Updated: Nov 13, 2019
Who knew turning a local fast food joint into an annual experiment would bring so much pain
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."
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 playig 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.
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.
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.
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