My friend and I went to see Bill Maher and after the show we were hungry. We ended up going here since all of Oklahoma seems to be closed on Sunday or closes early on Sunday. We arrived here at 9pm and they were open until 11, so we thought it would be perfect.
We walked in to an almost empty house. The staff were sitting down and talking, and there was one table in there who was almost done with their food. We were greeted by the waiter and sat us at a table. The waiter handed us our menus and then took away the plates and chopsticks. Somewhere in between then and after we ordered our food I noticed that we had new plates and our chopsticks were replaced by forks. Just because we do not look Chinese do not assume that we don’t want chopsticks. If we want a fork we will ask for one, or leave the chopsticks and give us a fork as an option. This tiny mistake I can forgive because other than that our experience here service wise was good. When I noticed that I reached over to the table that our chopsticks were placed and grabbed our sets of chopsticks.
We ordered jasmine tea and it was loose leaf in the pot instead of being in tea bags. I still think it was the generic mass produced cheap stuff, but it was still a step above the bagged leaves.
We spent some time looking over the menu. We asked the waiter some questions, the spring rolls they have is filled with pork, and they aren’t too keen on making substitutions. They did have string beans, but not with beef. Tammy ended up getting snow peas with beef and fried rice again. Tammy was still curious about the snow pea tips but they were unwilling to put some in with the snow peas for her to try. They are probably already pre portioned already so that is understandable if not disappointing. I settled on their kung pow with tofu and I ordered it extra spicy. Their vegetable dishes either didn’t look good or had meat in them.
While our food was being made we kept warm drinking the hot jasmine tea but it didn’t take long because our food was made quickly (quickly quickly there is no time!!).
Tammy’s dish had chunks of beef, snow peas, green onions, whole garlic cloves, and pieces of cabbage. The only thing that was cooked in that dish seemed to be the beef. The snow peas tasted raw to her, and they didn’t look to me like they had any cook on them at all. They did not touch a super heated wok, instead they were tossed in at the end as an afterthought. She thought the sauce tasted bland but salty as well. And she was disappointed in the fried rice as it looked like it was steamed rice with soy sauce tossed in it.
Mine wasn’t much different. The only thing in my dish that looks like it saw the scorching hot wok was the whole dried chili peppers that they used to make the dish hot. They had a lot of scorch marks on them. the rest of the ingredients looks like they were tossed in after the sauce was made to heat them up. The firm tofu was raw, white, and fell apart. There was no peanuts in the kung pow. The mushrooms were canned and mine had whole raw garlic cloves as well. I have to wonder unless you are swallowing the whole clove for medicinal purposes, who is going to eat half a bulb’s worth or raw garlic?? And the only heat was provided by those roasted chilli peppers. I admit that when I cook my wanna be Thai curry at home I will throw in a few dried chilis, but 99% of the heat comes from either the dried pepper flake or the rooster or the chilli garlic sauce. The sauce itself was bland. No heat, no flavor. Just a slightly salty dull dish. I ended up putting soy sauce on it to try to give it some flavor.
Tammy and I ended up taking half our dishes home to eat later. When I got home I put on some 5 spice powder, red pepper flake, and soy sauce, and those three ingredients brought everything out and it became an enjoyable dish. The only things that remained was the garlic cloves and the chillies.
We did come in on a very slow night. We were one of the only tables there. I think that it was one of those nights where the cooks got lazy and they just wanted to sit the entire night and couldn’t be bothered to actually cook the food. I would hope that if we were to come in at a busier night that the food would have been cooked properly. Not that this is any excuse to the cooks. but from everything I have read about Chow’s it is the best in the city, and I would hope that we actually came in on an off night. The service was great (except for the chopsticks), and we did not have the same experience that we did over at Fungs. The food was not horrible, the vegetables and tofu was just raw and the taste was mediocre at best. We might return to Chow’s on a busier night in the future to see if that was the case.
Chow’s Chinese Restaurant can be found at:
3033 North May Avenue
Oklahoma City, OK 73107