Wu Liang Ye Review: Wu Liang Ye

Wu Liang Ye Review: Wu Liang Ye

I had been to Wu Liang Ye a few times for dinner and even tried their variation on pork belly with chili leeks, except they call it bacon and that kind of made it more delicious. The reason that I avoided their lunch special menu was because most of the things on there sounded like variations of most Chinese take-out places: General Tso, chicken with huana sauce, beef and broccoli, and so on. The had one thing on the menu that had the word “szechuan” in it, and that was the “Baby Shrimp with Szecuan Chili Sauce.”

Wu Liang Ye apparently has good business even during lunch time. When I walked in to place an order, the dining room was packed. A couple came in after me only had the option to sit at the bar (which only had three stools). The woman told me that it would take fifteen minutes but I had time to wait. If you go, it would be a good idea to call ahead and do the pick-up option and save some waiting time. Walk-in for a sit-down lunch probably would not work either, unless you have a reservation. This of course probably varies, but today was a Tuesday. Go figure.

I took my food to Rockefeller Center since it was just a block away and the weather was nice. The ice rink had been opened a couple of weeks earlier and you could watch the tourists attempt ice skating. If you go often though, you would see this woman wearing all white skating in the center of the rink (and yea, I know, weird observation but she was there last year on more than one occasion).

Lunch specials at Wu Liang Ye cost $8.15 after tax as of today, and it came with a choice of white, brown, or vegetable fried rice. I went with the vegetable fried rice. It also came with a diminutive sized spring roll. If this was not a self-imposed PG-rated website, I would make a completely inappropriate comment about the size of the spring roll. But this is a food blog and not an Ang Lee film, so we’ll just leave it at that.

Wu Liang Ye packed everything in separate containers. If you went with a friend, and both got a different lunch special, it would be pretty easy to share and have some variety. In the shrimp dish itself, there were shrimp (duh), water chestnuts, and cucumbers. The last thing was completely out of the ordinary and it was not bad actually; there were only like three pieces and you could easily skip that if you wanted to. The shrimp had good garlicky flavor about it, and it was not spicy. Ok, maybe a little, but they could have dialed it up about three notches. If you really dipped it in the chili oil at the bottom, then it tasted awesome. The fried rice was above average in terms of lunch specials that come with fried rice. You could tell because the rice was actually WHITE.

At $8.15 with no soup, I would probably visit Szechuan Garden more often for lunch, simply because soup beats spring roll and $7.55 beats $8.15. Same level of enjoyment and the cost differential just tops it off. For dinner though, I think both places are great.

Wu Liang Ye36 West 48th St.New York, NY 10036212-398-2308

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