Side Wok has a very interesting name. The name shrieks Oriental food. I looked at the name and I instantly knew that I was headed to a Oriental restaurant. Though Side Wok serves Chinese, Vietnamese, Japanese and Thai food, it is Chinese to us Indians (well, to most of us). The restaurant has a distinct decor. The brick walls take you by surprise the moment you walk in. Is it under construction? is this the look they are going for? Wow, that looks nice and think about how much they would have saved on a paint job (the things that go on in my head!). I had a chat with the Manager and they told me that Side Wok has a simple theory, they aim to combine fresh and nutritious food in an elegant yet simple setting. It was simple alright.
I could instantly notice the warmth in service. The staff was friendly and cheerful. Isn’t that what you look for in a restaurant when you wish to be comfortable after a long hard day at work? I love long dinners. I like arriving early and I like to take my time to finish. Yes, that’s right. I am one of those people because of whom you are likely to wait outside for a table for hours – guilty. I cannot rush through a meal.
A lot of restaurants have apocalyptic portions because they want their patrons to feel that they are getting value for their money. It takes ages to finish huge portions and then you are forced to get the remainder of the meal bagged for your imaginary dog. You are then forced to eat the stale noodles because we waste nothing. We all do that. Though i love doggy bags I like restaurants that serve controlled portions that taste fantastic. Side Wok certainly did not disappoint in that aspect.
I believe the reason they have 6 outlets now is because they don’t make tall claims of being fancy but what they promise is a wholesome meal in a setup that is as comfortable as your home. That works perfectly for me. I love seafood and “Prawn Dumplings” seemed like an excellent choice. This dim sum dish was steamed delicately and the dumplings were made of corn rice flour. They cost me Rs. 395+ taxes which seemed fine because they taste was really satisfying.
Laksa is one of my favourite soups, priced at Rs. 195+ taxes this soup was really filling. Many a time the taste of coconut milk can take over the taste of the seafood but not at Side Wok. The soup was a great blend of prawns, coconut milk, onion, ginger, garlic, lemongrass, chillies, coriander, cumin and other such fragrant spices. Thai food is my least favourite. Restaurant tend to not go easy on the lemongrass they use in their recipes which can be nauseating. The “Chicken Thai Red Curry” priced at Rs. 375+ taxes was an exception. The taste of lemongrass did not take over the flavours of the other spices in the red curry.
The safest dessert to order at an Oriental restaurant is either a brownie or anything with extra chocolate in it. I ordered both. The brownie was fresh and tasted divine, the chocolate trio wasn’t bad either – recommended. I know that I would be returning to Side Wok again soon.
Photo Credit: Malvika Sinha
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