Village Wok

Twin Cities, Minnesota

2.6 / 24 votes

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Chinese food near the University of Minnesota campus

The Village Wok is a Chinese restaurant near the East Bank campus of the University of Minnesota. It features a large menu, including 40 vegetarian options.

Warning: all "vegetarian" dishes contain chicken broth at Village Wok. The menu even states this. Make sure to tell your server that you want the dish prepared without chicken broth if you are vegan or vegetarian.

Added by Gregory on Apr 17 04 (last updated Apr 1 09)

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Most Recent Reviews


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It's really not cool that all the times I've asked if the "N-6" teriyaki udon noodles are vegan, I've been told yes. But alas, the warning on VegGuide is correct — there is chicken stock in it. I finally got a server that knew that and wrote "vegan, no chicken stock, no MSG" on my order sheet. Still not sure how much I trust it. That said, the dish is totally delicious. I'd increase my rating if items were marked vegan and if vegetarian items were actually vegetarian (as in, no chicken stock or fish sauce).

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rating star

Sure, Village Wok is greasy, gooey, MSG-laden and buried in corn starch. But as an American Chinese food restaurant, it has inexplicable appeal and also has a huge selection of vegan dishes with the option for mock chicken and mock fish, in addition to ubiquitous standards such as tofu and mock duck.

Warning: Make sure to ask for your dish to be prepared without chicken broth; the menu has a "vegetarian" section but then indicates that you should tell your waiter if you want a dish made without MSG or chicken broth. At least they're upfront about ingredients. My waitress used the word "vegan" without any prompt from me, which was encouraging. I do find it frustrating that chicken broth is somehow considered vegetarian by Village Wok.

I had a mock chicken curry ($8.95) which was a savory, messy dish full of green onions, carrots, water chestnuts and unusual mock chicken. I'm not sure where they got their mock chicken from, but it's pretty realistic and reminded me of just a tad dry, day-old chicken. They also don't scrimp on the portion size. The taste was passable, and probably something I'd appreciate better at a late hour after drinking a few beers. That said, I'd be curious to try some of their other tofu and mock fish dishes.

The place is a low-scale, low-lit dive-esque place, but still was bustling when I went on a Tuesday afternoon.

The service was pretty friendly and attentive (with free tea, like old-school Chinese restaurants back in the day), though my order took nearly 20 minutes to arrive.

Village Wok is no Evergreen, but I appreciate that it offers unusual mockmeats and has such a large array of choices. The food wasn't terrible, but it doesn't stand out; my three-star rating rests primarily on the restaurant's long hours, mockmeats and scrappy mentality.

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Neighborhood

Stadium Village

Directions

Next to Kinko's and near the Harvard Market on Washington Ave SE.

Non-Smoking

Accepts Reservations

Prices

$$ - average

Payment

  • American Express Discover MasterCard Visa

Cuisines

  • Chinese
  • Japanese
  • Thai

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Hours

11am - 1:30am

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