Yesterday, as is traditional on Christmas Eve, I had lunch with a friend, a colleague, two of her sons, and two former students at The Kosher Wok in Brookline. The four of us — yes, I said four, not seven — I’m sure you can figure out why — enjoyed a three-course feast of assorted Chinese items and non-Chinese conversation. I don’t have anything to say about the pork dishes or the shellfish dishes, but I’ll tell you about everything else. First of all, if you follow the link earlier in this paragraph, you may wonder why it takes you to what appears to be TaamChina, not The Kosher Wok. But you’re at the right site; it’s a long story, which I’m not going to get into now. Second, when I say “three-course,” I refer to soup, apps, and entrees, just as you might expect in any American Chinese restaurant, kosher or not.
As I’m sure you’ve already figured out from the restaurant name, what we have here is the unusual combination of a Chinese restaurant that’s strictly kosher (“Glatt kosher”). If you’re trying to find one in the Boston area, the first place you’d look would be Brookline — and you’d be in the right town. Actually, the combination of Chinese and kashrut really does make a lot of sense, and I’m surprised it’s not more common: even though you do have to lose both pork and shellfish, you have the big advantage of not worrying about dairy products, since you wouldn’t find them in a Chinese restaurant anyway. In fact, if you wandered in blindly without knowing that this is a kosher restaurant, it would probably never occur to you that anything’s different since everything would seem familiar. Actually, not 100% familiar: the hot-and-sour soup contains some beef (not pork, of course) and wasn’t especially hot or spicy, no matter what the menu says. It was good anyway.
I followed my hosts’ lead for the rest of the meal. As you can see in the image above, the next course was a pu pu platter (officially for two, but fine for the four of us). Why do restaurants always have that useless fire in the middle? I’m sure there’s some good reason. And then we had a few excellent chicken dishes, two of which I have photos of: sesame chicken, and chicken with black mushrooms and bamboo shoots (plus snow peas, as an unadvertised addition).
Overall verdict: two thumbs up. I would go there again, and even with friends who do not keep kosher.