Words By: Michael Winsall
Wok St is the latest in the string of trendy Asian street food eateries to hit Perth, and on first glance, they will keep the trend alive.
There hasn’t seemed to be a clear food trend coming up to take over from the Mexican/Southern US wave we have been riding for the last five or so years. Things pop up over east (usually a pretty accurate weather vane of what’s blowing westerly), but none of them seemed to stick here. However it seems that modernised Asian cuisine has crept up on us like a ninja (No racial stereotype intended). You could, I suppose, trace it back to Print Hall’s apple daily about three odd years ago, before two years of slumber and a very busy year with Lucky Chan’s laundry and noodle bar, Long Chim, Panda & Co’s test kitchens, and the now ill-fated Darlings supper club that’s changed hands and been re-opened as Wok St.
Walking up to the restaurant, it is not a place you could easily miss. Let’s not mince words here: It’s painted a garish acid green. It does not look nice, but it is nice to have a token gaudy building on lake st again, after valentino’s on the corner had it’s electric blue paint changed to a white and rebranded as midori. After a brief chat with local industry personality and head chef Mama Roong, we sit down on the alfresco and start dissecting the menu. During this time, Mama sent a bowl of the fried marinated chicken wings with sriracha sauce ($12.9) to our table, and boy, was I glad she did. These wings are amazingly crispy, a little sweet and perfectly spicy. Once these were done and our first round of Hills Cider ($9), we order our mains.
The waiter informed us when we sat that the menu was designed to be shared and the food would come as it is ready. For my friend and I, as chefs, this was no real problem, but I do know that at times this style of service can bewilder people a bit. Not that this would be a major issue, as the dishes all arrived within a few minutes of each other anyway. First to arrive was the fried whole 7 spices baby chicken ($26.6), a small spatchcock with perfectly crispy skin and juicy cooked meat. To follow, the Drunken noodle rice vermicelli w/ chilli, garlic, basil & crispy pork belly ($26.6) came up, a nice, light, and delicious stir fry. After this the Lamb skewers w/potatoes and satay curry sauce ($17.2) and the Crispy pork belly w/ eggplant, onion, capsicum and white bean sauce ($27.4) came out together. The pork belly dish would absolutely be my stand out, if it weren’t for the fact that in the dish we were given the pork belly was not that crispy. I’m sure this was a mistake and certainly not something to worry about as it was still worth ordering.
There were minor awkward service hiccups, however they don’t bear repeating as the venue has only been open for a matter of weeks, and the staff were doing a much better job than I had expected for those circumstances.
Wok St has done very well for itself, delivering delicious food with friendly and efficient service for a decent price. I look forward to seeing how they evolve in the years to come.