Uncle Wong’s Vinings, Atlanta, GA Restaurant Review

Pretty disappointed with Uncle Wong’s. Wanted to grab a bite at Uncle Wong’s before catching an 8 pm movie at Parkway Pointe. So we arrived around 6:30 and were the only customers in the place. We were quickly seated at a nice table by the window. And I was looking forward to a great meal at Uncle Wong’s. But, it was not to be.

Before I discuss food or service, let me just explain that Uncle Wong’s is a much classier establishment than the name would suggest. It has hardwood flooring, is tastefully decorated, even the silverware is the design of bamboo. Oh, and if you arrive after 7 pm on Saturdays, you’ll be treated to cloth napkins that are beautifully folded. But if you arrive when I did, you simply get a paper napkin.

Apparently, they didn’t have their napkins back from the cleaners when I had arrived. On Saturday? Really? Uncle Wong’s advertises that they open at 4:30 on Saturdays, and it isn’t a huge place, so you would think that they could have that part of their restaurant ready by then. By 7, I saw someone sitting in the corner folding napkins into pretty designs to be placed in the wine glasses.

Ok, no big deal, I’m not there for the cloth napkins. I’m there for the food. So, I’d had the sizziling rice soup before which was pretty tasty, but I decided to opt for the pork dumplings this time. They were a good portion for two to share and they had a great flavor combination of sweet and salty. From that point, everything wend downhill.

I think I’m just going to let Glen pick my entrees from now on. Whenever we go out, he always picks something better than me. The last time we ate at Uncle Wong’s he had Orange Roughy in Green Curry which was excellent. I chose the Seabass in Belcan (Malaysian) sauce. The sauce was so overpowering, I could barely taste the fish and it was not a pleasant sauce, very pungent. To be fair, the server did try to steer me away from that selection, but I wouldn’t listen and was not happy with my selection.

This time, Glen had the Spicy Mango Shrimp and I had the Dragon and Phoenix. Glen’s Mango Shrimp was pretty good with a fair amount of kick to it, but we both noticed that some of the shrimp had that overly fishy taste that is not pleasant.

Dragon and Phoenix, if you aren’t familiar, is almost like 2 different entrees. It is (at least at Uncle Wong’s) lobster and vegetables in a white wine sauce, and the other half is spicy chicken (really General Tso’s chicken). My spicy chicken was great, very flavorful.

The lobster, on the other hand, was horrible. It was rubbery and tasted like it had been de-thawed improperly, perhaps in hot water instead of cold water, and the whole thing was full of salt. They should be embarrassed to serve it. I thought I could cut some of the saltiness by added some rice to the dish, but it didn’t help, it was just a disgusting meal all around.

By 7:15, while we were finishing up our meal, the owner, or who I assume to be the owner, had brought his kids there. They were yelling and making a lot of noise, which certainly doesn’t add to the dining experience in any way. I don’t blame the children, they are just being kids, but I believe that if your customers are trying to have a nice evening out (and paying nearly $20 and entree), they really don’t want to hear screaming kids.

And here’s the kicker. I was using a Restaurant.com certificate. So, this means I get $25 off of my meal. Now, the certificate entitles the restaurant to add on a tip of somewhere between 15% to 18% (not all restaurants automatically do this). That’s fair, because although I am a good tipper, I know that not all diners are. But I fully expect that when they bring the receipt they identify that a tip has been added in, so as not to fool people into double tipping. They didn’t do this got a 30% tip in the process. Although it is my responsibility to catch this, it just seems a little dishonest to me.

I don’t think I will go back, but here’s my $0.02:
I think Uncle Wong’s would do well to stick with the basics like chicken, pork, beef, and shrimp. They have too many menu offerings to be able to offer fresh ingredients – 4 different kinds of fish, rack of lamb, filet minion, not to mention that the cuisine is a mix of Chinese, Thai and Malaysian. If they want to offer specialties on certain days that is fine, but I would hope they make sure that food is fresh.

2810 Paces Ferry Rd, Ste 220
Atlanta, GA 30339

Uncle Wong's on Urbanspoon

Malika is the author of several books including Culinary Atlanta: Guide to the Best Restaurants, Markets, Breweries and More! and the founder of Roamilicious. She is also a Digital Marketing and Social Media Consultant. Follow us @Roamilicious on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest for the content not shared on the blog. And don't forget to subscribe to our newsletter (subscribe box below) and never miss a contest, giveaway or the latest must visit restaurant!