China Wok overflows with Mandarin cuisine

August 28, 2008 

AM China Wok

Modesto residents Mary and Robert LeFevre are served by employee Wanda Gong as they dine in the China Wok restaurant in Modesto Tuesday. (Adrian Mendoza / The Modesto Bee)

  • Essentials

    Restaurant: China Wok

    Location: 2037 Tully Road, Modesto; 529-1770

    Hours: 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Tuesdays- Saturdays, 11 a.m.-8 p.m. Sundays

    Price ranges and house specialties: "Happy family dinner" is $17 for two people and features won ton, fried prawns, egg roll, pork fried rice, chicken chow mein and sweet and sour pork (additional meat can be added for an extra charge). Dinner combinations, including fried prawns, crab-meat won ton, egg roll and chicken chow mein or pork fried rice plus one dish like almond chicken or garlic shrimp is $6.75-$7.25. Appetizers range from $3.25 for fried won ton to $6 for fried prawns. Soups, including won ton and shrimp sizzling rice soup, are $4.50-$5.95.

    Bar: No alcohol

    Reservations: Not necessary

    Accepted payments: Major credit cards and cash

    For children: Boosters and high chairs available.

It's easy to miss China Wok restaurant if you're not looking closely. The tiny eatery is tucked in back of a Tully Road strip mall and not visible from the road.

The restaurant serves up tasty Mandarin cuisine, including such favorites as kung pao shrimp and chicken garlic shrimp.

All the Chinese standards are available, including a variety of dishes made with pork, seafood, mu shu, egg foo yong, poultry, beef, vegetables and tofu.

China Wok also offers combination plates, including the "Happy family dinner," which includes such dishes as pork fried rice, chicken chow mein and sweet and sour pork.

The sparse décor features a large fan with fish, some Chinese characters and a picture menu taped to the wall that shows what each of the dishes looks like. Daily specials also are posted for dishes like spicy green beans or asparagus.

Because there is space for just a handful of tables, most people order the food for takeout or delivery (for the latter, the minimum order is $20).

China Wok previously focused on Szechuan cuisine but just switched over to Mandarin when new owner Suey Shew took over. A cook for years in San Francisco, he is eager to run his own restaurant. He said he is particularly proud of his kung pao shrimp.

"All the other restaurants make it with sauce," said the previous owner, Julie Wong. "He makes it with no sauce."

-- Lisa Millegan

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