Saturday, February 7, 2009

15. China: The Wok Inn

The Wok Inn
Shortgate, (North of the Broyle)
East Sussex
01825 840888

On the advice of the Old Duck and her Old Boy, we visited the Wok Inn on a rainy Sunday night. We tripped trapped, Billy Goat fashion, over a charming bridge that marks the entrance to the Wok Inn, smiled at the cheery Buddha at the entrance and were greeted quickly and politely by waiting staff. We were seated at a very comfy, stylish table and I marvelled at how the former pub had been transformed in to a charming, very clean establishment with lounging, buffet, restaurant seating and function room areas.

The large menu has something for all tastes and being avid restaurant goers and non-fussy eaters, we had trouble choosing! Blim chose his stock Sesame Prawn Toast, the rest of us had a variety of soups prices between £2.40 to £2.60. My Mixed Seafood and Tofu soup (pictured right) was light, tasty, full of seafood and a great start to the meal. Badgerman and the Old Duck absolutely enjoyed their Chicken Noodle Soup, finding the chicken particularly tender. It was the first time the Old Boy had had Crab and Sweet Corn Soup and thought it was delicious. After making the usual inflated, foolish comments about his food (this boy has delusions of grandeur) Blim said his Sesame Prawn Toast (pictured below) was very crispy, and flavoursome and enhanced by the inclusion of the piquant dipping sauce.

For our main course we chose to share: King Prawns with Mushrooms (£6.60), Beef with Green Peppers and Black Bean Sauce (£5.60), Chicken Curry (£5.40), Chicken with Cashew Nuts (£5.40) Stir Fried Pak Choy ($4.60) and Mixed Seafood Platter for Two (around £12.00) and two portions of egg fried rice. The dishes arrived quickly on china plates and all looked very appetising. We tucked in and thoroughly enjoyed it all! We all found the beef to be excellent, very tender and flavoursome. Blim gave his choice, the Chicken Curry, ten out of ten. A highlight for me was the Mixed Seafood Platter for Two (pictured below. It was prettily presented with chilli and garlic dip, butterfly prawns, fried squid, wonderfully tasty bite-sized pieces of chilli pepper salmon and absolutely delicious Seafood Delight. This last component of cuttle fish and king prawn bound together into yummy discs is a ‘house signature’ dish and worth the trip alone! If you don’t fancy the whole seafood platter, the Seafood Delight appears as a separate menu item.
For our desserts we chose a variety from the good array of bought-it speciallity ice-cream based offerings and made in-house items, all priced between £2.50 for my yummy, crunchy Toffee Banana to £3.80 for Badgerman's Tartuffo (pictured right). The Old Duck loved her deep fried ice-cream, well chosen on our waiter's advice. Blim's Toffee Banana with Ice-Cream is pictured left.

As we were leaving the owner recognised the Old Boy and we had a very amiable chat. He showed me the pretty function rooms which includes the buffet area where the Sunday Buffet is served form 12 noon to 4:00 pm. It's an eat-as-much-as-you-can affair priced at £9.95 per person, 10 year olds and under eat for £5.95 with under fives eating for free. I will definitely bring Little Will, with his hollow legs, here the next time he visits and make sure I book as it is very popular.

We were all very pleased with our visit to the Wok Inn and will definitely be returning. As the Old Boy said : "the food was way above the normal standard"; ingredients obviously very fresh and of a very high standard, service was good and ambiance very pleasing... what more do you want on a rainy Sunday evening?

The bill per head, including drinks and service was £21.00. We were a party of five- if you want to skip dessert or are very hungry, I would suggest ordering one or two more main dishes.


Ambiance: 3.5
Food Presentation: 3
Food Quality: 4
Service: 4
Value for money: 2.5

We have made two return visits to the Wok Inn- each time was as enjoyable, if more more enjoyable, as the first! Go, go, go and enjoy- and say Sussex Ethnic Eats sent you!!