Beijing Wok Serves Bargain Bites
The Chinese restaurant offers little experience inside, but dishes out delicious food from the Far East.
There’s nothing fancy about Beijing Wok, but what it lacks in frills it makes up for with great food, whether you dine in or order out.
Located in a strip mall, the small spot at 8335 N. Skokie Blvd. is plain but neat. The space features a line of booths with tables in a variety of sizes set with green-cushioned seats. Mirrors embedded in the walls resemble windows that give the place the illusion of being larger. A number of potted plants and a fish tank populated by koi bring a little life to a place that was largely dead when we dined there Friday night.
There were just two other people eating when we came in, so our server quickly greeted us. She wasn’t able to offer recommendations, so we both ordered the dinner special ($12.95) in order to try a variety of dishes. The meal comes with a choice of soup, single pieces of three appetizers and an entrée.
Our server wasn’t great about refilling our water glasses throughout the meal, but the three courses came out in rapid succession. I enjoyed my wonton soup ($1.95), a simple version of the dish with a light broth and green onions, with the pork dumplings wrapped in firm noodles. My fiancé was disappointed with his bland hot and sour soup ($2.15), picking out the mushrooms and carrots, and leaving the rest of it untouched.
We each got one crab Rangoon; one fried chicken wing and one egg roll. The wings were lightly breaded and not too greasy. The eggs rolls were mostly filled with cabbage, but slathering them with the hot mustard sauce helped make up for the dull stuffing. The topping had so much kick that I was taken aback by my first bite despite my love of spice. The crab Rangoon is on the sweet side, a little light on the crab but with the right balance of cream cheese to breading.
My fiancé ordered the garlic chicken ($8.25), which turned out to be our favorite dish. It was very mild, even though he’d asked for it to be extra spicy, but the huge quantity of delicious vegetables made up for the lack of heat. The dish is packed with perfectly cooked chicken and features broccoli, water chestnuts and slices of bamboo. It’s still a bit crunchy but overall it was very delicious.
My chicken lo mein ($7.25) was also quite good, with plenty of pieces of tender chicken and firm egg noodles mixed with cabbage and onion. I love lo mein, but find most places make it too greasy for my tastes. Beijing Wok’s wasn’t perfect, but it was the best I’ve found in the area.
The entrees were both large, and after having appetizers, we wound up taking most of them home and enjoyed eating them again as leftovers. It’s a little surprising that dining in is so much more expensive than ordering out, since most places reverse that. Since eating there adds little to the experience, the next time we’re craving Chinese we’ll take advantage of Beijing Wok’s best deal: $6.95 dine-in and delivery dinner entrees that come with soup or an egg roll plus fried rice.