Info here : http://www.yelp.com/biz/china-wok-madison

We have lived about 200 feet away from this place for the last year or so. It’s weird that we live in a location with no grocery stores or shops around for quite a radius, yet there’s a plaza 200 feet away with an Einstein’s Bagels, an accountancy, a salon, an ice cream shop, and a Chinese restaurant. It’s almost like, what else do you need in life, really?

There are a ton of Chinese take-out places in Madison. Places that only have a counter, no seats to speak of. There may have been a ton of these types of establishments in other places I’ve lived too, but I just never paid attention to them because there were “legitimate” Chinese restaurants to go to, which is not the case in Madison. Most of these places are awful. Most of these awful places I only visited because they advertised winning some sort of “Best of Madison” award, and because Fugu didn’t exist yet.

China Wok is really good for a Chinese take-out place. Not because it’s particularly authentic or anything, it’s just tasty. For example they have Fried Dumplings, which you’d think mimic pot stickers. But no authentic Chinese restaurant would serve pot stickers that have such thick wrappings, and would scorn pot stickers that didn’t have juices inside. And yet despite being overly bready and un-juicy**, these dumplings have a deliciously seasoned filling, and their house dipping sauce is great. So, not “authentic”, but just plain tasty. Other delicious things of note are their Lo Meins, General Tzo’s, Pork with Hot Garlic Sauce.

**Clarification: The term “juicy” as applied to Chinese pot stickers doesn’t mean the same as it usually does. The pot stickers at China Wok have perfectly moist and juicy centers by American standards, but in China that’s not good enough. There has to be a teaspoon or more of extra juices that spill out of the pot sticker when it is pierced for it to be “juicy”.

Verdict: Genuine Neighborhood Gem.