Wok To Walk, Park Street: Review

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Wok To Walk Park Street - Exterior

 

Wok To Walk claim that they’re the “first restaurant chain that doesn’t work as a restaurant chain” – and the latest addition to their list of venues is on Park Street. Following London and Cardiff as the third UK branch of Wok To Walk, the Bristol restaurant adds to a list of venues that has grown significantly since the first was opened in Amsterdam in 2004, and which now spans a wide variety of European countries, plus Morocco, Mexico, Colombia and the US.

So what exactly IS Wok To Walk? Well, the short answer is that it’s a noodle bar. The chain was begun after the founders visited South East Asia, and realised that they struggled to find similar wok-cooked food back home. What Wok To Walk offers is plenty of choice, with diners able to customise their meals completely to suit their tastes.

Walk in to their new Park Street restaurant, and you’ll be faced with a sea of colour: with orange their primary brand colour, you’ll find it in the menu behind the counter, the light fittings, the stools and the sea of orange noodle boxes that adorn the shelves on the wall, along with various bottles and jars.

It’s certainly a large venue, with the serving area taking up a large proportion of the left hand side of the restaurant. The light wood furnishing of the restaurant is a little overwhelming: it makes up the benches, tables, counter and wall shelves – but luckily is broken up by the beige tiles on one wall, the black tiles with strategically placed gaps on the other.

 

Wok To Walk Park Street - Interior 1

Wok To Walk Park Street - Interior 2

 

For those who, like me, are completely new to Wok To Walk, the counter layout is perfect. On the far left, a Perspex screen protects customers from the heat of the cooking area, where they can watch the wok chef at work preparing their dishes. Move along the counter and you’ll see catering tubs filled with the ingredients that can be used to make up your meal, before you reach the service area.

Both the wall menu and the printed versions placed by the till explain how Wok To Walk works.

 

Wok To Walk Park Street - Menu

 

The first step is to choose your base (priced at £3.95), from a selection of egg noodles, whole-wheat noodles, rice noodles or udon noodles – or either jasmine or whole-grain rice for those looking for something different. Each of these options includes egg and vegetables, and is displayed in jars on the counter so that customers can make a visual choice, while those wanting to stay off the carbs can simply opt for a combination of vegetables with no rice or noodles involved.

 

Wok To Walk Park Street - Noodles and rice

 

Stage two is to pick further ingredients to accompany your rice or noodle base: there are 15 to choose from (including the favourite of the month, which was mangetout when I visited), including chicken, beef, duck, shrimps and various nuts and vegetables, all individually priced. You can also opt to include toppings such as peanuts, fried onions and fresh coriander for 45p each.

Finally, choose a free sauce in which your noodles will be wok-cooked: there are eight choices here, half of them vegetarian, half of them spicy. From the sweet and sour Hong Kong to the spicy Hot Asia, there’s something to suit all tastes.

I’m not going to deny that it took me a little while to decide. Eventually, I opted for rice noodles (£3.95) with the Bali peanut sauce, combined with chicken breast (£1.75) and baby corn (£1.15), and a topping of peanuts (45p). With a can of drink (£1), my lunch came to £8.30 – a bit more than I’d normally spend on a noodle dish that would be pretty cost-effective to cook at home. I guess you’re paying for the convenience, though…

After paying, I was given an order number and waited for my food to arrive – which it promptly did, served in a full-to-the-brim orange Wok To Walk branded cardboard noodle box.

Rather than taking out, I chose to enjoy my lunch in the restaurant, accompanied by the strains of Hawa, Dr Dre and some old school indie.

Each table is stacked full of chopsticks, napkins and plastic forks, along with chilli sauce, soy sauce, salt and pepper, meaning that customers can add their own little touches after their meal has been cooked.

My box of noodles was certainly full, and smelt fantastic. The noodles were perfectly cooked, and it was good to see that egg, beansprouts, cabbage and spring onions had been included as standard.

The chicken itself was incredibly tender, its consistency as if it had been poached before wok frying, while the small chunks of baby corn were still lovely and crisp. The peanut sauce had a bit of fire to it, but also a sweetness that I loved. The portion was generous too – it was definitely a filling lunch.

 

Wok To Walk Park Street - Meal 1

Wok To Walk Park Street - Meal 2

 

I was pretty impressed. The meal was tasty and filling – and prepared super-quickly too, ideal for those who need to find something to eat during a short lunch break at work. It’s not somewhere for those counting the calories, though – take a look at the nutrition calculator on the Wok To Walk website, and you’ll see that a portion of rice noodles alone – with no added toppings or sauces – weighs in at 459 kcal…

Would I eat there again? Yes, probably. I did slightly resent paying almost £10 for a fast food meal that would be easily replicated at home, but as I said before, convenience is key and Wok To Walk are likely to have a captive audience amongst those working on and visiting Park Street.

 

2 Responses to Wok To Walk, Park Street: Review

  1. I really love the style of the store and the way that they have displayed the different bases.

  2. Went there 4 times. The place is really nice food is tasty… but!!! Found a hair in my noodlles. Not once, not twice but 3 times!!! My daughter went there aswell, and what she had in her food? A hair aswell!!! So guys do somenthing about that!!! Its really discusting, such a lovely place and you ruined it with your poor hygiene!!!!!!!!!!

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