Soy sauce and pineapple: We tried the weirdest combos at Wok Inn
We tried squid so you didn’t have to
Wok Inn is the dark horse of the Lancs eateries. If Sultans is the King of on-campus food, then that makes Go Burrito the scheming vizier behind the throne, slowly amassing wealth by incrementally increasing its prices (yeah, we're bitter about that).
This leaves Wok Inn as a kind of Prince Harry figure. Never to take the throne – especially not since he buggered off to America – but still has its hardcore followers and fans.
Saying that, perhaps one reason Wok Inn is unlikely to overthrow Sultans is due to some of the… "unorthodox" food they serve. The combo system Wok Inn uses allows for some combinations that should be illegal under international law. Prawns and broccoli, sweet chilli and squid, the possibilities for crimes against humanity are endless.
Being The Tab Lancaster of course, we're exempt from such legal restrictions (we're definitely not), so we decided to sample some of the weirdest combos that we could possibly think of.
Combo No. One: Egg noodles, squid, green peppers, bean sprouts, broccoli and pineapple with sweet chilli sauce
We start as we mean to go on: With a combo that will most certainly get us tried in the Hague.
Everything else about the meal is actually very nice. The pineapple works well with the sweet chilli, the rest of the veg adds some nice crunch and flavour.
The noodles are the designated driver of any dish; they don't stand out and have fun or piss through people's letter boxes (you know who you are), but they keep everyone on track and stop it from spiralling out of control.
But the squid…oh my the squid.
It tastes like someone wrung out Aquaman's jockstrap directly into your mouth. Taste aside, the texture feels like semi firm paper mache, being tough enough to be annoying while being soft enough to be disconcerting. The sweet chilli sauce? It mixes about as well with the squid as Love Island and Only Connect viewers.
All in all: Promising start, but absolutely diabolical once you get to the squid sized elephant in the box. This being said, if you actually like squid then you'll probably enjoy it.
4 Woks out of 10, would rather brain ourselves with a lamp shade than try this one again.
Combo No. Two: Small mix combo box
After our first attempt at experimentation went down about as well as a paracetamol made out of dirt and stones, we thought it best to swallow our pride and just order something off the set menu.
Then we saw this beauty. Egg noodles taking the mic stand, with the lead guitar being oyster sauce-covered shrimp, beef occupying the drums and ever-dutiful bass chicken, with backing singers of bean sprouts, onions and what we assume are bok choy leaves? That sounds both weird, and a band that could give Slipknot a run for their money for eccentric band members.
Honestly, this tasted amazing. The chicken and the beef had a lovely, charred kind of taste to them, the shrimp didn't taste like Poseidon's cock ring and all the veg worked wonderfully with the tasty, albeit strong, oyster sauce.
8 Woks out of 10, would Wok again.
Combo No. Three: Thai rice, king prawns, bean sprouts, broccoli, pepper and carrot with oyster sauce
It is our great sorrow to announce to you, dear reader, that this writer shall irrevocably be known as a man whom couldn't "find his way out of his mother's womb without a sat-nav," as he forgot to take a photo of this exaltation of the culinary arts.
With our ego suitably punctured and deflated, we come to the combo that filled us with the most dread upon first perception with the nose.
It was a floral assault on the nose, with the razor sharp scent of king prawn cutting through like a fart at a wake, and just as welcome as one.
With enough sweat to make Prince Andrew fictitiously perspire, we dived in and…
Found it pretty nice.
The rice didn't end up Thaing our patience (puntastic), and was actually a very pleasant contrast with the rest of the dish. The prawns were overpowered by the oyster sauce, but as we rate prawns alongside Guernsey as things we really don't give a shit about, we're prepared to let this one slide.
The veg provided a lovely crunchy canvas for the oyster sauce and rice to paint a cacophony of taste bud-invigorating flavour and an explosion of Wok goodness.
7 Woks out of 10.
"It's only Wok-and-roll but I like it, like it"
Thus, our quest for dubious and murky combos draws to a close. We hope we motivated you out of your Jaffa Cake and Pot Noodle comfort zone, to go out and give some love to a supremely underrated member of the on-campus food family.
So unless you've been living under a Wok (last one, we swear), wake up and realise you need to give this place a try.