The Nameless Restaurant by Tao Wong

December 12th, 2023 Kimberly Review 18 Comments

12th Dec

Perfect for fans of Legends & Lattes, this delectable cozy fantasy held me captive as Tao Wong introduces us to the first novella in the Hidden Dishes series with The Nameless Restaurant. Pull up a chair, grab your earbuds and see what chef & owner Mo Meng cooks up when a jinn and her wizard companion demand a meal.

The Nameless Restaurant by Tao Wong
The Nameless Restaurant
by Tao Wong
Series: Hidden Dishes #1
Narrator: Emily Woo Zeller
Length: 3 hours and 10 minutes
Genres: Fiction
Source: Publisher
Purchase*: Amazon | Audible *affiliate
Rating: One StarOne StarOne StarOne StarHalf a Star
Narration: 4.5 cups Speed: 1.5x

There is a restaurant in Toronto. Its entrance is announced only by a simple, unadorned wooden door, varnished to a beautiful shine but without paint, hidden beside dumpsters and a fire escape. There is no sign, no indication of what lies behind the door.

If you do manage to find the restaurant, the décor is dated and worn. Homey, if one were to be generous. The service is atrocious, the proprietor a grouch. The regulars are worse: silent, brooding, and unfriendly to newcomers. There is no set menu, alternating with the whim and whimsy of the owner. The selection of wine and beer is sparse or non-existent at times, and the prices for everything outrageous.

There is a restaurant in Toronto that is magically hidden, whose service is horrible, and whose food is divine.

This is the story of the Nameless Restaurant.

fantasy Foodie magical Mythology

I confess I am a sucker for foodie books and was intrigued by the offer of a restaurant in Toronto that is magically hidden. I was not disappointed.

Mo Meng is doing the prep work for dinner. He doesn’t have a set menu and his loyal customers, most of the supernatural variety, eat whatever he serves without complaint. Because while the decor may be outdated and worn and the service dreadful, the food is out of this world.

It’s a typical day until a jinn demands Mo Meng cook for her and her companion right this minute. Rather than have the jinn cause problems, he serves them. She leaves without paying and informs him they’ll return for dinner.

The tale that unfolds was simply delightful from the descriptions of the food being prepared to the schooling the jinn gets from a pack of magic using humans. I drooled, laughed and lost myself in the story.

Emily Woo Zeller gave voice to these characters and brought the story to life. It was a refreshing tale that has me looking forward to returning.

Fans of cozy fantasy, magic, food will want to grab this first audiobook in the Hidden Dishes series. While the tale featured just one day at the Nameless Restaurant, I imagine there will be many more interesting stories.

Amazon | Audible

The Nameless Restaurant by Tao Wong delivered a delectable cozy fantasy. Narrated by Emily Woo Zeller #audiobookreview Click To Tweet

About Tao Wong

Tao Wong

Tao Wong is a Canadian author based in Toronto who is best known for his System Apocalypse post-apocalyptic LitRPG series and A Thousand Li, a Chinese xianxia fantasy series. His work has been released in audio, paperback, hardcover and ebook formats and translated into German, Spanish, Portuguese, Russian and other languages. He was shortlisted for the UK Kindle Storyteller award in 2021 for his work, A Thousand Li: the Second Sect. When he’s not writing and working, he’s practicing martial arts, reading and dreaming up new worlds.

About Emily Woo Zeller

Emily Woo Zeller

Emily Woo Zeller began her voice-over career by voicing animation in Asia. She returned to the United States in 2009 and found a natural fit as an audiobook narrator. Described by AudioFile magazine as doing "an extraordinary job of varying the voices in the dialogue without losing the intimacy of the story," Emily's multilingual, multicultural framework brings a particularly unique, clear-eyed, and intimate perspective into Asian American narratives. While she specializes in Asian American narratives, Emily's work spans a broad spectrum, including young adult fiction and such titles as The Whites of Their Eyes by Jill Lepore and The Sex Diaries Project by Arianne Cohen. She also narrated Gulp by Mary Roach, for which she won an AudioFile Earphones Award.

caffeinated coffee cup divider

Stay Caffeinated!

Never miss a post by adding Caffeinated to your Inbox

Photo of kimbacaffeinate
About Kimberly
Kimberly is a coffee loving book addict who reads and listens to fictional stories in all genres. Whovian, Ravenclaw, Howler and proud Nonna. She owns and manages Caffeinated PR. The coffee is always on and she is ready to chat. Twitter | Facebook | Instagram

Leave a Reply

(Enter your URL then click here to include a link to one of your blog posts.)

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

18 Responses to “The Nameless Restaurant by Tao Wong”

  1. Tonnie TBJR

    You description of events and the joy it seems you got from it. Prompted me to go to my digital library and borrow this novella. Thank you for continuing to introduce me to new authors and worlds.