I tell Pikelet & Lollo to share all the time but I must confess, there’s one thing I’ve been keeping all to myself. It’s my secret favorite Chinese restaurant for Peking duck that I’ve not been able to part with until now… Mr Wok Asian Bistro! The unassuming Chinese/American Chinese restaurant up in Plano is where I go for special occasions like Chinese New Year or big family get togethers.
First I’d like to get a few things out of the way for my food snobs out there. The location is a little dubious as you travel along 14th street as there’s not an Asian restaurant in sight. This is not an Asian part of Plano which I know is worrying for foodies looking for the ‘real thing’. Instead 14th street is lined with fast food joints. It doesn’t look like a good sign but KEEP GOING. Once you arrive, Mr Wok resembles a Pizza Hut well… because it used to be one. ENTER! I promise it will be worth it.
The clientele is mixed. There’s always tables of Asians eating there alongside westerners which now brings me to the point of why I call this a Chinese/American Chinese restaurant. There are two menus: Chinese and American Chinese but all agree that the Peking Duck here is king! Owner Jack Kang, brings out the duck on a trolley and carves it table side. Using a super sharp knife, he effortlessly carves off thin pieces of duck skin while chatting with the table. The pieces are never too big or thick so we can assemble it into a warm, steam bun with a little hoisin sauce and scallions. The first bite is sublime. Always.
If you want to go more authentic Chinese, the Beggar’s Chicken is another specialty. You must order this 2 days in advance as there’s a lot of preparation involved. The chicken is stuffed with sticky rice, Chinese sausage, shiitake mushrooms and other vegetables. Then the chicken is wrapped in lotus and bamboo leaves and further encased in a bread dough and baked in an oven for 22 hours. When Kang wheels this out, it’s always a show. Bringing a mallet with him, Kang invites the diners to bash on the hardened bread dough to open it up. The kids love this ‘pinata’ aspect to the dish. When the dough is open, a big waft of steam arises and Kang works plating the chicken. After slow cooked for so long, he works with just a fork and spoon to ‘cut’ the tender chicken into pieces.
We tend to eat the duck as our main course because we all love it so much and we haven’t ventured too much into the other dishes. The kids can wolf down 5-6 Peking Duck buns each for dinner and they’re done. For other dishes, we usually have a green vegetable stir fried simply with garlic. If you love orange beef, their rendition is crisp and tangy. It’s a favorite American Chinese dish of ours. The Thai Grilled sole topped with tangy and slightly spicy Thai sauce complements well with rice and so does their tender but fetty Pork Belly.
Whichever menu you choose from Mr Wok executes their dishes well. Their Peking Duck and Beggar’s Chicken are authentic enough for my Chinese father to want to spend his birthday AND anniversary there last year on a visit to Dallas. And I’m pleased to be able to share this part of our heritage with kids and even more when I see how much they love it! Oh and it’s BYOB! Bonus!!
Click here for more info on Mr Wok Bistro.
This post is dedicated to my sweet Dad who loved this place when he visited from Australia. He celebrated his 71st birthday and 45th wedding anniversary here. Love you Mum & Dad!
Till our next Happy Meal!
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ITTY BITTY INFO:
- Food: Peking Duck rules
- Ambiance: Located in an old Pizza Hut. It’s VERY casual.
- Service: Friendly and accommodating staff
- Kid Friendliness: 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂
- Itty Bitty Foodies Tip: Order the steam buns not the pancakes with the Peking duck.
- Parent Foodies Tip: BYOB!