After the disappointing experience at a nearby Vietnamese restaurant, I once again ventured to the square of eateries that circumvent the landmark water fountain feature at Westfield Hornsby. This time our group had a hankering for some Chinese cuisine, so we headed to Wok King, which presumably specialises in Peking cuisine from the name.
It’s always a human comfort to see other diners on a Friday night as it gives you some assurance that the restaurant has a decent customer base and appeal to others besides yourself. However, this is as far as the pleasantries went.
Here Comes The Food
You can’t really stuff up prawn crackers. There was no faulting what we were given: had an acceptable oily consistency and wasn’t overly deep-fried.
Deep Fried Shallot Cake ($6) : It was warm, but not hot enough to assure us that these were made fresh in the kitchen. The saltiness to the batter and shallots were a sign that this dish was either: straight from a frozen pack and de-frosted or poorly prepared. Also, it’s clear to us that our dish has been deliberately flattened to make it appear that it’s bigger than what it seems. If I were to prepare this, there would be more shallot filling as what we were given clearly didn’t seem an acceptable standard.
Hot & Sour Soup: You can literally smell this coming out of the kitchen when it’s brought and placed on your table – all for all the wrong reasons. They’ve used an overpowering smoked ham that makes the dish unbearable without ridiculous amounts of vinegar and pepper to musk the deep flavour. I’m certain from my past experiences with this dish that the normal ingredient in place of smoked ham would be ham nonetheless – but definitely not to such boldness that the soup has no distinguishable taste besides ham.
‘Fu’ Tong/Ung Choi (Morning Glory): A combination of morning glory fried with a bitter tofu and salted fish that you can find jarred at your Asian Grocery. There’s little or no scent or taste of ‘fu yu’ which should normally be present if this dish had been done properly. It could pass as just vegetables fried with ginger.
‘Un See Goun’ – Fried($3)/Steamed ($2.50): the steamed bun is sad in appearance and does not have a hot steamy centre when separated into portions. It makes me want to cry. The fried bun is no better, oily leaving your hands almost transparent – not a very pleasant experience.
Shanghai Noodles ($10.80) : “Fried Handmade Noodles with Pork & Cabbage. The only dish we ate that we found enjoyable (or rather couldn’t fault).
Shandong Chicken ($18.80): Hand stripped crispy chicken served with special sauce of herbs, ginger and garlic. One of the members of our group comments that this dish is in fact a dud, a wannabe, a fake, passing off for something that it’s not … the synonyms I could go on forever … Suffocated in lemongrass? Absurd amounts of chilli?
Xiao Long Bao ($7): Bad
End thoughts? Over-priced, disappointing and makes me want to give up hope on the restaurants in the Hornsby area.
Wok King Peking Restaurant
Shop B23 Westfield Shopping Centre
236 Pacific Highway Hornsby NSW 2077
Ph: 9987 2638
a very disappointed D
a very disappointed D