Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Wok Star’s Getting Ready to Strut Its Stuff About Town

Wok Star’s Getting Ready to Strut Its Stuff About Town

Let the countdown begin: Wok Star’s ready for a March 15 opening!
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Maplewoodians craving some new culinary choices will soon be satiated. A drop-in visit to the latest addition to Maplewood Village eateries, Wok Star, found the adorable twosome behind the restaurant, Aris Vayas and Melissa Kuhn fine tuning for their Grand Opening on March 15.
Having worked together before to open the Tribeca French restaurant, Plein Sud, the two French Culinary grads are no strangers to the stress of launching a new restaurant. Still, they seem enviably calm given the opening’s a wee week away.
The reason? After inviting friends and family for a preview this past weekend, the young restaurateurs are fairly confident they have all the feedback they need to make sure Wok Star shines for the opening and beyond.
“We got some great feedback,” says Kuhn. “People were really complimentary about the space and couldn’t believe the transformation from to shoe store space to this, “she says, gesturing to the sleek curved counter that leads to an open industrial kitchen and the light walls that boast tranquil touches of tree and bird silhouettes.
Her bets for dishes destined to become Wok Star hits? The chili garlic shrimp with snow peas, bean sprouts and egg noodles ($12). Preview raves also went to Wok Star’s pork buns which consist of steamed white dough and BBQ braised pork belly.
In addition to starters like edamame, soups, dumplings and chicken wings, the menu is a crisp, clear ‘build your own dish' format starting with choosing your choice of noodles or rice to which you add your picks of meats, veggies and sauce. There’s also a list of favorite combination dishes, too.
Sweets are straight and simple: coconut macaroons ($4), s’mores brownies and a yogurt parfait with fresh pineapple, coconut crumble & chocolate chips OR fresh strawberries, sugar cookie crumble & chocolate chips.
Orders will be made and paid for at the register before sitting. Wok Star is nut free, uses no msg and offers vegetarian and gluten-free options. “We’re really looking forward to getting people’s reactions to the menu and to the food,” says Vayas.
Judging from the number of window peepers, folks are eager to give it. “I love Asain food,” says one of those Wok Star window watchers, Jason Feldman. “It’s really exciting to have another option in Maplewood.”
Another great sign? I bumped into Maplewood’s very own — and very thorough — Health Officer, Robert Roe, who shared his enthusiasm for the soon to be open eatery. “They did a great job,” says Roe. “I’m looking forward to enjoying a meal there.”
I don’t know about you, but a quote like that — from a source like that — makes Wok Star even more appetizing in my book. Looks like this place is gonna rock!

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