Comparison – Wok2Go and Oriental Chef in Barkingside

Wok2Go is a new Chinese take-away in Barkingside whose catch-phrase is “Go fresh, go healthy, go Wok2Go”. Oriental Chef is an established Chinese takeaway with branches across North East London. Matt and I eat from Oriental Chef about once a fortnight or every three weeks. They give me every impression that they understand veganism, the food is usually crisp, colourful and light, you can see what’s going on in the kitchen and the women at the counter are friendly. That said, last night Matt and I decided to pay homage to free market competition by trying out Wok2Go.

We really didn’t like Wok2Go. Both vegetable dishes were drowned in an unexpectedly and inordinately sweet, almost syrupy sauce. The proportion of vegetable to sauce was low. Matt had rashly and inexplicably ordered vegetarian hot and sour soup. I didn’t like how this smelt – I suspected meat stock, actually, and although I’d have eaten it to avoid waste it tasted so unbearably vinegarish to the extent that – this is unusual – I couldn’t bring myself to. The fried tofu was in much smaller pieces than we’re used to and, with their high surface area, exceedingly greasy. So all in all, this might have been fresh but it was certainly not healthy. The vegetable chow mein was quite tasty – but it had pieces of egg in it.

So based on this one Wok2Go meal, I think Oriental Chef is much better.

I thought Wok2Go’s cardboard cartons for some of the dishes rice made a lot of sense though – this is something Oriental Chef should investigate.

And if so much as one more eatery opens on Barkingside High Street I don’t know what I’ll do, but it will be direct and memorable.

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4 thoughts on “Comparison – Wok2Go and Oriental Chef in Barkingside

  1. do u know 99% of chinese restauants and takewake do not WASH THERE WOKS after each dish can u see them cook NO you can only see there heads. THIS is vegetarian???????

  2. Not sure where you got that 99% from Kam.

    For me personally, once the animal is dead no amount of wok washing is going to bring that life back. I find meat tastes and smells savoury although I’m vegan.

    But because many vegans are not like me I agree with you that vegetarian should mean vegetarian. And anyway, if washing woks reminds restaurateurs and caterers that some people have a horror of animal death, that’s probably a good thing.

  3. Disagree, Yvette. For a start, I am pretty squeamish and I don’t eat at dirty places. Moreover, uUnlike some other take-away experiences, I can report that I have felt very satisfied after my meals at Oriental Chef.

    Since when has the loudness of the staff had any bearing on the quality of food? It’s a take-away – you don’t go there for the ambience…

    Cost – what we pay for food in many places is too low to give a fair price to the producer or the workers who prepare it. So I’m not very convinced by your point.

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