“The way you cut your meat reflects the way you live.”
For many, food is an experience. It is both a science and an art. It is meant to be savored and enjoyed. In a culture with such passion for food, it is no surprise that we also like talking about it. While the Chinese share that love of language, they also have a love of food. Over their centuries-long history, the Chinese have composed an innumerable collection of legacy – including food.
China Wok is a cheerful red and yellow eatery on Purna Das Road. There are narrow steps that take you to a mezzanine floor – and here there are just four tables placed tightly together. The newly opened outlet and has a very fresh feel to it and served authentic Chinese food. China Wok is where you go when you want the classic (somewhat) greasy, succulent, mouth watering, take-out Chinese food that brings back nostalgic memories of brown paper bag family dinners when no-one feels like cooking. Great Chinese food even the Chinese would be impressed.
Where do I start? Well lets do the obvious first then shall we? FANTASTIC, and I don’t say that lightly. Varun Rajgarhia, the absolutely lovely, talented and perfect host and owner. When we arrived, we were greeted with the warmest most sincere smile that was followed by dinner packed with punch. This place is small but mighty. It is a small place, with less than 10 tables. It does not look much from outside. Inside, it is warm, inviting and clean. The biggest thing I can say about this place is call ahead. They are a local institution and fill up quickly. Their small dining room can hold maybe 25-30 covers at a seating so space fills up fast. The cuisine is authentic, delish and served in huge portions for your penny. As a Chinese Food lover, I have been looking for a genuine, original Sichuan restaurant for a long time. This is definitely a must-go one in South kolkata. The service is good, or sweet. They provide a multitude of choices in the menu, all of those we tried today are damn good.
“China Wok is my take on Authentic Chinese and Thai Cuisine at affordable prices. While there is a plethora of Chinese and Thai restaurants in Kolkata, most of them Indianise their Asian delicacies partly to make the same cheap/ affordable and partly becuase that’s what sells. China Wok is my endeavor to bring Authentic Asian Delicacies to the city at affordable prices. While creating the dishes, we have remained true to both traditional cooking techniques as well as traditional ingredients. It was born out of my principle that food tastes best when it is authentic and hopefully the city of joy feels the same and I am sure will find new love for Authentic Asian Food and its simplicity once they try China Wok” – Varun Rajgarhia – owner – China Wok
The Dishes We Had :
Welcome Drinks :
Sweet and Salt Lime & Cold Drinks –
Spicy Lemon Burnt Garlic Soup – Spicy soup with fresh lemon, burnt garlic and green chilies with chicken. Given the lemon addition, this soup is as good for summer meals as it is in the winter. The recipe combines two of my favorite ingredients: garlic and lemon. Lemon soups have the lightness and brightness that some savory soups miss. This soup joins the savory of garlic with lemon for a fresh-tasting finish.
Eight Treasure Soup – Traditional coriander and chili flavored thick soup with vegetables and mushrooms with chicken. It’s both warming and delicious – and full of ingredients that are GREAT for your health! The first time I had it was at a dinner. It was one of the most delicious, sweet, creamy soups I’ve ever had. I was hooked at first sip!
Prik Kai Sot Sai Thod – Chicken wings tossed in Thai sweet chili sauce with kaffir lemon. The combination of both fragrant Sweet Chili Sauce and kaffir lime leaves are what make this recipe special so don’t leave either of them out! These wings have crispy skin that is full of Thai curry flavor. Yet, they are not spicy hot like some Thai dishes. The crunchy kaffir lime leaves add texture and fragrant, making the wings distinctly Thai.
Asian Barbecued Chicken – Pan roasted Chicken smoked with charcoal and caramelized in Barbecue and butter sauce. This Asian-style version of Berbecued chicken on oyster sauce, soy sauce and roasted garlic, with toasted black peppercorns added a strong and bold flavor to the dish. The sauce is superb glazed on chicken. Grab some napkins everyone!
