Wok N Roll Restaurant
By Linda McClure
<img src="images/feature_articles/WokNRoll1.jpg" width=200 height=300 alt="Wok N Roll" align="left" hspace=5>When you walk in the door, you find yourself in a bright, clean and cheerful setting; the owners greet you with a happy, “Hello friends! How are you today?” followed by an invitation to sit wherever you would like. The two festively coloured paper dragons near the till and the large red Chinese lanterns hanging from the ceiling along the windows add a degree of whimsy to the experience. Tables predominantly seat two to four people, but there is one large table that can seat six comfortably.
At first glance, the buffet may look empty and disappointing, but DO NOT DESPAIR! In this restaurant the food is delivered to the buffet in small quantities as needed, rather than indiscriminately in bulk; this means that the food in the buffet is always fresh and hot from the kitchen, not congealed and dried out from sitting in the warming trays for extended periods.
Alongside the traditional Chinese cuisine of chow mien and Szechuan beef in the buffet is a delightful dish with the humble label of “pan-fried shrimp”. These huge shrimp are more than simply pan-fried, they’re covered with a delicious sauce that I have never encountered elsewhere. All the food has a distinctly delicate flavour and is clearly a dish separate from the others; there is no heavy-handed over-use of MSG that can make dishes in other restaurants taste largely the same, like one generic dish of “Chinese food” in different shapes.
After dinner, there is a selection of desserts, including Jell-O, apple pie and a form of buttery cheesecake. If you want, there’s also ice cream (chocolate and vanilla) in a small freezer for you to help yourself plus, on a shelf over the dessert tray, a small pink Tupperware box with shortbread cookies.
If you choose not to take advantage of the buffet, there is an extensive menu with a wide variety of dishes, all offering the same wonderfully distinct flavours as the items in the buffet. There is also a section on the back of the menu offering “Dinner for....” in varying numbers of people. The Dinner for 2 allows you to pick 3 dishes, plus a bowl of wonton soup and a spring roll, for under $20.00, with portions generous enough to prevent you from leaving the table hungry.
Overall, the atmosphere of this family-run business is comfortable and welcoming; sitting quietly after dinner with a pot of tea feels almost like sitting in the home of a good friend after an enjoyable home-cooked meal. The casualness of cookies in Tupperware and self-scoop ice cream in the freezer adds to the feeling of visiting a friend’s home. In all the times I’ve eaten at this restaurant, I have yet to be disappointed by any aspect of it; the people are always friendly and the food is always hot, fresh and delicious. I enthusiastically recommend this restaurant to anyone looking for a fresh new approach to traditional Chinese cuisine.
<b>Wok N Roll Restaurant</b>
12730 82 St.
<b>Phone:</b> (780) 478-9797