Village Wok

Twin Cities, Minnesota


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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).

Image for conde.kedar

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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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I'm giving the Wok 2/5 for now. It's kind of hit or miss, but to be honest, the last few times I've gone there, I've felt sick afterwards.

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I ate out here weekly for a couple years (2006-2007) and the place grew on me. The wait staff and service tends to be efficient, and there are a much larger number of vegetarian options than usual on a Chinese menu.

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I have been a fan of the Wok for about 8 years (as long as I've been vegan). The service is great and the food is fast and cheap. They have a wide variety of vegan entrees--my favorite being the iron hot mock chicken or the hot spice eggplant. The Lo Hon Jai hot pot is another favorite. They also offer a variety of mock fish, mock duck, mock chicken and tofu dishes. Also, they have a variety of Chinese greens ranging from Chinese brocoli to hollow vegetable.

Yes, it is true that they USED to use chicken broth and oyster sauce in even the vegetarian foods, but they no longer do that. (note to all those surprised by this--most asian restaurants do the same) I always remind the server that I would like my food vegan and I have never had any problems with it.

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Food was pretty good and they had lots of choices. My rice was a little under cooked, but otherwise it was a pleasant dining experience. The atmosphere was nice as well.

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I've avoided this place in the past because of negative reviews.

Some of the other reviewers' points are valid: some of the vegetarian dishes use chicken broth unless you specify. And there was one dish listed as "oyster flavored", which is vague: is it made with oysters (likely) or does it use a vegan substitute that tastes like oysters (less likely)? My server verified the question about chicken broth (without me even having to ask) and also asked me if I wanted my dish to be prepared vegan style. I believe that their menus also indicate to specify this as well, so please do so when ordering if the server doesn't ask you.

That said, I've found a new place for my favorite Asian dish: the mock duck in curry sauce at the Village Wok is even lighter and tastier than at my other 'favorite' places. :-)

The service was excellent. A large group of us (9 total) arrived spontaneously, and therefore without reservations, but we were seated happily and almost immediately. Our server had a great sense of humor and he knew what he was doing. The cashier was friendly and he asked everyone if they enjoyed their meals, which everyone did enjoy.

It was a thoroughly positive, tasty and friendly experience. My initial impressions will bring me back to the Village Wok.

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This is one of those places I used to go to throughout college when no other place was open, and I was out of ideas. The food is OK if you're looking for something greasy. I never was really impressed with anything on the menu, and I was usually sick afterward. Beware, the bathrooms are NASTY (run to the hotel across the street if you need to).

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Be careful at Village Wok. I have had meat in my food on 2 occasions and will not be giving them business again unless I hear they are finally respecting vegan patrons. Once I ordered veggie fried rice and received shrimp fried rice. Even worse, I ordered mock duck potstickers and received dead pig potstickers which could not be seen without opening up the potstickers. Another time I had eggs in my rice despite asking for no egg. They have a "vegetarian" menu and according to several employees they use chicken stock in many items unless you ask specifically thay they not use it, even for items under the "vegetarian" section.

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Nothing special. The food is mediocre, the wait service is quick (especially given it's been pretty busy all the times I've been there), and they do have a bunch of options. Our server knew what was vegan and what wasn't. We did have a nasty experience when it came time to pay - they over charged us by five dollars, and then the cashier wouldn't accept a valid coupon we had and was very rude about it. Things until that point had just been -okay-, but the cashier was bad enough that I don't plan on going back.

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I've never really been a fan of this place. A friend thinks it is the greatest thing since sliced bread, so I have been there dozens of times. Service is generally pretty good, and they are open pretty late, which is a nice bonus. (Seems like it used to be later though.)

Last time I was there I had some Udon noodle dish they only serve before 8 PM, and it was pretty decent.

Image for Ramona

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I think that this is a good place to eat at on/near the campus. It's fairly cheap, the food is pretty good, and the service is super super quick. I recommend the sweet and sour tofu.

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I call it the village roach. And I will rather eat out of a dumpster before going here.

Please don't get me wrong, I enjoy ghetto Chinese, and grew up with it. I love heap rice fried with disturbingly uniformly cubed vegetables, things doused in unnaturally red sweet and sour sauce, and that light orange batter that deep fries everything beyond recognition. Yet somehow, they make it very badly.

Please go to Hong Kong Noodle, just a few blocks away. You will do everyone a favor.

Image for Dave Rolsky

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This is just low quality food. The only dish I really like is the five spice tofu. Everything else ranges from mediocre to downright awful. On one occasion, we were served some water spinach that was somehow cooked in a way that made it completely black and inedible. Gross! I haven't been back since.

Image for Gregory

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After trying a large number of dishes at the Village Wok, I must say that I am less than impressed. The food is medicore overall and tends to be bland. The best dish I had was the sweet and sour fried tofu, but it's pretty hard to mess up a dish whose flavor comes primarily from the sweet and sour sauce that they undoubtably buy in bulk.

Each time I have been to the Wok, the service has been very quick and fairly reliable. The only problem that I have had with the service is that they are slow at replenishing the tea on the table.

Also, I have been told that vegans and vegetarians should be sure to tell them not to add fish sauce, oyster sauce, or chicken broth to the dishes.

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