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Eat My Words: Review of Urban Wok Box in Canterbury


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You might not think there's room for another takeaway taste on the high street.

After all, we've had Chinese and Indian food for decades and the burger boom is well established.

Urban Wok Box in Canterbury
Urban Wok Box in Canterbury

Add to that Mexican, Italian, Turkish, Moroccan and sushi, and there's something for all taste buds.

But what about Pan Asian? I know, I thought it might be an airline too.

It's actually the latest takeaway to open its doors in Canterbury under the rather catchy branding of Urban Wok Box.

You can't miss the new business in historic St Margaret's Street because, like many takeaways, it stands out with its rather gaudy red-painted frontage.

Step inside and the Asian 'street' theme is evident, with murals on the walls but also a rather incongruous arch of red fake flowers.

Urban Wok Box in Canterbury
Urban Wok Box in Canterbury

Urban Wok Box is far more of a takeaway than an eat-in but there are tables – two to seat six and a pair for couples.

They are rather austere, although perfectly useful to sit down and eat for a few minutes.

Behind the counter, things are a little ramshackle but I saw a kitchen assistant busy mopping the floor, which was encouraging.

A smiley, helpful assistant greeted me – and I'm glad he was there because although there is an overhead menu, the main dishes are covered food troughs leaving you with no clue of what's in them until he lifts the lid to explain.

Such a time-consuming process could prove problematic, especially when there's a queue, and some simple labels would help.

Sweet and sour chicken with rice
Sweet and sour chicken with rice

But introductions over, and it's a case of building your dish, starting with base varieties of rice or noodles, then adding chicken, fish or vegetarian pepper options topped with a choice of curry sauces.

The menu includes sweet and sour curry, katsu curry with fried, breaded protein (whatever that is!), Malaysian curry, Thai green curry and black bean curry.

I opted first (and second!) for the sweet and sour chicken in the medium box for £7.95.

There are also small and larger boxes for £5.95 and £8.95.

I say I had to order it twice because the first serving was so tasty I devoured it in no time and forgot to take a photo. Not ideal for a food review!

Katsu curry
Katsu curry

But a second helping was no hardship because it tasted delicious. As for value, it's probably par for the course on the high street.

I decided to take away two small boxes – or plastic containers as it happens, so not very environmentally-friendly – for work colleagues to sample, one of the katsu curry and another of Thai green curry

Most agreed the Thai green curry tasted better than it looked, as is often the case in takeaway containers, and the general verdict was both were "very tasty" and "nice and spicy".

Not exactly a gourmet connoisseur's assessment, but you get the idea.

So what to make of Urban Wok Box's Pan Asian twist?

The Thai curry with Tofu
The Thai curry with Tofu

Well, it's not a taste sensation but an interesting fusion of Chinese, Indian, Japanese, Thai and Malaysian food.

For a quick snack, the small or medium boxes hit the spot, and if you're a lover of Asian food, you won't be disappointed.

Food: While nothing especially new, it is a fresh twist on Asian cuisine and was delicious ****

Drink: A variety of the usual soft drinks on display in a fridge, so nothing special **

Decor: A little gaudy on the outside but a quirky street feel inside ***

Staff: Helpful and smiley is always a good start ****

Price: Probably par for the course for the type of food – after all, it's not a McDonald's ***

For more reviews on places to eat in Kent, click here

Read more: All the latest news from Canterbury

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