Sunday, 18 November 2012

Wok to Walk noodle bar, Cardiff review

It’s amazing how the minor details leave a lasting impression. Whilst the noodles we ate from Wok to Walk for dinner last week were delicious, a couple of factors left a sour taste in my mouth.

Wok to Walk on Wellfield Road is the second branch to open in Cardiff (the first is on St Mary’s Street). 

The concept is rather simple:
  1. First choose the base of your dish from a choice of noodles or rice (£3.90).
  2. Secondly choose your additional ingredients from a selection of meat and vegetables (prices range from 70p to £1.80).
  3. Lastly choose your sauce from a familiar range of pan-Asian classics including black bean, satay and teriyaki.  

Once you’ve made your selection, your dish is cooked to order in front of you in a matter of minutes (precooked meat expedites the process). You can then either sit and eat your noodles on one of the utilitarian benches or dash home and slurp them in front of Masterchef.

I ordered udon with chicken, bamboo shoots, mushrooms and hot Asia sauce (£6). Everything tasted fresh and un-greasy. The noodles were firm, the veg sog-free, the chicken moist and the Asia sauce fiery hot.

Mrs G’s flat rice noodles with chicken breast, shiitake mushrooms, cashew nuts and Bali peanut sauce (£7.20) were also good.

So what’s there to gripe about? 70p for a meager scoop of bamboo shoots or white mushrooms feels stingy and the cost for a noodle box racks up quickly. Also, whilst I’m all in favour of loyalty cards, offering only a single stamp per transaction rather than per noodle box really gets on my moobs.

Whilst googling Wok to Walk, I wasn’t surprised to learn they’re a global franchise network with outlets across the globe in destinations including Columbia and Lithuania. I can’t help but question whether an independent would show such cynicism towards their customers…

Update 26th November 2012 - I received an email from the Wok to Walk marketing team - from January, Wok to Walk in Cardiff will be offering a loyalty card stamp with each noodle box, in line with all their other locations. 

The details:
Address - 17 Wellfield Road, Cardiff, CF24 3NZ


  1. Have to say I think they are pretty good value and they are my idea of fast food - good ingredients cooked quickly. Also portions are huge - me and the wife often share a box rather than get two. The extras are a bit pricey buy my assumption is that this is where their main profits come from because a basic noodle box is pretty good value. We first tried them in Amsterdam and the ones in Cardiff are pretty identical so the idea transfers well. As it works on a franchise model I would think the Cardiff branches are about as independent as they can be without starting their own chain.

    1. Fair call. I did really enjoy the noodles. However, I didn't realise when I ordered that some veg were included by default. The loyalty card issue stuck in my throat the most. I've never previously come across a scheme where you only get 1 stamp per transaction and not per sandwich or coffee etc. It seems to punish anyone who isn't dining on their own.

    2. Nando's!

      (One stamp per transaction)

    3. Haven't been to Nando's in yonks. Think I'm overdue a guilty pleasure post...

  2. Udon with chicken, bamboo shoots, mushrooms and hot Asia sauce does not equal £6.

    £3.90 + £1.50 + .90 +.70 = £7