pm, than MPISHI will accommodate your requests.
Between their daily six hour window you’ll discover a plethora of distinctive, as well as customary entrees that will titillate and satisfy hunger pangs. Owned and operated by husband and wife team of Andy and Allie Clay, MPISHI celebrates many of the countries the couple have lived in or visited around the world.
Raised in England and Australia, Andy has over 30 years experience as a master chef, with Allie a career Animal Behavior Specialist, recently earning her degree as a pastry chef. Together they are committed to serving up a broad range of breakfast and lunch items, alongside flavorful sweet treats. It’s a pleasant one-two punch.
Without sounding mundane, everything I sampled on their bill of fare was amazing. The Asian Chicken & Eggplant Rice Bowl is extra hearty. Perfectly seasoned and topped with a fried egg. It’s the ideal complete meal, as is the Hash of the Day, which is often a mystery meal. Another pleasant surprise. They will however clue you in prior to ordering.
If you have a sweet tooth that you have to address, than the Sourdough Cinnamon French Toast will fill the need. Two thick slices of sourdough bread sprinkled in cinnamon, wrapped around oozing layer of Nutella (cocoa hazelnut spread). It is a sinfully luscious treat that will wake your taste buds up in the morning.
Maybe you like your ‘wake me up’ meal close to the vest, than you can go old school southern and strap on a more familiar feedbag. Enjoy a sumptuous two egg (any way you like) breakfast with toast, breakfast potatoes, bacon and sausage for just $11. I guarantee you will not go away hungry.
Craving a medley with character, I strongly suggest the Yiayia’s (Greek for Grandma) Special Soup. Quite simply it’s chicken and egg swirling in a chicken & lemon broth. Sounds uncomplicated but the savory result with a citrus kick is awesome. It’s the kind of soup a doting grandmother would have prepared from scratch, knowing someone in the family needed a little extra pick me up. Think of it as America’s version of chicken noodle soup with panache.
From the lunch listings I sunk my taste buds into what I can only describe as fully seasoned Italian sandwich. A copious amount of Parma ham, seasoned salami, fresh mozzarella, presented open-faced, slathered in tapenade, a pungent paste made from black olives, capers, and anchovies. It’s Italiano to the max and carries a flavor you’ll remember well beyond lunch. Easily complements a Stella Artois, a glass of brut spumante, or sparkling water.
Why wait until late November for a sandwich you crave all year long. The Day After Thanksgiving Sandwich is an everyday delight at MPISHI. Moist turkey layered under roast potatoes and seasoned stuffing, topped with gravy and cranberry sauce. It’s a festival of holiday foods exploding in your mouth. I highly recommend it.
They are far from fast food, but you can still have it your way MPISHI. Have any sandwich with your choice of five different breads including a gluten free option. Your half dozen signature sandwiches come with either thick cut fries or a side salad. Over a dozen sides to choose from with another half dozen beverages including teas, espresso, and cappuccinos. A list of craft beers and ciders spanning the globe as well as right here from the low country, with an additional list of white, red, and rose wines.
While MPISHI’s main focus is early morning and midday meals, due to his global reach Andy has begun hosting family style dinners three days a week that mirror his travels. Thursday thru Saturday 5-8:30pm diners can feast on genuine delicacies that might demonstrate foods from Morocco, Ethiopia, Italy, Greece, India, Great Britain, Asia, or any of possibly 20 countries around the world. Each meal meticulously crafted for authenticity.
There might be more dining options at night on Daniel Island, but with a revolving menu over a three day weekend stretch, MPISHI allows for a cornucopia of heavenly delights that you might not find elsewhere on the island or in greater Charleston. If you’re a food lover who thinks outside the box and is not afraid to try new things, than a visit to MPISHI any given Thursday thru Saturday evening might prove engaging.
Weekend dinners are served family style, so you get a little bit of everything! The price is $28 for adults, $10 for kids. Take-out is also available for $16. Giving the amount of food, the quality, service, and overall attention to detail, the price per person is reasonable for dinner rates on Daniel Island. Daytime fare ranges from $2 sides to entrees between $8 and $14. Again quite reasonable considering the ample plate set in front of you.
While I haven’t taken their full worldly dinner tour, I have sampled the Dim Sum (Chinese) menu and can vouch for it’s credibility. Steamed buns, spring rolls, bok choy, edamame (immature soybeans), and sticky rice among a dozen offerings, as well as pan fried turnip cake that would easily please both carnivores and non meat eaters. With Dim Sum you get equal amounts of pungent and subdued taste sensations.
Mediterranean Seared Tuna Salad, Vegan Wraps, Avocado Toast, and House Made Granola with fruit and yogurt. When it comes to variety, MPISHI serves up everything but the kitchen sink.
In an area that is growing by leaps and bounds, including new transplants from around the country, Daniel Island needs imaginative businesses such as MPISHI to appeal to diverse tastes. With the workforce that exists on the island, and the Long Point Rd. and Clements Ferry corridor just minutes away, MPISHI is a welcome respite from the ordinary breakfast and lunch fare.
Andy and Allie do their best to make their restaurant as inviting as possible. The overall décor’ is clean, modern and provincial, with lots of windows to allow the sun to thoroughly bless diners throughout the day. A few seats at the counter for those dining alone. The service is impeccable, warm, and friendly. MPISHI is the way food service should be.
Traditional, ethnic, unconventional, and awe inspiring foods are scattered on the menu at MPISHI. It’s kind of like taking a low country café’ and introducing a few flavors from around the world. Whether you walk on the mild or the wild side, you’ll find something tastefully appealing at MPISHI. Check out their website at https://www.mpishirestaurant.com.
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