I get annoyed when I go to a highly rated restaurant, especially one which boasts a stellar 4.7 rating, only to find it far, far below expectations. This was the case with Wok’s Den which, in my mind, is nowhere close to its suspiciously high rating. The restaurant is one of a number of trendy new outlets along Jumeirah Beach Road, not far from La Mer. Its interior is well appointed and clean. A full-length window display allows one to watch the frantic hustle and bustle of its kitchen which I found to be a nice touch. Valet parking is available so don’t freak out if you can’t find a parking spot (which you probably won’t).
The Wok’s Den menu is a mishmash of Asian favourites covering Thai to Chinese with a little Korean and Japanese thrown in for good measure. We decided to sample a cross-section and ordered Chicken Momos (supposedly Bhutani), Prawn Shumai and Vietnamese Spring Rolls to start. The Shumai were okay, nothing special. The momos, however, where not a patch on the momos one gets at most Nepalese restaurants across town. The nail in the coffin (of our starters) were the sticky skinned (supposedly) Vietnamese Spring Rolls whose chunky strips of stuffed vegetables made chewing a challenge. But you know what really, really got my goat? The fact that they charged AED10 for a small, plastic, take-away container of prawn crackers!!!! No, no, no, no!!!! How utterly cheap.
Sadly, our mains turned out to be just as disappointing, especially the best avoided Korean BBQ Beef which, while tender (I’ll give it that) was smothered in what looked and tasted like cheap syrup mixed with baking flour. Speaking of flour, both Green Thai and Massaman curries looked over-thickened with a flour of some sort – the Massaman was the better of the two but neither are something I am likely to order again. That left the Pad Thai my daughter ordered to hold up the 4.7 honour of Wok’s Den. It got a meh from her. I think she was trying to be polite.
The staff, while friendly, seemed lethargic, unmotivated and preoccupied. At least they got our order right. One even came up to our table a few minutes into our mains and boldly asked how our food was – I immediately said my Korean BBQ Beef was rubbish. Guess what she did? She smiled and walked away. Unbelievable. I’m sorry but I have nothing good to say about this restaurant. This is NOT a restaurant worthy of a 4.7 Zomato rating. In fact, the food was so mediocre, even if it had a 3.5 rating I’d still have a go at it. Consider other options.
Hey! Now read this –
Xerxes physically dines at, or orders from, each and every venue he reviews. He pays in full for whatever he and his companions eat, drink, take away or occasionally throw at each other. Xerxes accepts no money, gifts, discounts or free meals in return for reviews or favouritism. What you have read was NOT influenced in any way by the venue. Join me on Instagram @ravenousxerxes or email me on firstname.lastname@example.org.