Hot Woks Cool Sushi

I’m not sure whether there’s some sort of punctuation error here. It’s either supposed to be “Hot Wok’s Cool Sushi”, “Hot Woks, Cool Sushi” or “Hot Woks’ Cool Sushi”. This is probably going to nag me for the rest of my life.

Anyway, Hot Woks is often my go-to place for quick sushi or Thai food. It used to be this downtrodden place called My Thai, which had average Thai food and was empty most of the time. Now, this place is hopping – especially during the lunch hour, when everyone is just itching for a bite of their gyoza or sushi and bento box specials. Because for a  downtown restaurant that offers sushi, their prices are very reasonable.

I think one of the biggest things that contributed to the successful transformation was the revamping of the entire interior décor. The place is now much brighter, more modern, and eclectic in style, just like the food is. It has a good blend between old and new, East and West. The other deciding factor is the food. They have chefs who can actually cook, and the ingredients used for their sushi is pretty fresh and good.

Although their sushi variety isn’t as extensive as I would have liked, they still offer the very traditional and ordinary rolls, like the california, dragon, spider, spicy tuna, etc. Not much is special or outstanding, barring their new spicy salmon (mmm!) and vegetable roll, which is an interesting creation with beets, sweet potato tempura, and cucumber and avocado. What I really like about this place though is their pad thai, which is a lovely harmony of tangy (lime), nutty (peanuts), and sweet (chicken). Although the sauce is a bit too heavy and overpowering, unless you happen to come for dinner which means the dinner chefs are out. Trust me – they might not be a lot better than the lunch chefs, but even a little bit goes a long way.

Like all their entrées, their bento boxes are quite large (enough for two meals!), with some very filling rice, a healthy salad, and a few california rolls on the side to keep you busy. You can choose the meat you want to go in the main plate, but it will taste pretty similar as they’re all drizzled with their slightly overpowering teriyaki sauce. It’s definitely a hearty meal, though, and you won’t be disappointed, not unless you were expecting some 5-star high-class meal.

A cheap, and really fast place to have a meal in, you can’t go wrong here, especially not with their curry or noodle dishes. It may not be the best out there, but it’s certainly very good for the price you pay for it. 7/10, average price $10-$20 depending on whether you go for lunch or dinner.


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