Thursday, April 25, 2013

King Wok

Over on the west side with the intention of trying an Indian place, @indyfoodswap and I ended up across the street at King Wok when the Indian restaurant didn’t open as early as we thought. A friend of mine had recently been telling me how much she and her husband liked King Wok, so it seemed like a perfect opportunity.

I liked the menu a lot—there is Vietnamese and Chinese food, but we pretty much stuck with the Vietnamese side. I love eating with Suzanne because we get to order lots of things and share them all. Which is why I did not order pho, even though a lot of people told me it is their favorite in town. We like to share and noodle soup is somewhat of a challenge to share. Next time, I promise

Anyway, we started off with an order of agedashi tofu ($3.99) which was four squares of tofu that are lightly fried and served in a salty broth that tasted like it had soy and a fish element as well as probably some wine or vinegar.  I quite liked the dish. The tofu was smoking hot and had just the exact right crispy exterior.  I liked the pieces that weren’t soaking in the broth the best, because they stayed crunchy longer—that way I could just dip in the sauce as I ate it. The broth was really flavorful—one of the most flavorful items of the meal. 

We also shared Banh Xeo, or the pan fried Vietnamese rice flour crepe ($6.50) which was a super crispy pan fried crepe that was filled with pork, shrimp, onions, and bean sprouts and served with lettuce and basil on the side. Typically this is one of my favorite Vietnamese dishes, and I enjoyed this one, although it was so crispy that it sort of shattered on the outside when you ate it. They also have several steamed crepe options that seemed intriguing. I love the sauce they serve alongside this dish (a traditional seasoned fish sauce) and I ended up putting it on everything—just bumps up the flavor with a little salty, slightly fish taste and a little heat. Also, this thing is HUGE (as you can tell from the comparison to Suzanne's thumb).

We got the Hu Tieu Xao Thap Cam, or sautéed rice noodles with shrimp, chicken, beef and veggies as well ($6.99). The dish was enjoyable, particularly when you added a bit of the fish sauce from the crepe---and really I liked mixing crispy bits of the crepe in there too to give it a little extra texture. The noodles were cooked just right and were not gloppy at all. There were some bits of the meat that were a little tough, but some of them were very good. I enjoyed the bites of shrimp as well. Overall though, flavor-wise, without the doctoring up, the dish may have been a little bland. But all of the dishes together made for a very tasty lunch.  And very cost effective as well--you get a ton of food for a very reasonable price. 

I would certainly go back. As we were leaving, I laughed because I actually ran into my friend who had recommended King Wok to me and she scolded me for not getting the pho. So, definitely, next time!

P.S. I am really trying to get over to the west side more right now (the construction is done! Yay!). So please let me know your favorite other spots in that area. Need to update my list.

King Wok
4150 Lafayette Road
Indy 46254

King Wok on Urbanspoon


  1. That meal was so good. Related: I think I'm going to get a talent agent for my thumb. As you can see in the photo, it has mad modeling skillz.

  2. Love Spice Nation and Saigon. Los Chilaquiles (across from Speedway @ ~50th and Lafayette) has great margaritas, sopes, and, yup, chilaquiles. I look forward to reading everyone's favorites!

  3. I will keep Los Chilaquiles in mind too!

  4. We went for an early dinner a little after 4 PM on Sunday. There were a few Asian families in there, which I took as a good sign. The place is small and cute with a little bit of an Eighties vibe in the wall decor. Service was attentive until we ordered and then unobtrusive. When we were through eating we paid at the counter but I'm not sure if that's always the case...?

    We were really hungry when we went in so we ordered two appetizers + two entrées, which is unusual for us. All of it was good.
    — Tofu steak (#6, deep fried tofu sautéed in special King Wok's sauce, $3.99) was our favorite appetizer. It was two ½" slices of tofu with a golden, crispy shell served on, and coated in, a thick brown sauce. I think the sauce may have been a soy reduction with the teeniest bit of hot pepper + a few sesame seeds for garnish.
    — Goi Cuốn (#10, Vietnamese summer rolls with shrimp and pork, $2.99) were what you'd expect for a summer roll. They were a good size and tasted fresh. I always think I like summer rolls more than I actually do, and The Huz didn't dig the mint inside, but it's not the restaurant's fault we chose poorly for our own tastes.
    — Cỏm Đặc Biệt (#88, grilled marinated pork chop, chopped stir-fried shrimp, and egg pie, $7.25) was The Huz's main course. I didn't notice any (recognizable) chopped shrimp on the plate but it did come with a mound of steamed rice with something orange on top, a small salad dressed in a vinegar sauce, some fresh cucumber slices, a sauce for dipping, and a side of soup broth. He loved it. I tasted the pork chop, the egg pie, and the soup and all were very flavorful.
    — Tôm Thịt Kho Tàu (#128, shrimp and bacon slowly cooked in spicy, caramelize[d] sauce, $12.99) was what I chose. I asked the waitress how spicy it was and she said a "regular" level that could be made more or less spicy as I desired. I forgot about this when I ordered so when it came to the table she said she had it prepared "medium" level, which was about as spicy as I care to eat. (I am a wimp, though.) It had a good flavor but the aroma was not appetizing to me. There weren't too many shrimp for a main course, fewer than the amount of bacon, which was actually thinly sliced pork that was kind of fatty. It was tasty and I ate it but I don't think I would get it again.

    We will definitely return for another meal. I would like to try the phở since it is supposed to be delicious.

    I noticed the neon sign in the front window and the name on the receipt both say CO DO instead of King Wok. That's not relevant to anything other than my own curiosity.

  5. Saigon (would be curious to hear your review of it versus this place as I haven't been to this and think the Pho is great there). Also Lucky Lou over near Saraga is a favorite of my boyfriend's family.