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Wu Chow

4.7 865 votes

500 W 5th Street


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Wu Chow # 18 Austin Restaurant
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Angela Hall Last updated on May 01, 2022 by

We Chow Wu Chow and Love It

Wu Chow is not your typical Chinese fare. While you certainly can order traditional Chinese food favorites, and it scores high on the authenticity scale, this is Chinese food reimagined for freshness, flavor, and fun. With its diverse menu of farm to table fresh veggies and organic "never-Ever" meats Wu Chow makes this list because the food is good, plain and simple. But there’s nothing plain or simple about Wu Chow’s menu, high energy ambiance, or upscale décor.

Inside Wu Chow

Feast for the Eyes
Stepping inside Wu Chow is a pop for all the senses. The restaurant packs a lot of intriguing elements into its small and intimate indoor dining room. Plus there's a nice sized outdoor patio and a streamlined curbside takeout area where you can enjoy a drink while you wait for your order. We always appreciate the special design touches like a full wall of carefully placed Chinese dominoes and Koi scale inspired chandelier. Round booths in the corners create an easy, intimate feel with just the right feng shui. It's a great spot to impress on date night, celebrate a special occasion, bring an out of towner, host a work lunch, or catch happy hour.

Bring on the Flavor
We like to share the Tenderbelly Pork Dumplings or the Sichuan Braised Eggplant, local Chinese eggplant wok-tossed with a sweet and savory Yu Xiang sauce. I always enjoy the selection of wines and my partner loves the specialty cocktails. There's a full bar with a wide range of wines, unique cocktails, bottled beer, and hot teas to compliment all tastes and start the night off right.

For Lovers of Traditional Chinese
Some of our favorite traditional Chinese dishes include the Hunan Style Beef, made with Wu Chow's "never-Ever" flank steak fermented black beans, dry crushed chilies, and local vegetables. I personally love the Gong Bao Chicken, Wu's modern take on traditional Sichuan chicken: Tender pieces of organic chicken thigh, wok-tossed with fermented chili bean paste, housemade chili oil, local bell peppers, crispy fried. The flavors you expect from Sichuan without that MSG taste. On the lighter side, I always enjoy the fresh flavor of Chicken with Chinese Celery, organic chicken breast and locally farmed Chinese celery in a lightly seasoned sauce.

Vegetarian Options
We have family and friends who are veggie, and those even tougher to dine out with, vegan. Wu Chow takes the tricky out of special diets with menu items marked V for vegetarian and GF for gluten free. And they taste great, whether you’re vegetarian or not. My litmus test for good Chinese is the Hot and Sour soup (V), which does not disappoint with its enoke and wood ear mushrooms and extra spicy punch. The veggie fried rice, which can be shared or ordered as an entrée, is a surprising standout dish made with locally sourced vegetables that are fresh and crisp. For an equally delicious vegan option, just have your server hold the egg.

Entrees for the Carnivorous and Adventurous
My guy is a big fan of the Twice Cooked Pork Belly: fermented chili bean paste, house-made chili oil, local leeks and Korean peppers. And the Salt and Pepper Squid with thai chilis and signature white pepper blend is always a hit. The Wu Chow menu is certainly not lacking in unique dishes for the adventurous.

Sunday Funday
Sundays from 11am to 3pm, you can enjoy the 30+ traditional and creative dim sum dishes for a wide variety of fresh flavor.

While dinner at Wu Chow can be pricey, (entrees range in price from $14-$26 so the bill adds up when we include wine and appetizers), it feels reasonable for the all-around experience, fresh local foods, and a bit of excitement for its new twist on Chinese food.

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