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review

The Magic Wok

The Magic Wok

Confession time, despite The Magic Wok being a long time Darwin establishment, I've never been there before, until last Friday that is. I was actually going to go check out The Pearl, but the lunch menu is rather uninspiring, so I kept walking and ended up at The Magic Wok. It was 11.30 and I was the only one there, the lunch time crowd did fill the place out in quicktime come 12 though. For now, the owner was happy to show me around and explain how the whole thing works. It's a novel concept - you grab a tray and fill it with your choice of vegetables and meats from the buffet selection.

The Magic Wok

There's pretty much everything you'd want in a stir fry available, as well as some meats for the more adventurous types - horse, camel, emu, deer and crocodile. I stuck to beef and a mixture of seafood this time. Then you select your sauces by picking from the tags along the kitchen window, hand it all over to the chef and shazam he'll cook it up quicker than you've got time to check your Facebook feed on your phone. Your meal is accompanied by your choice of either rice or noodles.

The Magic Wok

The Magic Wok

Because you've chosen everything yourself you've only got yourself to blame if it turns out crap, although I'm sure the chef will make whatever you choose work nicely. Satay, Mongolian, chilli and oyster? I dare you. The Magic Wok experience will set you back $16.90 for 300 grams worth of goods, and anything over that weight is added on. I forget what the owner said, but I think it was roughly $1 per additional 50 grams - my dish ended up a shy over $20. Admittedly I wasn't particularly full after finishing, but it was tasty and fried to perfection.

Compared to other takeaway noodle/stir-fried options around town  it's much more expensive that's for sure, but this is a restaurant and so the extra cost is expected. Here's a tip, if someone is shouting you lunch, get them to take you here and then you can milk it to the max. Your friend might not be impressed, but your stomach will be.

The service is great, the aforementioned super nice owner was working her magic with all customers that walked through the door and the lass behind the bar was prompt with the liquid refreshments. Again, great service. By the time I left, the whole place was brimming with the lunch brigade, evidently this place is really popular and has quite the following. It's easy to see why too - cool concept, yummy food  and great service - a simple formula really.

Contact details

Address: Shop 20, Westlane Arcade (it's a bit hidden, walk through the Vic Arcade if coming from the Smith Street Mall)
Phone: 8981 3332
Open: Monday to Friday lunch and dinner, Saturday dinner
Alcohol: Licensed