What's Cooking at Wok Restaurant?

Cheap and freshly cooked dishes impress

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Wok Chinese Thai Restaurant Acton

167 The Vale, W3
020 8740 0888

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A recommendation from a certain Acton foodie had five of us rushing through Acton Park to Wok on the Vale, just East of the Park. This has to be the cheapest way to eat oriental food in Acton.  

We had often looked at it as we went past, thinking that it seemed busy - but having a slight aversion to buffet scenarios we hadn't ventured inside the door. However, this is a small, cosy restaurant. There are leaves decorating the ceiling which looked to us like plastic marijuana leaves. A few tables were taken by families, large (or soon to be large) single men and couples. We were encouraged by the cooking smell which hits you as you walk in - there's nothing worse than the stale oily smell which some restaurants suffer from. When I returned to take photographs at 4.30 in the afternoon, it was tempting to grab a plate and help myself but I didn't.

Wok only seats around 30 but probably has a very brisk turnover.   This is a very functional place. You go in, sit down and once you have been given cutlery and a plate you go and help yourself to an unlimited quantity of Thai and Chinese food - and all for £5, yes that's £5.  

On offer for starters the day we went were crispy seaweed (not as good as elsewhere but ok - definitely better than M&S take-away crispy seaweed), some delicious pork dumplings in a steamer, prawn crackers, spring rolls (fine but nothing to write home about), crispy raw vegetables - carrots, cabbage etc in oriental dressings. There were also cold rice noodles. This was all accompanied by fizzy water and diet cokes but they do serve beer as well.  

We then in the interests of the website had to help ourselves to enormous main course portions. Chicken wing with salt and pepper, chicken in black bean sauce, Thai chicken curry, beef with green peppers - were all really good. Less good was the sweet and sour pork (too much batter, no pork I could find) which I would avoid. There were two different sorts of rice and noodles, all sorts of spicy tofu and vegetarian dishes.

Everything is very freshy prepared and tastes surprisingly good for the price. Our children went back four times each to the buffet but twice was more than enough for us. It's very easy to over-eat here.  

The staff are friendly and efficient, the tables are clean and Wok offers a take-away service for £3.00. For this you get a plastic box and fill it up with whatever you like. There are probably around 20 main dishes and around 10 starters to choose from. The menu changes regularly and apparently they sometimes have fish dishes though there weren't any that day.  

As we waddled back through Acton Park we reflected that this is a most welcome addition to the Acton restaurant scene. For a family of five, the total bill was £30.50 without service.  

Clare Gittins

February 3, 2007