Thursday, November 15, 2012

Wah Kee Chinese Noodle Restaurant - Madison, WI

Driving westbound on Williamson, we passed by Wah Kee on our first go around.

Wah Kee is a family owned restaurant.

The heat hadn't kicked in when we arrived.  We dined with our jackets on. I believe this affected the temperature of the food as it arrived at our table because the plates were at the same chilled temperature as the food was scooped onto them.

Wet Fried Chow Fun. I forget their exact name for this dish but it's the second one under the noodle heading.  The was the first dish to arrive and it arrived less than scorching hot despite having just been cooked. This dish typically does not come swimming in brown sauce.  Way too much sauce and too little ho fun. The ho fun tasted store bought like we find in the local market. That's OK but it lacked the critical wok hay which isn't OK.  The green peppers were the best part of the dish, cooked to perfection - cooked through without any lingering raw taste yet still crispy. 

Wah Kee may be known for their wonton noodle but if what we were served today is typical, Wah Kee needs to taste what today's world class wonton joints serve. Of the dishes we tried this our least favorite. The broth was barely warm not scorching hot. The broth was insipid and what flavor was present a bleachy middle taste.  The noodles had a proper al dente bite but tasted more of an store bought egg noodle. The six wontons were half pork and half shrimp and had a nice texture but again the flavor watered down by the broth. The wontons also had that bleachy middle taste.

The beef brisket hot pot (also forgot name) was the best of the three dishes. It was also the only dish to arrive scorching hot thanks to the heat capacity of the heavy pot.  The brisket was pleasantly if not fork tender and the daikon was cooked to perfection. The flavor of the brown sauce was similar to that of the Chow Fun dish minus the black bean. The dish was heavy on sauce and light on the main protein and vegetables.

Wah Kee is one of the few Chinese restaurants serving authentic Chinese food.  It has potential of preparing good food but doesn't always live up to that potential.  The dish sizes were comparatively small for the price. Wah Kee then is a good option for Madison but would be left in the dust in Toronto.

Restroom Rating:  7.0

Wah Kee Chinese Noodle Restaurant on Urbanspoon

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