Yeah, so, we referenced WuTang lyrics, we couldn’t help ourselves, it was too easy. But seriously, WUJI in Greenwich was full of surprises that truly did make it “nuthin to f@$k with.”
The first surprise is we went there on a Tuesday night and the dining room was packed. Random? Or was it because the food is really that good? We were about to find out . . .
Second surprise: At a Chinese restaurant it’s rare to get a free starter (like bread) to snack on at the table while you peruse the menu, but imagine our delight when out came some crispy and flaky fried noodles with your choice of duck sauce, mustard, or soy dipping sauces. Yum!
The next surprise was just how nice the interior was. It felt very fancy, trendy, and upbeat yet true to that classic, more chill Chinese vibe. It was an interesting juxtaposition we weren’t expecting, but we totally dug it.
So, back to the food. Yeah, we ordered a lot, and as if that weren’t enough (because we were invited in to try things out) they brought even more than we ordered. Yeah, it’s rough as hell to be a food blogger.
Alright, so drinks bring us to our next surprise. See, our expectations for drinks at most Chinese restaurants aren’t super high. We expect something good, but maybe not well-executed, super creative cocktails, ya know? Well, WUJI was an exception.
Broken Heart: Patron Roca Silver, Patron Citronge, St. Germain, crushed grapes, raspberries, pink peppercorns, and rose water. Floral notes and aromas hit you up front along with a perfect balance of sweetness. A well-rounded drink perfect for before digging into your meal.
Blood Orange Mojito: the blood orange packs a citrusy and tangy punch, while the mojito side adds a minty nose and undertone. Fresh, fun, and just the right amount of sweetness and a nice complement to a spicy dish.
Mai Tai: fruity, but nicely balanced. Good floral tones, too. There’s this comforting black cherry finish that makes you want to drink more.
Cucumber Lemongrass Martini: more liquor forward than the other ones, but not overwhelming. Very refreshing with just the right amount of cucumber to add a hint of flavor. Perfect to go with most of the food on the menu.
Overall, the drinks had great balance, strong flavors, and were all creative and fun.
Ok, onto food, starting with the Dim Sum.
Chilled Peanut Sesame Noodles: Rich and creamy, with nice chunks of peanuts on top. The sesame adds a warm and toasty flavor, but be ready because this is a heavier dish and will fill you up. This needs to be shared with multiple people for sure!
Spicy Beef Bao: Wow! Delicate and fluffy buns held flavorful cuts of beef. The wasabi mayo sauce added a nice little kick. These were killer.
Pork Dumplings: The perfect Berkshire-porkiness nestled inside a dough wrapper that was all browned up and ready for nomming. Excellent dim sum.
Fresh Crab Rangoon: Smooth, creamy, and rich, there was the right ratio of filling to dough on the outside. Not greasy, either, like many other rangoons we’ve had in the past.
Chinese Heritage Spare Ribs: Nicely cooked with a delicious sauce, but they didn’t go overboard with it . . . like when there’s more sauce than there is meat. True to the style, with just a few gentle tugs, the meat falls right off the bone. Good stuff.
Soup Dumplings: These are specially made for WUJI by a woman in NYC. As we write this review, soup dumplings have become super popular, but when we ate there they were just becoming trendy. Here’s how ya do it up, son—first you put the dumpling VERY CAREFULLY on the soup spoon. Then, just as carefully, bite down on a bit of the side of the dumpling. The soup will spill out into the spoon. Slurp it up then take down the filling left inside. It was tricky to do it perfectly, so we suggest you keep going back for more to practice, hehe.
Chinios Chicken Salad: If you feel like going with a slightly lighter option, check out this salad that’s made with Napa Cabbage. We dug the extra crunchiness from the wonton chips and the right portions of greens to chicken. Plus, a warm and toasty sesame taste going through boosts up the flavor. Have we ever said that Dan has a sesame oil addiction? That said, we wouldn’t have ordered this if it hadn’t been sent to us. It’s very simple and there are so many better options on the menu.
Ok, if you can believe it, we actually had entrees on top of all that.
Classic Peking Duck: Order half or whole, but definitely order it here at WUJI. Can you believe this was our first Peking Duck meal experience? Crazy. You can think of these like building your own Chinese tacos: get one of the pancakes, add some duck, add some crispy crispy skin for a crunch, throw in some scallions and cukes, then top it all with the plum sauce. We just thought this was an amazing preparation of duck with such crispy skin. The wings were a bit drier than the breasts, but were still very good.
Rice. Yep, we ate more. Because, lobster fried rice. BOOM!
Lobster Fried Rice: Some of the rice had just a little crunchiness from the Wok, which brought a nice texture. The lobster was cooked damn perfect . . . never an easy task. We’d definitely order this if you’re looking to try one of their rice dishes.
Spicy Eggplant: We were told this was an item that we had to order from our waiter, Walt, so we obliged. Normally we’re not eggplant people, but we’re glad we tried this dish. The eggplant came out lightly battered in crispy strips. The spice level was definitely up there, thanks to the chili garlic sauce. A very nice vegetarian option.
So, onto our last surprise: Dessert.
Honestly, dessert was the last thing on our minds at WUJI. One, because we were so damn full, but also because we just don’t ever expect good desserts at a Chinese restaurant. Boy, were we wrong.
Banana Split: The banana came out warm and soft like butter, contrasting nicely with the flaky and crispy phyllo dough inside of this deconstructed version of a classic. We also dug the ice cream, all silky and chocolately. There was also a nice sweetness to the caramel sauce that tied everything together.
Fruit Platter: If you feel like you’ve eaten a bit too much and want a healthier end to your meal, you could stick with this. Fresh slices of orange, applies, and cantaloupe served with a side of rich, silky, and buttery hazelnut sauce. Simple but yum.
Local Farm Blueberry Peach and Oat Tart: A local farm gathered the fruit then baked it up for WUJI. The dough was buttery and flaky, adding a nice contrast to the big blueberry burst of flavor. The peach in the tart works more to sweeten things up a bit. Excellent!!!
We’ve been to so many Chinese restaurants in the area, but they all seem to come up short. Some lack flavor, some lack high quality ingredients, and most lack creativity. So, after our meal at WUJI, we were pleasantly surprised. A Chinese restaurant with a farm-to-wok outlook, a creative cocktail program, and big, bold flavors in their dishes? Yes, yes. But, it’s not all about the food there. Service was outstanding too, especially with our server, Walt. He offered his suggestions throughout the night, had a great sense of humor, and was always making sure that our drinks were full.
It’s definitely a place that we’d come back to . . . and we think you should give them a shot, too, if you’re looking for a more refined culinary take on Chinese.
Disclaimer: We were invited by WUJI to try their food and the meal was comped; however, our thoughts, views, and recommendations remain ours and ours alone.
Address: 68 E Putnam Ave. (the Whole Foods parking lot)
Phone: (203) 869-1940
Saturday + Sunday: 12 pm-10 pm
Monday-Friday: 12-3 for lunch, 5-10 for dinner
Also located in Rye and Scarsdale.