If you’ve been following my blog for a while now, you know that I love a good brunch as much as I love dessert. So when I was recently invited to the menu tasting of the Weekend Wok at the Pan Asian Yao, I was super excited and invited Mom along too. What I didn’t know was that I had accidentally planned the perfect day to treat her, as it was Mother’s day. Mothers, don’t worry if your kids didn’t celebrate this one, they’ll probably remember the American one in May.
Mom and I strolled into the restaurant on a relatively warm day in the midst of the rainy week. Passing through the decadent brunch buffet set-up, we were led to the table, where the lovely ladies from SHK Consulting, our hosts, and two other bloggers sat. After quick introductions, I went to browse through the selection. The restaurant wasn’t busy yet, but over the course of our meal, it filled up quickly with large groups.
Pan Asian Yao, in mid-2017, rebranded to from Emerald Garden Thai as The Good Earth Group took over. In addition to a menu overhaul, the restaurant also started offering hot pot, where you can cook your pick of vegetables and meats in a piping, hot pot of broth. Unfortunately, I still haven’t managed to try it out but hope to do so soon.
The Weekend Wok at Pan Asian Yao is on every Sunday from 12 noon till 4PM. There is a buffet selection of sushi, dim sum, soup and hot food stations available for Ksh. 2200/- per person and Ksh. 3000/- including bottomless cocktails and wines.
As I wandered through the buffet, I saw a sushi stand, also serving up some fresh salami, a dim sum stand, where they were serving up an array of colourful vegetarian and non-vegetarian dim sums, and a tempura station, where they would fry up some fresh vegetables, meat and seafood creating some tempting crunchy morsels of goodness.There was a carving station, serving up juicy cuts of succulent meat, cooked right there, and a curry station, serving up Green Thai Curry with Tofu, Thai Seafood Curry and Garlic Stir-Fry.There was also a soup station, serving up some fresh Congee (Asian rice porridge) and Lemon and Coriander Soup. There was a large selection of toppings for the soups with everything from fresh herbs to sliced vegetables to seafood and chicken to fried tofu skins.
And because it was brunch, there was a large choice of bread and salads as well.I was told the brunch buffet is usually set up outdoors but because of the rains, they set it up indoors. And I’m so excited to hear that the menu changes every Sunday so patrons can enjoy a wide range of menu offerings every time.
As Mom and I returned to the table with our Dynamite Sushi, the only vegetarian option available that day, we were served a refreshing fruity welcome drink. The sushi was a delicate balance of flavors and left me wanting more, but I still had to try the rest of the food.I moved on to the dim sum, trying one of each of the three vegetarian options, served in a mini-steam basket. I loved the mushroom fillings in one and the vegetables in the green dim sum especially dipped in soy sauce. However, I was not a big fan of the Yellow Curry Dim Sum. They also had these really cool blue mermaid dim sums filled with prawns, which looked so cute.Mom wanted to try some of the salads, so she got a Chickpea Salad and a Grilled Vegetable Salad. The Chickpea Salad consisted of chickpeas, corn, coriander, tomatoes and onions in a spicy salad dressing. It reminded me of those spicy Indian chaats. The Grilled Vegetable Salad, which had peppers, carrots, zucchini and bok choy, was a little bland, and to be honest, I would not go for it in lieu of the other food available.
At this point, we had ordered a pitcher of Pimm’s for the table. It was a refreshing, fruit cocktail that was perfectly complimenting the spicy Asian food.I tried some fresh tempura. I usually steer clear of tempura as I find it to be a little greasy and soggy. But this tempura was crispy and fresh. It tasted so good with the sweet chili sauce.Then, I sneaked a few bites of Mom’s Thai Green Curry with Jasmine Rice. The curry’s intricate flavors shone through, but I just wished it was a little less salty. I got the Lemon and Coriander Soup, adding some Thai basil, coriander, tofu skin, and some spring onions. Dipping some of the toasted, thinly-sliced bread into the soup was heavenly. I wish I could have bowls full of that soup in this gloomy rain.Content to have tried almost everything on the menu, I headed off to the bar area for dessert. Next to the desserts were a DJ and a kid’s play area complete with face painting, clowns, balloons, games and a small trampoline. I chose my picks of Fudgy Chocolate Brownies and Sticky Toffee Pudding from the vast range of cakes, mousses and cookies arranged on the bar counter.The brownies, cut into sticks and dipped in chocolate sauce, were served in cocktail glasses. Super fudgy and decadent, they were ooey-gooey in the middle with a crunchy exterior. The sticky toffee pudding, topped with a sweet caramel, was not-too-sweet as some can be and just one of the best sticky toffee puddings I’ve ever had. As I unsurprisingly tried some of Mom’s dessert, we noted that some of the cakes were dry and so, I really hope they work on this as dry cakes make for disappointing desserts.Full and satisfied, Mom and I left right before the heavens opened up and it poured down. But I hope it was a special Mother’s Day treat for her, filled with delicious Asian dishes and new friends, as we went home to watch Netflix as the heavy food coma passed.
Whether you want a hangover remedy, a special occasion treat or just a fun meal together, I highly recommend the Weekend Wok. Besides tasty food, fantastic and attentive service, a vibrant atmosphere and value for money, it is a great way to spend time with your loved ones.
Photos, unless stated otherwise, are by Jireh Jalipa