Quik Wok is a fast food American Chinese restaurant located in Rancho Bernardo. In addition, on weekends, they offer some traditional chinese dishes, including chinese breakfast items, noodle dishes, and my beloved knife shaved noodles (homemade noodles that are shaved with a knife, creating doughy noodle threads of irregular shape that have a chewy, bouncy texture).
I had received several recommendation to go check out Quik Wok but the out-of-the-way location and a not so great experience by Kirk of mmm-yoso, left me hesitant to check it out.
This past weekend I was going to be in the RB area anyway, so I thought I might as well go see for myself how the knife shaved noodles are. The night before I had actually tasted the worst knife shaved noodles in my life at another restaurant: dry, hard and not at all chewy. So going into this experience, I feared the worst.
When we arrived, we saw the wide open kitchen, where you can see the chefs on their woks cooking and clanking away. A lot of people on yelp that have ordered from the chinese menu talk about it being a secret menu. Actually, the menu is taped to the front of the restaurant along with the English menu offerings. Unfortunately, no translations are offered for the chinese menu.
The chinese menu is offered on weekends only, served until 3 pm. We actually arrived after 3, but they agreed to let us order from it, to my great relief.
We were really only there for one thing: the knife shaved noodles.
Two people from our party ordered the beef noodle soup with knife shaved noodles. Given the very poor beef noodle soup offerings I’ve tasted in San Diego, I wasn’t expecting much from this. But I was pleasantly surprised. The broth had a nice beef flavor to it and it was also slightly spicy. While not as rich as some other beef broths I’ve had, it’s definitely one of the better beef broths I’ve had in San Diego. I’d rank it right behind Chin’s.
And of course, the feature of the dish were the knife shaved noodles. These noodles were chewy and bouncy. I was really happy with how they tasted. After Kirk’s review and my bad experience the night before with hard knife shaved noodles, I had gone in expecting the worst. But these were pretty good. The cutting/shaving seemed a little off, but these were still pretty good and the only place in San Diego that I know of that even serves knife shaved noodles. My only wish was that there were more noodles in the bowl.
There were a few pieces of cabbage that were bitter. I’m not sure if this was just a bad batch of cabbage or cabbage that was too old.
One person ordered the spicy noodle soup.
Two other people ordered the “Za Jiang” noodles. Za Jiang is a sauce made of fermented soy beans and usually mixed with some meat and dried bean curd and vegetables. Many people are familiar with the korean version of za jiang which is a black paste. The chinese version is brown, with a sweeter taste. I actually prefer the Korean Za Jiang sauce. I’ve never particularly loved the chinese one. This one got mixed reviews. One person loved the sauce, the other person thought it was too salty.
Another person in our group chose to order the pan fried noodles with shrimp. This was actually from the English menu. She liked her noodles. They were thin, crispy egg noodles, topped with shrimp, broccoli, and some other vegetables in a thick sauce.
Someone else opted for the fried chicken cutlet and noodle soup. The chicken cutlet was really hard. I’m not sure how they ended up with such a tough piece of chicken meat. The noodle soup was much better.
My food was the last to arrive and before it did, I saw the chef come out. My heart immediately sank because I just knew he was coming out to tell me they were out of shaved noodles. Sure enough, I was right. But the chef was very apologetic. He made me the dish with some thicker-type chinese noodles, much like the ones I usually buy and use at home.
I ordered the “Da Lu” noodles, which is a thick noodle stew soup. The soup is heavily laced with cornstarch to develop a stew-like texture. It’s usually topped with a variety of mixed ingredients and then finished with a scrambled egg (which when poured into a soup creates egg drop soup rather than the breakfast scrambled eggs). This actually looked better than it appears in my picture. I was having some lighting issues with all my pictures for this place because we were at a big table that was in a dark corner.
I found this version to be hearty and comforting which is supposed to be the effect of “Da Lu” noodles. I was sad there were no knife shaved noodles, but the fiance was generous enough to let me have a lot of his.
Overall, we were all pleasantly surprised by the chinese menu offerings at Quik Wok. I am also happy to finally find some knife shaved noodles in San Diego. We’ll be back again for more knife shaved noodles and to explore the rest of the chinese menu offerings.
Here is the chinese menu.
I will update it with translations once I get them from my mom. For the ones we ordered, the knife shaved noodles, they are located in the second column. Second column, fourth one down is beef noodle soup. Fifth one is the spicy noodle soup. The sixth one is the za jiang noodles. The one at the bottom of the second column right above the handwritten entry is the Da Lu noodles.