As in most strip mall type Chinese restaurants, the perception is “another take out joint with better or worst food”. The name “Magic Wok” does not defend its reputation either. However, I will agree that most take out from this restaurant is American Chinese food. As I sat and listened to the orders coming in over the phone and people walking in, I could not help but want to jump in and advise them to give the hidden menu a try. Looking around, there certainly seem like a regular crowd. Overhearing the conversation from other tables clearly some people are familiar with the secret menu and others, don’t know what they are missing out, orders the regular. I point this aspect out, since I really believe that it is a loss to the Orlando dining public that such a restaurant exist right under our noses and more people are not trying this food from a whole different continent.
My journey on this visit began with
Salted Peanuts and Seaweed – This little snack was a wonderful opener. The seaweed was crisp and salty, combined with peanuts was just addicting.
Fried Bean Curd Sheets and Thin Sliced Honey Ham Sandwich – This little darling was drizzled with honey. OMG! The bean curd sheets were waffer thin and crispy, the cured ham was a marvelous piece of pork, wrap all of this in a fluffy Gao Bao buns and oh la la. I want more right now.
Dong Po Pork Belly – Slow braised pork belly in Red Chinese wine makes this dish less oily in the mouth and more silken. A little on the salty side, but texturally a superb dish. Those little morsels of bamboo combs are a perfect vessel for the sauce.
Fried Rice – Not your ordinary friend rice. This dish is made with salted fish, chicken, and no soy sauce. Very light and flavorful.
Steamed Pork Dumplings – Great little morsels of pork. Watch out, these things are piping hot. The black vinegary sauce is an acquired taste.
Those who are brave enough to venture into the unknown, will discover that this is a place where you can sit down and let the owner take you on a journey into her world. Forget everything you know about “Chinese” food take out or delivery. Go sit down in Magic Wok and ask about what is not on the English menu. Let the owner introduce you to the items that are not on the menu, you might discover “ancient Chinese secrets”.