WU Chow – Restaurant Review
WU Chow just opened their second location on 38th and Lamar in Austin, second to their downtown location. WU Chow serves authentic modern Chinese cuisine. They are a farm to table restaurant and serve their entrees family style.
The new location on 38th and Lamar has a friendly environment. While we had one main server, many others helped out our table and every single one of them was completely knowledgeable about the menu. During the day there are big windows and the dining room is filled with natural light. In the evening, the lighting is low and adds to the chill atmosphere. Even though we sat inside, the outdoor seating area looked lovely. There are string lights and plenty of space and tables, it’s a great spot to sit on a warm Austin evening.
Since they just opened, this location has a limited menu, but they provide many favorites from their downtown location. There are lots of entree options with different types of protein like beef, pork, lamb, seafood, or chicken. And of course a rice and noodles section. Every item is flavorful and exciting and they are varied in spice level, leaving something for everyone.
There are various traditional Chinese small plate choices such as Hot & Sour Soup, Szechuan Spicy Wontons and Chicken and Taro Eggrolls. Our server recommended the Szechuan Deep Fried Chicken as well as the Dry Fried Local Green Beans (this one was actually in the vegetables section, but our server recommended it as an appetizer).
The chicken is crunchy with the right amount of kick from the peppers. The green beans are flash fried then thrown in a wok with mustard greens and the combination is perfect. They are salty and the mustard greens bring a great flavor.
For entrees, our server recommended two or three to share so we got the Gong Bao Chicken and the Hunan Style Beef. We also got a side of vegetable fried rice and the entrees came with a side of steamed white rice as well.
The Gong Bao chicken is cooked with bell peppers and szechuan sauce and topped with roasted peanuts. It is relatively simple and yet very delicious. The sweetness from the bell peppers help balance out some of the kick from the sauce and add great texture.
But, the Hunan style beef steals the show. Our server let us know it is the spiciest dish on the menu and she is not wrong, but the spice doesn’t come without flavor. The beef is cooked perfectly and despite the heat in my mouth I couldn’t stop wanting more. The vegetable fried rice is simple and a great complement to the other flavorful dishes.
We also got a small sampling of dumplings which includes a tenderbelly pork dumpling, a vegetable dumpling and a beef dumpling. They all have great flavor and are cooked perfectly. The pork is my favorite out of the three.
The three specialty cocktails are an Ol’ Dirty Fashioned, a My-Tie, and the Texan’s Take on Tiki. We tried the Texan’s Take on Tiki which contained Montelobos Mezcal, Grand Marnier, lime, cucumber and jalepeño. The drink comes in a tiki cup with a lime and a rainbow straw. The drink is refreshing and an interesting combination of flavors.
Overall, the food and service at WU Chow is very enjoyable. Every dish is extremely colorful and flavorful, and I appreciated the freshness of the ingredients. It is a great place for date night or a girls night out with easy to share dishes and a friendly cozy atmosphere while still feeling high end.