Hot Wok, a Quickie Overview

May 2, 2011 at 12:40pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

On Friday I ate lunch with my father at Hot Wok, a new restaurant at Clocktower Shopping Center at 70th and A. Going off of nothing more than the sign out front—despite repeated queries across several media, I couldn’t find anybody who knew anything about the place—we were eager to see what was in store. Was this a unique or unusual concept? Or is Hot Wok just another Chinese restaurant?

Hot Wok

The interior is clean and, thanks largely to the big windows at the entrance, very bright. As you can see from the photo there is a large counter for ordering, and the kitchen is open and completely visible. Full-color paper menus sit on the counter for customers to peruse. Those menus also double as tray-liners, which the cashier writes your order on. Speaking of the cashier, on our visit we had a heck of a time understanding the woman behind the counter. She was pleasant (if hurried), but it took my full attention and a few guesses to try to figure out what she was saying. That’s not an uncommon problem at “ethnic” restaurants.

Hot Wok

It’s pretty hard to complain about lunch prices. At lunchtime you can choose from thirty-six entrees, each of which comes with rice (white or fried with pork) and an egg roll or soup, for $4.95. It’s hard to find a sub-$5 lunch these days that’ll leave you stuffed. All those high school kids at nearby Lincoln East and Pius X should like what they see here. The only problem they may run into is speed. Our meal took seven or eight minutes to prepare. That’s not much of an issue if your lunch break allows it, but for those in a rush (like high school students) it could be problematic. Dinner prices are a couple dollars higher, but to be honest I didn’t focus much of my time looking at that menu.

(Aside: Why don’t small restaurants like this proofread their menus? “Bussine hours”? “Boneless Spar Ribs”?)

Hot Wok

I ordered the King Po Shrimp with egg drop soup. It arrived as shown here in an assortment of styrofoam containers. I understand why restaurants use this packaging but it sure does make me cringe. The soup was fairly standard for its type and it was hot enough to melt steel. The fried rice wasn’t overly greasy and it contained chunks of pork rather than the bits of carrot and peas you so often see. The entree was hot and well proportioned, with plenty of veggies and shrimp. It wasn’t particularly spicy, though, despite the presence of several chile pods.

In the end, Hot Wok is a fairly typical Americanized Chinese restaurant. It’s not the sort of place most folks are going to drive across town for, but folks in the area will find it a welcome addition to Clocktower. Note that Hot Wok is just one of three new Chinese restaurants opening south of A Street. Others are opening soon at 40th and Old Cheney and 40th and Yankee Hill. Spring is the season for Chinese food, apparently.

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The Comments

Mike May 2, 2011 at 2:21pm

I ate there for lunch on Thursday.  My take out order took 20 minutes. The food was OK, does not stand out compared to a couple of my other nearby favorites. As I read the menu, I began to wonder if the spelling was actually like a children’s game - to see if you could find them all. I guess it is a way to pass the 20 minutes. On my menu there were a couple more….Hint: What is the name of the shopping center?

Mr. Wilson May 2, 2011 at 2:41pm

Oh god, how did I miss “Clack Tower”?

Jason May 3, 2011 at 2:24am

I had the Orange Chicken, fried rice, and a crab rangoon. I thought everything was good. The Orange Chicken was tender and flavorful, and the fried rice was fine too. The crab Rangoon could even be described as really good. Like most places, Hot Wok probably has it

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