Chicken Sui Mai – Wafer thin flour wrappers with minced and served with garlic oil. I bet most of you have heard about Dim sum, which is a southern Chinese cuisine that serves with tea and comes in small portions in bamboo steamer! I will never say ‘no’ to Dim Sum and it will always be one of my favourites! Sui Mai is definitely a “must-order” dish. Here they are making it with chicken instead of prawn or pork, just simply because I think We Bengali are more chicken than pork person! Or perhaps, its purely because they feel like trying something different to serve us. Wafer thin floor wrappers with minced chicken served with garlic oil. There is something charming about going for this dim sum, I guess it must be something I treasure for a long time.
Kung Pao Chicken – Diced chicken toast in kung Pao sauce and finished with roasted cashew nuts. Apart from the chicken cubes, this famous dish contains chili peppers, spring onions, garlic, ginger, Sichuan peppers and most often toasted peanuts, but according to the author cashew nuts are also encountered. It may seem very simple, but the flavours are very unusual and surprising for someone who knows Chinese cuisine from European restaurants. Two things make this dish very unique: Sichuanese peppercorns and the very light sour, sweet and hot sauce prepared with black vinegar.
Pla Pad Kraprow – Sliced fish tossed in Thai Chili Basil sauce with Birds eye Chili. Healthy bowl of goodness! To be honest this is such a great and uncommon and also a popular dish. Every one like this and i specially like this dish too much. We were amazed by the perfectly cooked fish, crunchy fried crust, and fragrant and flavorful sauce.
Thai Red Curry (Veg) – Traditional medium spicy Thai red curry with fresh chilies and Ginger. This recipe is so simple and tastes amazing! I had Thai Red Curry powder and mixed it into a paste and found Thai Kitchen organic coconut milk in a can. For speed, I blanched the cauliflower and green beans together; and substituted baby bella mushrooms and Living Herbs basil since I couldn’t find fresh cremini or thai basil. Came out delicious, my teenager even liked it!
Rice & Noodles :
Schezwan Rice (Chicken) – Spicy fried rice tossed with roasted Chili paste , bell peppers and dry Red Chilies. It is a Chinese dish of steamed rice that has been stir-fried in a wok and, usually, mixed with other ingredients, such as eggs, vegetables, and meat, and as such, often served as a complete dish. A treat of flavoured rice, with shreds of chicken topped with a spicy schezwan sauce for an unforgettable hit of deliciousness in your mouth!
Chili Garlic Noodles (Egg) – Chill Garlic Noodles is a simple stir-fried noodles recipe infused with bold flavors of garlic and hot red chill. A quick, easy and flavourful meal, perfect for entertaining and busy work day. It is a delight to eat. It was so soul satisfying.
Steamed Rice – Steamed rice is a staple food for almost any Oriental meal. It is soft and sticky compared to other kinds of Asian rice.
Darsoan with Ice Cream – Crispy Fried flour strips tossed with burnt honey and caramelized sugar. A Chinese style dessert which is exquisite. I love it. This is almost every body’s favourite Desert in any Oriental Restaurant.
I have had a lot of Chinese food in a lot of different places but I have to say China Wok is right up there in the top 5, I have ever had. It’s my understanding they have a great Chef and his preparation is outstanding. I find that most Chinese food restaurant dishes all have the same flavour profile. NOT the case here, each dish is unique and flavourful.
Staff were extremely pleasant and seemed genuinely pleased to hear how much we enjoyed the dining experience. You would never expect the quality from looking at the outside of the building, it being so non-descipt. Currently the leading Chinese food restaurant in area. I would definitely come back to try the lunch specials too.
Special Thanks to –
○ Varun Rajgarhia, owner Asia House for the invitation and amazing hospitality.
○ Chef for providing us such a lovely experience of Steam Food
○ Rajdeep Bhattacharjee for leading us.
Proud Member of Panch Phoron #panchphoron
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