Steve's Gastronomic Home Page

Rocking Wok

4301 Interlake Ave. N.
Seattle, WA
(206) 545-4878

Like so many Chinese restaurants in Seattle, Rocking Wok from the outside does not look like a place I would likely associate with one of the more authentic restaurants in town. The building is an old converted house, and the amount of space inside looks like it can barely accommodate customers from the surrounding neighborhood, much less those who make the trek from outside Wallingford for this authentic Taiwanese cuisine.

Unlike some of the other more authentic restaurants, Rocking Wok serves lunch specials, and some of the menu items look like the traditional American favorites (kung bao chicken, Mongolian beef, etc.). I did not find much indication from the menu as to which dishes were uniquely Taiwanese, and I had to ask for the really authentic food. The server made a suggestion to me, but I never found it on the menu. It most likely comes from the Chinese menu, which they will be glad to serve if you ask for it.

I asked for a congee soup to begin the meal. The Chicken with Ginger Congee turned out to be the best I ever had. This had a wonderful flavor and texture (rice soup does not sound very appetizing, but it is great when prepared properly).

The entrée the waiter suggested was Chicken with Rice. I saw this dish served to several other patrons, although it normally comes with pork instead of chicken. The chicken was prepared with a batter and a light sauce that looked like mustard. The chicken was actually on the side-- the white rice was covered with ground pork soaked in a light sauce. I thought everything tasted quite good, although I would call it more "Chinese comfort food" than the gourmet type dishes which most restaurants seem to prefer serving. One distinctive feature of this dish is that a hard-boiled egg is served on top. A pickled relish served on top of the rice was also quite tasty.

The chicken with rice was more meat-centered than I am used to, even for Chinese food (which almost always has some kind of meat in the authentic dishes), and did not have any vegetables except a delicous salad that came on the plate. Nevertheless it was one of my more memorable and enjoyable meals in my quest to try authentic Chinese food in Seattle restaurants.

The congee was the highlight of my experience-- I would gladly make a meal of this (and many customers eat it for breakfast or early lunch).

Other highlights of Rocking Wok were the low (almost absurdly low) prices and the great service. Eating in an old house was not necessarily a highlight in itself, but it contributed to the feeling that I was getting home made food.

Some of the patrons were indulging in another dish that looked like it must come from the Chinese menu-- pig intestine with noodles. My meal was not quite as adventurous, but at Rocking Wok there is something for everybody who likes Chinese food.

Rocking Wok is definitely worthy of multiple visits to sample items that will be found at very few other restaurants outside Taiwan.

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Cuisine: Chinese Taiwan
Cost: $
Hours: Closed Wed.
Tea: Jasmine House
MSG: Yes
Smoking: No Smoking

Most Recent Visit
Apr. 29, 2006

Number of Visits: 1

Best Items
Chicken with Rice, Congee

Special Ratings
Chicken with Rice:

Health Dept. Report
King County