Traditional Chinese Food Favourites and Culinary Specials
Some of the finest Chinese food in Hamilton-Wentworth is prepared behind an unassuming store front in a strip plaza on the corner of Centennial Parkway (Hwy 20) and Violet Drive. The kitchen is a flurry of activity as the chief chef and her assistants hover over huge woks sizzling up crispy vegetables, fresh seafood, and tender bits of chicken, pork, and beef.
Amy's Wok, named after the master cook, Amy Choi, offers a veritable feast of flavours for Chinese food lovers. With close to 150 items on the menu, ranging from traditional favourites to Amy's more exotic culinary specials, there's something to satisfy every palate. And best of all, if you're looking for delicious food, fast, you'll be hard pressed to beat the speediness served up at Amy's wok.
Danny Choi, who runs the restaurant with his wife, says that, in a not very busy day, the average pickup order takes just under 15 minutes to prepare, while a delivery will arrive piping hot at the doorstep in about 30 minutes. One customer was caught completely off guard by "our fast delivery", Danny recalls. " Her order was delivered before she could finish setting the table and call her children in for dinner". "On another occasion," Danny adds with a chuckle, "a youngster paid one of our drivers a generous tip, telling him to keep the change. A short while later the child's mother called us back. She explained that her family had ordered both pizza and Chinese food and had assumed the pizza would arrive first. The amount she'd given to her son was in fact intended for the pizza order."
Danny takes great pride in being able to offer his customers excellent food in short order. "Most Chinese take-out dishes don't take more than a few minutes to prepare," Danny says, although Amy's Special Duck, a tender boneless duckling served with shrimp, chicken, barbecued pork and fresh mixed vegetables, may take up to fifteen minutes. "But something as popular as chicken fried rice takes 90 seconds. This fast cooking is because of the tiny sizes of meat and vegetables, the size and shape of Amy's woks, and the high temperature of the stove."
Prior to opening their own restaurant in 1990, both Danny and his wife worked in several Chinese food establishments and saw an opportunity to make a name for themselves by focusing on the importance of time and service to the customer. An order that might normally take 20 to 30 minutes as a pickup, or 45 minutes as delivery elsewhere, is ready at Amy's Wok in much shorter time. "To serve our customers better we have four cooks and four drivers working on the weekends." Danny says. "We take our service very seriously and that means listening to our customers' likes and dislikes. If a customer tells us he has high blood pressure and asks for less salt we'll make sure to accommodate the request."
Equally serious about maintaining the highest standards of quality and value, Danny mentions how Amy's Wok offers special discounts at slower times of the week when the demand for orders won't compromise food excellence. Every Wednesday, customers receive an instant 20 per cent off any pickup orders.
An innovative restaurateur with a strong marketing sense, Danny works hard to keep ahead of the competition. " We have good food and good service and we want to let more people know that." Newspaper ads, flyers and coupons regularly crop up across the east end of the city. The hundreds who have already discovered the best Chinese food in town don't need convincing. From the flavourful dishes featuring exotic sauces, the freshest imported scallops and shrimps, and delicately spiced noodles to the traditionally popular egg roll, fried rice and chicken ball combination, the food speaks for itself. Amy's Wok is on of those special finds, off the beaten track but well worth seeking out.