Real Wok offers dim sum, authentic Chinese offerings, in a Lake Worth strip mall

Dim sum, including chicken feet and tripe, along with egg rolls and wonton soup, can be found just 15 minutes from Delray Beach

Real Wok in Lake Worth is not much to look at and the service can be variable as well as the cuisine, but this place, located deep in a strip mall anchored by a Western Beef supermarket, is a pretty good bet for Cantonese food in Palm Beach County.

Inside Real Wok

In fact, were it not for some Chinese art on the walls you might easily mistake the dining room for that of an iHop or a coffee shop. But, whoever said fancy is a necessity for Chinese dining. It certainly isn’t for many establishments in New York’s Chinatown or Flushing. Real Wok is well lit in daylight and there’s full bar for those who’d care to imbibe. Service, however, is variable. On different visits we experienced servers who were either aloof, curt or quite attentive.

Nevertheless, I was impressed by the authentic Cantonese menu and dim sum offerings. There aren’t many places in Palm Beach County where you will find chicken feet or tripe on the menu (although I am not a fan of either). There is, indeed, a menu with a page or two of Chinese translations, as well as a dim sum menu that served from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. The same items are available later in the day for another dollar or so per item. And there are dim sum push carts 11 a.m. to 2:30 p,m. on Saturdays and Sundays.

There’s also familiar fare on the menu for non-adventurous diners, although I foun  the wonton soup, a bit salty, and hot and sour soup, overly vinegary.  And the regular fried rice, delivered with most entrees, is forgettable.

But other dishes impressed.

Eggplant with shrimp paste dim sum

Clams in black bean sauce

Shrimp paste and tofu casserole

Hot and sour soup

Wonton soup

Fried rice

On one visit I sampled fried chive dumplings — not really what I wanted due to some difficulty communicating the Chinese on the menu to our waitress — but they were grease free and packed with flavorful greens. Eggplant stuffed with shrimp paste in a black bean sauce, one of my favorite dim sum choices, is as good as it gets. And an entree of clams in black bean sauce consisted of about three dozen clams, probably Little Necks, in one of the tastiest black bean sauces I’ve ever tried. And another seafood dish, shrimp paste and tofu casserole, from the authentic menu, may have been one of the most delicious Chinese dishes I’ve ever eaten.

Honey garlic chicken, not necessarily authentic, was crunchy, light and reminded me of the honey fried, candy-coated bananas I’ve had for dessert in Chinese eateries in the past.  Perfect for those who avoid exotic dishes.

Let’s face it, Real Wok is not in New York — or Flushing. But, it’s by far the best Chinese food within 15 minutes of 33444. I would return.

Real Wok

4640 Hypoluxo Rd., Suite 5, Lake Worth, FL 33463

(561) 963-7338


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