Chinese food, ready in no time

TAKEOUT

July 17, 2002|By Tom Waldron | Tom Waldron,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

There's something endearing about the humble China Wok restaurant in White Marsh Plaza. Maybe it's the "Chopstick Hall of Fame" that holds regulars' chopsticks in pretty plastic cases.

Whatever it is, the little outpost in the heart of sweltering suburbia does a fine job serving good, fresh Chinese food.

China Wok occupies a storefront in a large shopping center, near a Giant grocery store and just across from the White Marsh Mall. Inside, a bamboo curtain fills the front window and a dozen tables and a small sushi bar are wedged into the space. Dragons and peacocks decorate the walls.

Our large order was ready in no time, and the sushi chef cheerfully let us sit at his counter while we waited, even though we weren't having sushi. None of our many dishes disappointed.

Vegetable spring rolls, two for $2.75, were exceedingly fresh -- plenty of shredded cabbage and carrots inside a nice pastry. Most importantly, the rolls were not too greasy.

Both steamed and fried pork dumplings (six for $3.95) were also well done, accompanied by a spicier-than-normal sauce loaded with red pepper and green onion slices.

Cold sesame noodles ($3.50) were thick and fresh and came bathed in sesame oil and perhaps a trace of peanut seasoning.

The main courses were also uniformly good. Sichuan chicken ($8.75 for a large serving) had plenty of meat, shredded carrots and a solid dose of hot pepper. Shrimp in lobster sauce ($10.75 for a large serving) featured well-cooked shrimp and mushroom slices in a velvety egg-drop sauce. And the chef managed not to overcook the eggplant in garlic sauce ($5.25 for a small serving), for which we were thankful. I'm not sure, though, that I tasted much garlic.

We stuck to Chinese cuisine but were intrigued by the sushi bar and the extensive Japanese menu. Maybe next time.

One tip: Order ahead, because there is very little room for carryout customers waiting for their orders and it could get mighty crowded around the door on a busy night.

China Wok

Food: ***

Service: ***1/2

Waiting area: *

Parking: ***

Where: 7916 Honeygo Blvd., White Marsh

Phone: 410-931-3586

Hours: 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday to Thursday; 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Friday to Saturday; noon to 10 p.m. Sunday

Prices: Appetizers $1.50 to $5.25; entrees $4.95 to $13.95; credit cards accepted

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