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China Fast Wok Review

Updated: Sep 5, 2021

Who knew turning a local fast food joint into an annual experiment would bring so much pain

China Fast Wok Interior before remodel
Their kitchen before the remodel

With the look of an ice cold assassin I make the walk of shame to this place for the annual tasting. Has China Fast Wok improved enough to become a staple Chinese joint in the Logan/Palmer Square area?

"When this began years ago they started out at a measly 1 out 5 stars."

China Fast Wok Orange Chicken Lunch Special
How the orange chicken combo was in 2014

When this began years ago they started out at a measly 1/5 stars. Whatever resembling food they served was disgusting and you wondered how they stayed in business. Over the years it's safe to say they've improved dramatically.

Walking in they still have the new decor which consists of a few Mahogany tables. I noticed the paper menus had been redesigned this time around. They now look professionally done in the manner of a real restaurant and not like they went to a free Chinese menu template site and picked template #1. I noticed they have put up a huge wall blocking people's view into the kitchen now...take that however you want.

"As always the portions for the specials are HUGE and fill you up."

After taking my order of the usual Orange Chicken special the cashier said it would be 10 minutes as usual. Turns out it was almost half an hour before I got my food. Whether they were making it extra tasty in anticipation of this review or taking turns playing soccer with my chicken because of the past scathing reviews...the only way to find out is to eat it all!

Presentation has remained the same since last year. I noticed in the orange sauce instead of trying a completely new recipe, they just added chili sauce to it...and somehow made it better? I don't get the thought process behind it, but adding the chili sauce to the terrible orange sauce somehow masks the orange sauce itself, resulting in just a bland chili sauce. Chicken wasn't as dry as last year, but still bland and uninspiring. Nonetheless definitely an improvement from the "orange sponge" that was served years ago.

China Fast Wok Orange Chicken
2017's Orange Chicken, note the lack of "sponge" texture

The rice actually was good restaurant quality grade this year! I give it a B+! Only thing that kept it from getting that A is that it was soaked in whatever light oil they use (which was definitely, fresh quality oil from the taste of it) to fry the rice in. There was also an extraordinary amount of medium sized shrimp in the rice. For $8 I definitely don't mind what I got as they didn't skimp at all. As always the portions for the specials are HUGE and fill you up. Them actually going from the rice being the worst part to it actually being the best means there's even greater value now.

China Fast Wok Chicken Chow Fun
Chicken Chow Fun doesn't look very fun at all

All in all I think they've earned a bump up to 3.5 stars this year from last year's 3. Hopefully they keep working on their recipes and improving things.

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Update 10-31-2019:

China Fast Wok Orange Chicken Lunch Special with Eggroll & Fried Rice
China Fast Wok's Orange Chicken in 2019

3.5 out of 5 stars

China Fast Wok

2020 N California Ave #8 Chicago, IL 60647

b/t Francis Pl & McLean Ave (Next to UPS Store) Logan Square



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