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WHEN the team at one of my favourite casual dining destinations gets all fired up they work at an incredible pace and before you know it the piping hot dishes are delivered to your table.
But the preparation for some of the essential ingredients that tantalise the taste-buds can take ages to deliver … so it was with heartened joy I heard last week that the Wok Station had added a whole range of new flavours to its Far-Eastern Asian cuisine offerings.
I’m not the only one who immediately set out to the buzzing Galleria Mall restaurant to try out the latest additions to the menu and, not surprisingly, restaurant manager, Luis Erazo Jnr, says the reaction from regular diners has been overwhelmingly positive.
That’s because the wonder of Wok, Executive Chef Simon Chen, has carefully conjured up his creations with precision … and plenty of patience. One pickle ingredient, for example, he revealed, featured dried Chinese cabbage and radish marinated with black pepper and salt which has had to stay locked up in a pot on site for three months before reaching its perfect taste and consistency.
It’s also little wonder why this eatery is such a huge hit with families, as the prices are perfect and the ambience exceptional. The Szecowka family is trying to gather together as often as possible before daughter Imogen, 18, shortly sets off on another college adventure in London mastering the art of small-screen acting.
Between us we enjoyed a warm start with a simple Chinese meal of Hot & Sour and traditional Sweet Corn soups, both BD1.900.
Crispy Beef Tossed in Sichuan Sauce (BD2.700) and a crisp Chow Chu Shrimp (BD3.500) proved to be stunning appetisers too.
Presentation plays a part and the dim sums are always impressive. Tasty delights came in the shapes of Haw Gow with shrimp and veggies, Fujian Chicken Rice with lemongrass sticks and a tasty Truffle Edamame, all priced BD3.
The new star performer, in my opinion, arrived shortly afterwards in the shape of steamed banana leaf bundles which opened up into a warming Jasmine rice sandwiches stuffed with chicken marinated in that prized traditional Asian pickle sauce, I mentioned earlier, and herbs.
I would describe myself as a big baby when it comes to unwrapping festive and birthday presents but opening the banana leafs was on a par the moment I placed the ingredients into my mouth. Chef Chen’s magic in all its glory.
Some of the dishes come with glorious names too, take Fiery Chunky Chicken Sate Rice, for example! What a great name, and what a superb newcomer to the Wok Station rice bowls range and it tastes as good as it sounds at BD3.800.
Over the years, I’ve had my fair share of lemon chicken offerings, but the Wok Station has gone in a different direction with a delightful main course offering of Mandarin Orange Chicken (BD3) – sweet and tangy with a hint of spices.
My good friend Chef Chen even gave us a taste of things to come too, as we became the first in the kingdom to sample a Stir-Fried Beef with Broccoli dish, an absolute dazzler with succulent slices of meat, not the skimpy little slivers usually found in this dish.
He’s got another winner, there, and also on the beverages front. It must be remembered that the Wok Station is renowned for its drinks as it is for its cuisine. Check out the new refreshing Hawthorn Berries Ice Tea (BD1.500) with its floral overtones, truly outstanding.
As reported earlier, the maestro behind the cuisine, Chef Chen, is an Indian of Chinese heritage. He has once again put his family’s traditional and secret recipes to amazing effect, taking into account local tastes for less spicy offerings … but with an extra chili factor for those who prefer it hot.
The menu is ideal for those looking for healthy options with numerous steam-cooked and stir-fried options inspired by the traditional cuisines of China, Japan, Korea, Myanmar and Thailand.
And there is nothing more satisfying than watching it come alive in the open, interactive kitchen as the Wok Station team recreates the experience of dining in a bustling South-East Asian marketplace. WOK on!
Call 77570570 for more details.