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Super Wok in Cary NC: How I love thee

What does one do when your spouse wants to order only items we've already tried and I'm on a quest to try every item on the extensive menu? Since I was already in the doghouse I took one for the team and we ordered items we'd already had.

Dan dan noodles: just amazing. Hot and porky. Oily and smoky. All this for $4.95.
Pork dumplings in chili oil: these are consistently good, though I quibble the sausage is a bit small.
Three pepper chicken: I love this dish. The three peppers are (I think) chile oil, red pepper flakes and a green pepper like a poblano or something smaller. I asked for this dish "hot" and it was incendiary. The chicken was dark meat, as it should be in a dish like this.
Salt and pepper squid: this dish never does much for me but the kids like it. It's not too spicy. They bread it which doesn't make sense.
Rice cakes with stir fried pork: this dish is just great. When we ate at Momofuko in NYC, we had a similar dish. It's a non spicy pork dish which contrasts with the dan dan noodles and the chicken. Very good stuff

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  1. When the ball and chain lets you break out, try the pork belly and greens (I forget exactly what they call it on the menu). Oh....my. Thinking of it makes me drool on my keyboard.

    1. We've had all of those dishes except the last one. We request they put the dumpling sauce on the squid, which the kids love. We've had a couple of their call-ahead dishes, the lobster with ginger and scallions and the chinese BBQ spare ribs. The flavors are so much bolder at Super Wok-- and Wendy is a trip!

      1. LOL. We have friends like that who love Super Wok but will only order the same 3 or 4 dishes over and over again. Not that they're not all great dishes - I just want to keep trying more and more things there. My solution has been to keep on going with a different set of people. The Spouse most frequently, but also a constant assortment of friends and business colleagues. That way I can still have my dumplings and 1 or 2 other new dishes.

        Try the pork and smoked tofu. I'm no tofu fan but I think I could eat this dish 3 times a day.

        Btw, I went twice for lunch two weeks ago with different people and ordered the chili sauce dumplings each time. The sauce was still lick your plate clean good, but each time the dumplings seemed more doughy than usual. Anyone else notice that?

        2 Replies
        1. re: rockycat

          Further exploration into the Super Wok menu:

          App: Pork and Beef Tripe: According to my server, this cold app is actually beef tongue and beef tripe sliced in a classic chili oil sauce with chopped peanuts and topped with parsley. Very very good. Spicy. If you like offal, this is like crack but more porky. I realize that not everyone likes offal, but this dish is stellar.
          Entree: Spicy Beef Gristle: I've been wanting to order this dish since I first saw it on the menu. With a name like gristle, it has to be good and it is, it really is. The gristel is tendons in a brown garlicy sauce served over bitter greens. While the gelatinous texture may turn some off, I think this dish is a real winner, largely due to the bitter greens balance. The dish really pairs well with a hoppy IPA, BTW. Moderately spicy.
          Entree: Ma Po Tofu: The sauce is fiery and garlicy. Filling dish. I like it but it is not my favorite. For the best bite, get some stuff from the bottom as well as the top. When we order take out, we always get dan dan noodles. Ma po tofu is a contender, but ultimately not able to dethrone dan dan noodles as a staple on our order.

          1. re: Tom from Raleigh

            The Pork Belly with lotus root is awesome, also the spicy beef noodle soup is very good

        2. Have eaten at Super Wok twice now. The first time we had the Lotus Root with Pork Belly, Dan Dan Noodles, Pork Dumplings, and some Noodles (thin but forgot name). I was very impressed. The second time, we got the Crab Rangoon, Egg Drop Soup, Black Pepper Beef and a spicy Sichean beef dish (forgot the name again). This is by far the best Chinese food I have had in a long time. Authentic and tasty. Now I am getting the craving again....

          7 Replies
          1. re: humanfactors

            I'm curious, was the Crab Rangoon, Egg Drop Soup, and Black Pepper Beef on an "American" menu? I live in Charlotte but plan on eating at Super Wok next time I'm up that way. I never thought of those dishes on a Szechuan menu, but I've only been to one "authentic" Szechuan restaurant. (HINT HINT If anyone is interesting in opening one here they will make a killing!) Charlotte is very jealous of Cary in this regard....

            1. re: billyjack

              The Black Pepper beef is on the Chinese menu while the other items are on the American menu.

                1. re: Tom from Raleigh

                  Do they have english translations on the chinese menu? or do you have to point? this sounds intriguing, and i've heard lots of good things. might be worth a trip from CH.

                  1. re: Pigloader

                    It is translated. I stumbled across their website the other day and they have both menus posted. Sounds absolutely delicious.


              1. re: humanfactors

                Lotus root with pork belly? I am SO going!

