As soon as the temperature dips below 10˚C, the comforting call of hot broth beckons me. Noodles in soup, bubbling hot pot or thick French onion soup … they are all attractive; a cozy comforter for my stomach.
Sichuan boiled fish is perfect for fighting the cold. Arriving in a chafing dish filled with inches of broth and a thin layer of chili oil, the fish and other ingredients comingle together amongst a handful of chilies and develops into an intensely flavoured dish. With four chili broths to choose from, the “incense and hot flavor” version sounded delicious and despite its three chili rating wasn’t overpowering. If you avoid the red peppers, the broth had enough spice to tantalize the taste buds but didn’t leave them numb.
We opted for the most expensive fish being offered, the green sea bass ($39.99), but on another visit I’ll try the tilapia ($22.99) to see if you can even determine a difference. Splitting the fish in half, the broth went into all the crevices and since the fish was intact (i.e. head, spine and tail) the bones added additional flavour to the stock. Just be careful while picking through the dish for stray ones.
Our waitress suggested adding other ingredients ranging from $1.49 to $2.49 per item. It definitely added to the experience and made the dish more substantial – ours included beef slices ($2.49), fried tofu balls ($1.49), fresh tofu ($1.49), napa cappage ($1.49) and vermicelli ($1.49). The vermicelli wasn’t the thin ones found in Vietnamese restaurants, but rather a thicker glass noodle that helped soak up the broth.
WB’s other menu options were tasty as well. The griddle cooked prawns ($13.99) were served in a wok warmed at the table; it helps to keep everything hot but also means finishing them quickly to avoid overcooking. At least a dozen shrimp were included in a savoury light sauce that had just a hint of spice.
The steamed chicken with chili sauce ($9.99) would be more aptly described as “sesame chili” given the predominant sauce was the nutty sesame one at the bottom. Mixed with the floating chili oil, they elevated the plain tender chicken into a powerful tasty dish. We thoroughly enjoyed the sauce, even spooning it onto steamed rice.
Service at WB was surprisingly helpful and friendly; each table is equipped with a paging system so you never feel forgotten. However, ordering can be a pressuring period as they continuously suggest add-ons and extra things such as cold drinks to increase bill totals. Moreover, the restaurant doesn’t take reservations, so head over early to avoid a long wait.
When the mercury drops it’s not always bad news. For me, it means cozy sweaters enter the closet and hot soups can be ingested without breaking a sweat.
Overall mark - 7.5 out of 10
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Gastro World's Grading System
- Anything under 5 - I really disliked and will never go back
- 6 - decent restaurant but I likely won't return
- 7 - decent restaurant and I will likely return
- 8 - great restaurant that I'd be happy to recommend
- 9 - fantastic restaurant that I would love to visit regularly and highly recommend
- 10 - absolute perfection!
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