Address: 17/31 Playfair Street, The Rocks, Sydney NSW
Tel: (02) 9247 8554
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I visited Wok On Inn one evening after work to have dinner with the owner and “Chief Executive Noodle” Mr Ankur Sehgal.
I got to the place around 6.20, a little early for our 6.30 start but Mr Sehgal was stuck in traffic anyway so I had a bit of time to look around and get a feel for the place before he arrived.
Wok On Inn is located close to Circular Quay, about a 5-10 minute walk from the station.
The Rocks restaurant is quite small, more of a takeaway/fast food restaurant. However, it still has plenty of seating including long wooden benches with colourful stools, and metal tables and chairs in the middle of the area.
I visited on a Wednesday night and it wasn’t very busy, but there was a steady stream of people; either those who happened to smell the food as they walked past or those who walked over with confidence and familiarity.
I seated myself at one of the large wooden benches.
It was a nice cool day so it was quite pleasant to sit outside, apart from the annoying seagull which patrolled the area walking up and down between the tables and staring diners down with its beady eyes (image below).
The seagull eventually even gained enough courage to jump onto the table and try to steal our food, despite my efforts to chase it away!
Ankur later informed me that this was a problem they faced in The Rocks store in particular, but that the other stores didn’t have this same issue.
A friendly waitress asked if I wanted a drink while I waited (yes, as it was a very hot day!).
I was pleased to receive a chilled glass and cold can of solo, a nice touch which made my short wait more relaxing!
Overall, service throughout the meal was quite good.
It took less than 5-10 minutes for food to come out, staff were friendly and pleasant and as soon as diners left they cleared the plates (very efficient!), leaving nothing for the pesky seagulls!
When Ankur arrived, I was pleased to find that he was very friendly and easy to talk to.
I liked the fact that he was passionate about good food and good service in all his restaurants, and that he was ambitious and committed to making Wok On Inn work in Australia.
Chicken and Prawn Pad Thai, $13.95
First I tried the Pad Thai, a classic dish.
The dish was nicely presented, topped with beansprouts, crushed peanuts, a wedge of lemon and some parsley.
The noodles were delicious with a slightly sweet sauce and plenty of chicken and prawn. A very tasty and satisfying dish and a great portion!
Bangkok Noodles, $12.95
Next up were Ankur’s favourite: Bangkok Noodles with chicken: basically hokkien noodles with a sweet pad prik khing sauce (see my review of Spice I Am for another Pad Prik Khing dish).
The sauce was delicious and you could really taste some strong lemongrass flavours and smell the kaffir lime.
Ankur told me that the dish was originally served with rice instead of noodles but they found that it was not selling so they decided to change it up a little and reinvent it by using noodles instead.
The idea obviously worked as the dish is now one of their top sellers!
Uncle’s Drunken Noodles, $13.95
Finally, we tried one of the other popular choices, Uncle’s Drunken Noodles. Ankur told me that this was one of the famous dishes in Thailand, where it is made for drunk locals after a night out, with plenty of chilli and spice to awaken the senses.
The dish contains thai basil, homemade chilli paste, flat rice noodles, bamboo shoots (which I love), egg and (in our case), seafood. It has quite a dry sauce, and is very very hot, a good one for those fiery spicelovers!
There was a lot of seafood in the dish and I thought the prawns were very nicely cooked, the calamari was not chewy or rubbery, and the vegetables were crunchy and tasted fresh. Overall, a tasty dish, and yes, perfect for those late nights out!
Overall I would rate my dining experience (out of 10):
- Service- 6
- Food- 8.75
- Ambience- 5
- Value – 8
Here’s a photo of Ankur with one of the lovely staff!
TCFB dined as a guest of Mr Seghur and Wok On Inn.