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Wok on Yonge - Food tastes as good as it looks?!

Charles Yu Aug 16, 2007 06:02 PM

Saw recently, 'Wok on Yonge''s advertisement on TV. For a Chinese restaurant, the presentation of some of the dishes looked pretty impressive and interesting. However, the $64K question still remains. Does the food taste as good as it looks. Any fellow chowhound given it a try?!

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    embee RE: Charles Yu Aug 16, 2007 10:01 PM

    I've never been there, so I can't answer your specific question. But you should be aware that food used in ads (whether a printed photo or, especially, for TV) is often designed and plated by "food stylists". There is a huge arsenal of tricks that can make food look better in a photograph.

    Some are very simple. A scoop of mashed potato doesn't melt under TV lights; ice cream does. An oil spray can make a lobster look gorgeous.

    Some are very complicated and some stylist tricks result in what are essentially foods turned inedible for looks, or even what amount to food replicas.

    I'm not saying this is the case here. But you should be aware of this very common advertising practice. There are fascinating books on this subject. I became interested when my cooking never resembled the photos in certain very good cookbooks.

    1 Reply
    1. re: embee
      jessi20 RE: embee Sep 5, 2007 08:17 AM

      ever noticed how good a big mac looks on tv? ...and then how pathetic it looks (and tastes) when you give in to the craving. damn those food stylists are good!

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      ace123 RE: Charles Yu Aug 16, 2007 11:22 PM

      I've been there several times for tasting menu, set lunch & dim sum. It's 1 of my favorite Chinese restos.
      The tasting menu consists of fusion dishes & most of them tastes good to very good. It'll take at least 2 hrs to finish it. Very nice presentation. They do require advance order for tasting menu.
      The set lunch ($10 - $12) is : salad, dim sum , main dish & starch (udon in soup or wild rice in lotus leaf). The broth in udon is excellent.
      The dim sums are very good too. The portion is smaller than usual. e.g. Har kow and siu mai are both 2 pcs per order instead of 4. However, the price has been adjusted accordingly. I tried almost all dim sums on the menu & enjoyed most of them. The dim sum dessert are really outstanding.
      BTW, it's owned by Regal 16. Worth a visit!

      4 Replies
      1. re: ace123
        Charles Yu RE: ace123 Aug 17, 2007 05:48 AM

        Thanks ace123! Just a couple more questions. How much is the tasting menu? and how many courses? Any idea if we can BYOB. Looks like they are trying to be Toronto's answer to Hong Kong's " Boinnovation".

        1. re: Charles Yu
          pescatarian RE: Charles Yu Aug 17, 2007 06:50 AM

          Charles, here's the link to the website: http://www.wokonyonge.ca/about.htm

        2. re: ace123
          skylineR33 RE: ace123 Aug 17, 2007 10:19 AM

          Their tasting menu looks very good in value. The dishes look like traditional chinese fusion type, l wonder what a fusion style of the traditional 宋嫂魚羹 (Auntie Song fish soup?) looks like ?so it is something unique in Toronto ! Will try it one day. Thanks.

          1. re: skylineR33
            ace123 RE: skylineR33 Aug 17, 2007 05:03 PM

            You can look at the tasting menus in their website ($39.80 & $45). Sometimes they put 2 courses in 1 dish.
            If you go to www.ccue.ca, you can print a coupon for 10% off until Aug. 31.
            I haven't tried these 2 recent menus yet. Those tasting menus I tried before were very good. It's different from all other Chinese resto in Toronto.
            Make sure you call before noon for tasting menu.
            You can BYOB & will be charged $10 corkage.

        3. skylineR33 RE: Charles Yu Sep 2, 2007 01:45 PM

          Just tried out Wok On Yonge, 7 of us ordered the Lobster tasting menu. So disappointed !!

          There is no problem with the food but there is no surprise too.

          One good thing is I think they really deliver the "health consious" chinese food concept with no MSG (or very very minimal) used and non oily. The taste of the food is good in general, mild, with lots of fruit used. Good presentation. But that's about it, no surprise on the food, they just package average to good cooked chinese food in good presentation.

          Service is not quite acceptable as we waited 45 minutes for our first course. The restaurant is around 60% full.

          Regarding value, I think it is more on the expensive side, with $50 per person, I can have better chinese food in many other places.

          Decoration is ok, but lighting is strange which make it not very comfortable.

          I don't think I will return.

          5 Replies
          1. re: skylineR33
            Charles Yu RE: skylineR33 Sep 2, 2007 02:37 PM

            Thanks the heads up!! I was just about to give it a try.!! Phew!!! Now, I think I'll give it a pass and use the same money for some sharkfins at Regal16 instead!

            1. re: Charles Yu
              skylineR33 RE: Charles Yu Sep 2, 2007 07:20 PM

              Agree absolutely, with the same amount of money, one can get the "Braised shark fin with fresh crab in Creamy crab soup" set dinner at Regal 16 !

              1. re: skylineR33
                kaka RE: skylineR33 Sep 5, 2007 07:08 AM

                Where is this 'Regal 16' place? I would love to give it a try too. Love shark fin soup!

                1. re: kaka
                  skylineR33 RE: kaka Sep 5, 2007 09:45 AM

                  1 Spadina Road, Richmond Hill, east of Bayview and 16.

                  They have a number of set dinners with different kinds of shark fin. I have written a quick review on it around 2 weeks ago on this board. You may want to take a look at it and have an idea.

                  1. re: skylineR33
                    kaka RE: skylineR33 Sep 6, 2007 09:44 AM

                    Thanks for your information.

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            wong RE: Charles Yu Jan 1, 2008 04:14 PM

            I had been there once for dinner and a few times for dim sum. The quality and presentation of the food is good and the restaurant is cosy. Therefore, I don't mind to visit a few times in the past even the price is on the high side. However, I am so disappointed with my last visit for the bad service. The attitude of the waitress was so bad that I don't think I will return again.

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