                1. re: suse

                  Go for it. That dish is truly awesome.

              2. Did take out last night. Mmmmm

                Dumplings in chili oil
                Fried Egg plant pudding
                stir fried pea shoots
                Rice cake noodle with pork
                kung pao chicken

                All delicious; while there is so much stuff to try, like pork belly with lotus root, I would HAVE to get the rice cake noodle again. So addicting. The Fried eggplant pudding was really good too, just kind of filling. It is hard to eat everything without getting too full :-)

                1 Reply
                1. re: winedine

                  After all this talk about real Chinese food I had to go for a quick low-rent version at Grand Asia Market today. Do you ever go there? The dou hua spicy on Fridays just hits the spot on a cold afternoon.

                2. We had a chance to try Super Wok on Christmas! They were fairly busy, with a large family group dining with a Lazy Susan over flowing with dishes that had us casting envious glances their way.

                  We tried two dishes not yet mentioned, stir fried eggplant with spicy garlic and stir fried duck with baby ginger and snow peas. The duck dish had the most delicious baby snow peas, crunchy and sweet. I don't think I could have identified the meat as duck in a blind taste test, but it was tasty. The eggplant texture was creamy, silky and absolutely wonderful. I will have to order this dish with every visit to Super Wok!

                  The place is clean, brightly lit and pretty basic in decor. Staff was friendly and service was fine. Both menus were brought to the table, as were both forks and chopsticks.
                  Our spicy dishes were fairly mild. We were busy chatting and didn't think to specify or ask about heat level. Next time I'll ask them to kick it up a notch.

                  Fortune Palace will stay our "go-to" for takeout - it is so close to our home and we have a few favorite dishes there. But Super Wok is going to be on the rotation for nights out. Especially since that eggplant keeps calling me!

                  Thanks for posting about them Tom!

                  7 Replies
                  1. re: meatn3

                    Fortune Palace on Capital and Brentwood? I've ordered multiple times here and find it to be pretty bland. What do you order there?

                    1. re: jrfulbright

                      Only order off the traditional menu. The rest of the menu is pretty standard Chinese-American.

                      1. re: rockycat

                        Ahhh. Do you have to ask for it? I guess I've only ever ordered off their takeout menu at the front.

                        1. re: jrfulbright

                          At one point, Fortune Palace had a combined menu with both Americanized Chinese dishes like General Tso's Chicken and more authentic "Chinese" dishes. Before I tried Super Wok, Fortune Palace was my go to Chinese choice. I still like Fortune Palace a lot. They have a website that only has the Americanized items. When we get take out from FP, we get fried pork intestines (my kids love them), crispy duck, some chow fun noodles and some other dish.

                          I'd really like to order a meal just off the items listed as specials on the dry erase board at the hostess stand.

                          1. re: jrfulbright

                            Y'know, I don't really know anymore. I generally go at lunch and tell the mildly surprised waitress that I'd like the menu, not the buffet. I think you have to flip to the back of the menu to get to the traditional dishes. I'm positively addicted to the fish and peanut appetizer. It tastes so much better than it sounds.

                            Once we were closed out of the restaurant because it was booked for a Chinese wedding party. That's good enough recommendation for me.

                            1. re: rockycat


                              Do you mean the tiny fish with peanuts? If so, that quite good shid.

                              1. re: Tom from Raleigh

                                Yes. I don't even like fish much but I love this dish. Even my little one loved it until she noticed that the fish had heads. The "ewwww" factor there was a little too much for her to deal with.

                    2. 12-18 Lunch in a near white out. I made up an excuse to go near Cary and as a result, I ate at Super Wok

                      Sichuan Style Spicy chicken @ $6.50 This was a cold app. Pile of cooked sliced chicken with some sliced scallion. There's sesame paste, sesame oil, chili oil, vinegar, soy and a little sugar. Its spicy but not overly hot. Quite good. It's not quite room temp. This is along the lines of bang bang chicken which is a favorite from Dunlop's "Land of Plenty" cookbook. I'd like some more heat, some more Sichuan peppercorns. This app is not a star, but it would be a fine choice if you're having multiple apps.
                      Entreee: Stir fried winter bamboo shoots with pork belly. The dish is brown beige with some green from scallion. The winter bamboo is chewy. The texture really goes well with the chewy and soft pork belly. The winter bamboo is interesting. WB tastes mushroomy and earthy Some pieces are more like celery. The dish is not spicy at all. Its a strange taste, but I really liked it as well.

                      Both dishes tasted better as leftovers. Largely, I think because there was a limited amount left to eat.

                      At the restaurant, my server must have recognized me from before. She brought me only the Sichuan menu and chopsticks, no fork. The place was full at lunch on a Friday.

                      Glad others are enjoying this thread.