Special to the Valley News
One of the most satisfying aspects of our journey through life is the enjoyment of fine food. Peking Wok in Bonsall serves Mandarin and Szechwan fare; and is a place to experience some bold flavors.
The minute guests step over the threshold they experience scents of jasmine tea, ginger, and exotic flowers swirling about the air. The pristine restaurant’s decor is elegant with classic furniture and a rounded archway – a symbol of prosperity in the Chinese culture.
Secrets, secrets, and more secrets is what makes this restaurant so unique. Inspired by traditional Chinese fare, chef/owner Peter Sam adds a dash of his own creativity to create culinary surprises. He is quite secretive about his special sauces and recipes.
“He keeps them under lock and key,” explained Ann Sullivan, restaurant manager and the owner’s daughter.
Chef Peter’s work day starts before anyone else arrives at the restaurant. In the early morning hours this chef creates. He chops ingredients, then arranges them before anyone else arrives. It is this sheer devotion, as well as attention to detail, that makes the restaurant come alive with customers.
His daughter tells us that Chef Peter is “past retirement age,” but enjoys his work so much that retirement is not even a lure at this point.
The Peking Wok entrée called “Walnut Shrimp” is clearly one of my favorites. The shrimp are light, but slightly crispy. What makes them crispy? The shrimp are battered – ever so slightly – and sautéed to perfection. Then they are bathed in a seductive honey wasabi sauce. If you aren’t fond of wasabi because of its extraordinary power, don’t be dismayed, this sauce has the wasabi taste, but not a lot of the punch. In my opinion, it is just perfect. Candied walnuts lend sweet and crunchy notes to the mix.
Another menu standout is the “Sesame Beef.” Here again, it is the preparation, as well as the special sauce, that gives it such a pleasurable flavor. Delicate slices of beef are sautéed in a soy-based sauce, then topped with sesame seeds. The beef has a surprisingly crispy texture and an exotic flavor with just a bit of kick.
The “Sweet and Pungent Chicken” is tender, aromatic and delicious – an inventive mix of sweet with pungent.
Are you dining with a group? For a feast of flavors be sure to order a variety of entrées and share!
In the evenings, guests enjoy musicians who coax some marvelous tunes from the grand piano. One of those pianists is a talented man named Bud Roberds.
“He is our longest running act,” explained Sullivan. “He has so much energy – he doesn’t use music and plays for three hours straight.”
That in itself sounds like a feat, but wait, there’s more. Bud Roberds happens to be in his nineties. With an amazing repertoire of songs tucked away in his memory, Roberds is a favorite with Peking Wok patrons.
This elegant restaurant began life in Vista, then moved to the current location in 2006. Chef Peter Sam’s wife, Jane, also an owner, assists him in the restaurant.
The combination of savory entrées, delightful entertainment, and peaceful ambiance never fail to satisfy. So, relax, unwind and let the Peking Wok experience delight your senses.
Peking Wok is located in Bonsall’s River Village, 5256 South Mission Rd., Suite 303. For further information, visit http://www.pekingwokbonsall.com. For reservations, please call (760) 724-8078.