New South Miami Chinese Restaurant Wok Masters Earns 3 stars

The new little Chinese bistro, Wok Masters in South Miami, is taking over the world. Well, not exactly. But they are planning an aggressive expansion beginning with a Brickell location later this year. It’s no wonder — the Moy family, originally from the Canton Province and later Caracas, has more than six decades of experience in the restaurant business. And it shows. This is the sister — shall I say the less attractive stepsister — of one of my favorite little Chinese-Zuelan eateries in Doral, QianLong, where they do Peking duck better than any other in town. There are still some real kinks to work out, but this spiffy new wok-centric Chinese is a favorite for quick, clean cooking of the sort you rarely find around here.

The chefs, from Hong Kong, speak “very little English and absolutely no Spanish,” says partner Marta Vargas. But that does not stop them from turning out luscious food. Just don’t expect such Americanisms as brown rice or sushi — yet.

Ambienece: The décor is modern and sleek but generic as can be, with plastic centerpieces of potted plastic green grass on lots of shiny surfaces. The trippy and too loud music belongs in a trance club, and servers include incredibly friendly ladies whose English could use some work. It’s sad but true that the long, white and gray space has about as much charm as a food court, with its glaring fluorescent lights — too bright and cold for comfort. On one night we and the couple next to us shivered and quickly ordered tea to warm up.

What Worked

  • Lovely, steaming Jasmine tea ($3.75 per cup)
  • A concise and focused menu focusing on quick fried dishes
  • The famous Peking duck – served with slivers of scallion, cucumber and sweet hoisin sauce expertly folded in thin-as-lace crepes. The The dish is served in two courses, as a dish of eight hearty crepes and then as a large Mongolian style stir-fry with onions, green pepper, chili and carrots. Enough food for at least three hungry — and spice-loving — diners
  • A soup with subtle broth & delicate, see-through wontons with minced shrimp filling
  • Light as just fluffed pillows shrimp balls — served steamed or fried with a spicy sriracha-based sauce
  • Hot, light and crisp just-fried spring rolls
  • Chicken and broccoli with tender bite-size chunks of white meat & still-crunchy and bright green veggies and carrot accents
  • Silky, albeit bland, steamed fish (Swai or basa) given a nice flair with toothpick slim strands of ginger and scallion in a smooth, clear sauce
  • Super fresh, crisp vbok choy, broccoli, snow peas, carrots, shiitake mushrooms and peppers
  • Delightfully inexpensive pricing


What Didn’t Work

  • Fried donuts that tasted more like carnival pretzels with crusty, dense brown exterior and doughy centers


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