Home > Home > Restaurant review: Wok to Walk, Leidsetraat 96, Amsterdam

Restaurant review: Wok to Walk, Leidsetraat 96, Amsterdam

December 17, 2011

Fast food category

*****

By Maayan Arad

It is remarkable how hard it is to find reasonably priced, good quality, healthy fast food in most major cities. When in Amsterdam, the Wok to Walk fast food chain – which serves a mélange of Asian cuisine – is definitely one of the better choices that one can make when exploring Amsterdam city centre. For a sensible price, the visitors get a great restaurant experience with a personal touch and friendly service.

The franchise has four restaurants in different locations of Amsterdam and many more in different cities around the world. Since the opening in 2005 of the first Wok to Walk in the Kolksteeg, not far from Dam square, many more are opening in other countries such as Portugal, Spain, and Mexico.

The success of Wok to Walk relies on a combination of different elements that make it a unique concept. The central location of the restaurants and the long opening hours make it easy to find and a healthy alternative to other fast food chains that often sell overly deep-fried snacks and use ingredients of reduced quality.

The ingredients used in Wok to Walk are fresh and the meals are big enough to satisfy the average and even large stomach. For those of you who are particularly curious about the cooking process, the kitchen is open so it is possible to watch your own food being cooked and served. The employees are experienced cooks and often make the visitors feel welcomed with a smile.

The menu is quite simple but may take a while to get used to, especially on your first visit. The idea is that each costumer can choose exactly what he wants to eat by selecting the ingredients of his own meal. First, you choose the base out of several types of noodles, rice or the vegetable dish. Second, you can add your favorite meat or vegetables and additional toppings. In the last step you choose the sauce for free. Within several minutes the meal will be ready and your name will be called to remind you that it is time to eat.

Most meals are very tasty but it might take a few visits to figure out which combination you like the most. If Asian cuisine is not your thing it is better to look somewhere else or at least give it a try or two. Especially recommended are the rice noodles with chicken and shitake mushrooms and the Beijing oyster sauce, which I have tried during my last visit. My friend who is a vegetarian did not struggle to choose his meal due to the many vegetarian ingredients that are on offer. He chose for the white rice with tofu, broccoli and the (too spicy for me) hot Asia sauce. We both left with a smile.

The food is affordable by most standards. For roughly 10 Euros each, we got a big meal and a drink. Unfortunately, alcohol is not sold at the Wok to Walk restaurants in Amsterdam but the many bars around the corner will make up for this shortage.

Another positive feature of the restaurant is its social atmosphere. The costumers are encouraged to share a big table with others. This often results in new encounters and interesting conversations. The strange combination of partying tourists and Dutch locals from the Jordaan who shared the table with us turned out to be one of the highlights of the night. In the evenings and during the weekends, the restaurants tend to become very busy. You might need to be prepared to stand in the line.

This is also a good option for a quick pick up on the way home or before going to the park on a warm and sunny day. After making your order, don’t forget to choose between eating in or taking your wok on a walk. Bon a Petit!

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