Everybody loves noodles, right? Ever since Momofuku Ando decided to go and invent Instant Ramen, every household has stocked up on packaged noodles so we can experience the slurpy, flavour-filled ebullience that these flour-threads have to offer.
But every now and then, it's nice to not have to make some for yourself and instead indulge in the real deal. More and more restaurateurs around the city understand this sudden rise in cravings for noodles and so they have decided to deliver. Wokbox.lk is the newest contender here.
They manage a very minimal menu that works on a DIY basis. Basically you pick your elements and they'll put 'em all together so you can enjoy your own, customised noodle based dish. They have rice as well, but in this review- we focus on the slurp slurp slurp.
Basically, you pick your base, meats, add-ons (vegetables) and choice of sauce. That's it.
The rice-bases cost Rs. 199 while the noodle-bases are priced at Rs. 249 respectively.
The add-ons and sauces are priced as follows:
|Fried Rice: Rs. 199||
|Thai Jasmine Rice:
|The Piping Clove
(Garlic, Fresh Red Chilli)
|Egg Noodles: Rs. 249||Prawn:
|Rice Noodles: Rs. 249||Calamari: Rs. 399||Onion: Rs. 49||The Mistress's Choice
(Green Chilli, Kochchi)
The prices here are rather unreasonable, especially where the vegetables are concerned. I mean, Rs. 49 for a sprinkling of ONIONS? You could literally walk into a supermarket, buy the ingredients for the overall price of each Wokbox dish, and make a gigantic portion of noodles for two.
The food is served in oyster pails. This is a quiet fast-fashion type trend here in Colombo that's slowly starting to gain popularity. So now, you may fulfill your movie-dinner setting thanks to all the countless RomComs and teen movies romanticising cardboard Chinese takeout containers for some reason.
Starter #1 was a portion of the Batter Fried Mushrooms (Rs. 299). We're pretty sure this comes served with their Tropical Fusion sauce. Same colouring and flavour- I'll get into that in a moment.
This is essentially a portion of batter-fried oyster mushrooms. While it's certainly tasty, and not bad on the crisp factor, it's a slight portion. Good taste-bud teaser, but don't depend on it if you're hungry. Here is a portion of their Chicken Wings (Rs. 399). I originally intended to try the Batter Fried Cuttlefish, but I figured it'd be the same batter as the mushrooms, so here we are.
This is a portion of about 8 chicken wings that weren't exactly fall-off-the-bone good, but cooked well nevertheless. They're tossed around in a good dollop of sauce- I'm assuming it was either The Piping Clove, or Angry Honey*.
The wings are great- a much better starter if you're going in on an empty stomach, and good for sharing between two. The sauce gave off a light tang, but most of the flavour comes from the chicken. It's seasoned well, and hey- you can't really go wrong with chicken wings, no?
For my order, I got the noodles (Rs. 249) with beef (Rs. 299), oyster mushrooms (Rs. 99), broccoli (Rs. 149), bell peppers (Rs. 149) and the Piping Clove sauce. Now in total, this one dish comes to Rs. 895. That's nearly 1000 bucks. I'll let you judge the prices for yourselves.
While the quantity of beef was satisfactory, the rest of the vegetables were sparse. I wanted broccoli in there so I could taste it. But alas, I had to dig through to get little pieces that belonged on a bird-feed trough.
The beef was tasty, but incredibly rubbery. I had an aching jaw for the rest of the night after chewing too much. I had to give up on the remaining bits. The sauce doesn't quite add much but it is spicy. Also there were about two chicken pieces mixed in with the rest which is a nice bonus, but a big no-no.
This one had egg based noodles (Rs. 249) with tofu (Rs. 99), oyster mushrooms (Rs. 99), cashew nuts (Rs. 99) and a helping of the Tropical Fusion sauce. The entire dish adds up to Rs. 546.
The tofu is quite chunky and adds a nice little chomp to your meal and the cashew nuts do a good job with adding in an extra-nutty flavour note. The best thing about this dish was the Tropical Fusion sauce. It gave off a wonderful hint of tamarind, making the whole thing lightly and deliciously sour.
About the noodles: they're cooked well and in combination with the sauces and add-ons- taste good, too.
They don't have drinks as of yet, so we opted for two bottles of Coca Cola. Each bottle was Rs. 120. Not exctly what you would want to drink, but it washes down surprisingly well.
Most of the server-interaction occurs over the counter when you place your order. They're quick, they know their menu and they're friendly as well. Our food was brought to our table swiftly in a span of about 8-10 minutes.
Orange. That's what the ambience is like here. It's a great environment for selfies and whatnot what with the warm lighting. They've got a tiny smoking area right at the back that's gorgeous. Re-purposed barrels, wood panelling everywhere, fairy lights- what's not to love?
I've rated this place 3, but I promise I'm not being negative about it. It's great, although a bit steep where prices are concerned. Rubbery beef is also a minus point.
I'd say give this place a go just for the experience, or if you have some extra cash to spend. It's also quite a nice place for a date on account of how casual and laid back it is. Music is good too.