Local Lunches Under $10 Bucks: Loong Wah (Now Under New Management)

This past summer new ownership, sisters Zoe and Leah Wu, took over the place and started adding more traditional Asian dishes.

This past summer new ownership, sisters Zoe and Leah Wu, took over the place and started adding more traditional Asian dishes. Hailing from Taiwan, a crossroads of diverse foods and cultures, the sisters showcase dishes from all over the East.”Food in Taiwan is influenced by many countries,” Zoe says.

If you take your Instagram photos in black and white and like Jim Jaramusch movies, this is the restaurant décor of your dreams. Simple and timeless (could be 1980, could be 2020),  clean and cute. Waving maneki-neko, traditional Japanese “good luck cats” with a paw up bestow blessings. Adorable fake bonsai on each table are bested only by  the generous gift of both chopsticks and forks right there in a caddy, so  you don’t have to live the shame of asking for a fork if the sticks are beyond your skills.

Reliably fresh basil and delicious hot-pot options, including vegan, are becoming the restaurant’s calling card, but the multi-page dinner menu leaves one almost spoiled for choice, and can take many visits to properly explore.

The staff are beyond accommodating, and will substitute to meet preferences whenever possible. However, with such rich and complex flavours there is a strong argument for eating the traditional dishes as they are meant to be served.

What We Ate

All the vegetables and health benefits of traditional food too much for you? The burger slays and you can get deep fried gluten, yes PURE GLUTEN. Loong Wah is licensed to serve alcohol and stocks some Quidi Vidi products. So high, low, or on-the-go, there’s an affordable option for you,  and your dietary preferences will be respected. Here’s our ten dollar lunches. Listed prices do not include tax.

Burger with Kimchi, Eggroll $7.95:

You can get a burger and homemade fries for just under $10. Or you can pay 50 cents to add a generous slather of kimchi ( Korean traditional fermented cabbage with chilies) to the burg, and have a crunchy eggroll as a side. This was my/Felicity’s choice. The kimchi is mild, but retains a hint of heat, the burg itself consists of a homemade, perfectly grilled patty, a bakery bun, and the usual lettuce and tomato fixings. Excellent.

Combination Platter (Spring/Egg Roll, Fried Rice/Fried Noodle/Pick a Main) $7.00:

Our server recommended Chop Suey/Beef Broccoli for “Western’ tastes,” Pineapple Pork for “in between,” and Pepper Beef for an “authentic experience.” The latter isn’t on the combo menu, but if they have time they will accommodate. I/Emily chose vegetarian duck with lemon sauce.

The “duck” (tofu sticks) were flaky and fried, with light chew inside; perfect texture for snacks, but the recommended meals would make better mains. Spring roll was fresh, crispy, and delicate. The fried rice was salty and greasy, but tasted like it came straight from pan to plate with no wait. Great place, but next time I will follow the server’s advice.

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