Monday, May 11, 2009

1st Wok

1st Wok
90 Alexandria Pike
Fort Thomas, KY 41075
tel: 859-572-9900

"Excellent Food and Amazing Prices - Nobody Beats 1st Wok"

So said the menu we found hanging on our door recently. I looked it over found and that they also list fast delivery, use 100% vegetable oil only and use no MSG. There were plenty of vegetarian choices too, so Steve and I decided to give them a try the next time we were out that way.

1st Wok Fort Thomas

The restaurant is in a small strip center that's not easily seen from the road because it sits on a hillside behind a Dodge dealership. Although the $4.50 lunch buffet was still on offer when we arrived, we opted against it since the dining room was empty and we had no idea how long the items had been languishing in the warming trays.

I inquired about whether or not the hot & sour soup was vegetarian or chicken-based and the server said that it was vegetarian, so I opted for it as a starter and chose Ma-Po Bean Curd as my entrée, which was described by the server as bean curd in a spicy brown sauce with carrots and peas.

I'm pretty sure I was served the wrong soup, because it was neither hot nor sour. Someone in the kitchen was also heavy handed with the cornstarch; the consistancy was so coagulated that I pondered turning over the bowl to see if the soup would mold like Jell-O.

Not hot & sour soup

Unfortunately the entrée also disappointed. Although I was initially pleased to see that the tofu wasn't deep fried (as it is in so many Chinese restaurants) I soon found it quite problematic because it fell to pieces when I tried to pick it up with chopsticks. Why in the world would they opt for soft tofu over firm for this dish? Answer: because it wasn't stir-fried, it was nuked! And what I thought would be sliced carrots stir-fried with snowpeas turned out to be diced peas and carrots of the frozen variety. If I had preserveered with the chopsticks, I would have still been sat there.

I guess I was expecting something a little more sophisticated than frozen mixed veg microwaved with tofu and sauce, but I was wrong

Steve's Chicken in Garlic Sauce lunch special wasn't much better, although he said that the chicken - when he could locate a piece - was quite tender and juicy. The menu notes spicy dishes with a red chili symbol, yet his dish had no spice to it at all, nor did it taste of garlic. The specials come with a choice of fried or white rice, and soup or an egg roll. He selected the egg roll and found it to be of the microwave variety; rubbery on the outside and blisteringly hot inside.

We finished our meals and tried to get our server's attention so that we could get our bill, but she was sitting at a table near the front of the restaurant poring over stacks of paperwork, oblivious to us. We eventually went to the cash register and stood there talking until she looked up and realized we were there. We opened our fortune cookies in the car. Mine said: "Your everlasting patience will be rewarded sooner or later."


1st Wok on Urbanspoon


Cincinnati NAMjA said...

this is a great plaace. Do they have other locations?

Veggie Option said...

According to UrbanSpoon there are three locations, but I cannot vouch for that. The menu doesn't say that they are affiliated with any other location.

My husband likes the 1st Wok in Hyde Park Square and said it was completely different from the one we visited in Fort Thomas/Southgate.

Mr Veggie Option said...

The 1st Wok in Hyde Park is not just different, it's EXCELLENT!

Great value lunch buffet with a wonderful variety of dishes that are replenished regularly ... they seem to cook only quantities of stuff rather than have large trays that eventually go stale/cold.

I can't believe that the Ft Thomas 1st Wok can be affiliated in ANY way. Ugly food, served up in an ugly environment. Blech!

Cincinnati NAMjA said...

Thanks fot the info...I will check them out.

Trixi said...

And I must say I really like the one by me. Excellent sweet and sour chicken (though I can only rate the chicken and not the sauce), crispy noodles, and chicken fried rice.