It's that time of year again... the Chinese New Year! And 2013 is the year of the Snake!
This will be the ninth year I've hosted my annual Chinese New Year celebration at the Hot Wok. For those of you familiar with it, I need say no more. For those of you not, then it can be summed up very simply: The best Chinese food in St Louis, maybe in the entire midwest!
I know what you're thinking... is it really all that good? Let me answer simply: Yes! Old favorites that you've had everywhere will simply be better here. For example, Sesame Chicken is not the breaded and fried chunks found elsewhere; it's shredded white meat in a light sweet sauce. Sweet and Sour Pork is available here made from tenderloin. The Honey Walnut Prawns here are just the best available anywhere, period. Even the Hot and Sour Soup here is the best I've ever tasted. But more than that, you'll find some dishes here you may have never seen before. My own favorite is the Manchurian Beef, which is marinated beef strips, fried, then sauteed in a sweet sauce the likes of which you've never imagined! Or their sesame beef... thin sliced strips of flank steak in the best sesame sauce you've ever tasted. And I've barely scratched the surface of the menu. Beef, pork, chicken, seafood, vegetables, rice... they have the entire gamut. And every one of them are simply superb.
Price-wise, they're not the cheapest place but not expensive, either... pretty much right about average. The main dishes start from under $10, average around $12 or so, and top out around $17 for a couple of the fanciest dishes, usually seafood.
I'm still hosting this dinner for all of my meetup groups, but after last year's insanity (100+ people), this time I'm doing it over two consecutive nights! So Dine Out on a Dime is on Tuesday night, and Friends, West County Dining Out, and No Kidding are all on Monday night. You may sign up for both nights if you're a member of multiple groups and really just can't get enough awesome Chinese food, but please don't sign up for the same night with multiple groups; if you do, I'll remove the duplicate - so don't freak out if that happens.
As with some of my other larger dinners, you should spread your arrival between 6:30 and 7:30. This will help to keep things moving smoothly as they won't be trying to take a hundred orders simultaneously! They are quite experienced with large groups, but still plan on enjoying socializing during and after dinner. And if you have been here before but not in the last couple years, be prepared for a surprise as they completely remodeled their interior... it's beautiful!
Chinese food is meant to be shared, and with all the awesome choices here, I hope everyone will do so (although you're not obligated to, of course). Naturally they will do separate checks, but remember the rule is that if you order it, it'll be on your check.
I'll be looking forward to seeing all my west county foodies at the Hot Wok on Monday, February 11th, for my 9th annual Chinese New Year dinner!
Hot Wok Cafe Website