Desperate for Food at Skillman Wok

1 Sep

I admit, there are few reasons to do the typical Americanized Chinese takeout when there’s better quality, more authentic, and generally tastier (and less MSG usage) options out there.  But sometimes you’re just desperate, like when you have to cancel your lunch plans to Luna de Noche with your friends because you have to work through lunch to meet a deadline on a Friday.  No one likes to stay late on a Friday, so takeout it was from Skillman Wok, a chain in the DFW area.

Skillman Wok frequently leaves handbills at my apartment advertising things like “No MSG” and “healthy fresh ingredients.”  With 33 different lunch combinations for around $5, I decided to give it a try.  The Skillman Wok location close to my work is located in a typical strip mall setting.  This location is takeout and delivery only, no seating area whatsoever.

skillman-exterior.jpg

Skillman Wok claims its cuisine is “Asian Fusion.”  Unless the definition of Asian fusion cuisine has changed to generic Americanized Chinese stir fry with high-sodium and high filler vegetable content, fusion it was not. The menu is comprised of all the typical Americanized Chinese dishes with a few surprises like Jalapeno Chicken (I can’t remember ever encountering jalapenos in Chinese cuisine) and Skillman’s Hot Wings, whose description sounds exactly like spicy buffalo wings.  Perhaps introducing bar food ingredients to the menu is what they meant by “fusion.”  That kind of adventurous cuisine isn’t up my alley so I ordered the Szechuan Beef lunch combo (comes with fried rice and an eggroll) and brought the styrofoam container back to my cube.

skillman-box.jpg

To my surprise, the beef was actually tender and not chewy or dry like in some takeout places (of course at this point my expectations were very low).  The filler vegetable to meat ratio was high, with a heaping pile of julienned carrots, celery, and green onions.  I hate when mainstream Chinese restaurants overdo the green onions.  Green onion is a flavor agent in a dish, treat it like an herb, not a vegetable like white onion.  The fried rice looked like brown rice because there were no other ingredients other than rice and whatever kind of oil/fat it was fried in.  It’s different, but not necessarily in a bad way because I didn’t miss the frozen peas and chopped carrots other restaurants use.  The eggroll was average, the skin was the crispy and thin and not oily, but the filling was bland and dry.

Not even an hour after I had finished my lunch, I started getting extremely thirsty and a light headache (this is my typical reaction to MSG).  Though my proof is not scientific, I would certainly challenge Skillman Wok’s “no MSG” claim.

There it is, if you’re desperate for something fast and you only have $5, Skillman’s Wok probably isn’t a bad choice.  I won’t be back any time soon though, considering I can probably get this kind of meal at just about any Chinese takeout joint.

Rating: 2 /5

Skillman Wok
18900 Dallas Pkwy (multiple locations throughout DFW)
Dallas, TX 75287

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4 Responses to “Desperate for Food at Skillman Wok”

  1. Chandavkl 09/21/2006 at 4:27 pm #

    Interesting write up. On the Indo-Chinese side, I’d say it’s worth trying once (and only once) for curiosity’s sake. Indo-Chinese food is really Americanized Chinese food with a few stray Indian condiments thrown in. BTW I linked your Skillman Wok write up to SF Chowhound Gary Soup’s Eating Chinese webpage.
    http://www.eatingchinese.org/phpbb2/viewtopic.php?t=258

  2. Chandavkl 09/21/2006 at 4:28 pm #

    Oops. This should have gone under the Masala Wok write up.

  3. kenjah 01/03/2007 at 7:52 pm #

    see, skillman wok to me , although i agree totally with you on everything….is great for service and decent what i call “chinese crap”…..i always mention to make sure there is no msg.

    the solution would be for thai and REAL chinese cuisine to offer delivery services…..

    thanks for sharing…

  4. John 10/21/2009 at 11:47 pm #

    You criticize the copious green onions, but in fact green onion is a hugely popular vegetable in China that can be the sole element of a dish. As in nothing but stirfried chopped green onions mixed with various spices and sauce.

    Although I agree a place like that is no representation of the kind of food Chinese people really eat, I find it funny that you pretend to know what authentic and then proceed to embarrass yourself by giving harsh criticism to what just may be the only semblance of an authentic Chinese element the dish has.

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