Restaurant News & Reviews

Global cuisines

Don't let the name fool you. Super Wok (1401-L S.E. Maynard Road; 388-8338), which opened two weeks ago in Cary's Maynard Plaza, is not a Chinese mega-buffet.

It's a cozy little eatery with a dining room that seats only 40 or so and a pan-Asian menu whose listings barely exceed that number.

Presumably, owner/chef Feng Nian was not referring to quantity when he named his restaurant but to the quality and variety of his offering. Thai and Chinese dishes dominate the menu, a reflection of Nian's 15-plus years of cooking in restaurants in Hong Kong, Bangkok and New York. Given the brevity of his offering, Nian manages to give good coverage to the usual coconut curry and kung pao suspects, as well as throwing in the occasional surprise such as chili chicken and pine nut sliced fish. The chef even sprinkles a handful of Japanese specialties -- hibachi steak and mirin-glazed salmon, to name two -- into the mix. Thankfully, though, he spares us the cut-rate sushi that's so common in this sort of restaurant. Super Wok is open from 11 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. daily.

In Durham, Taste of India (4215 University Drive; 493-0033) has opened in Parkway Plaza, adding one more stop on that shopping center's gastronomic tour of Asia (which also includes Chinese and Korean at Eastern Lights, and Thai at Twisted Noodles). That's two new stops, if you count the fact that the menu gives ample coverage to both Northern and Southern Indian cuisines.

You can plan your own gastronomic itinerary, choosing from a selection that spans the subcontinent from the curries, biryani and tandoori dishes of the North to the dosa and uttapam of the South. Or take the guided tour in the form of the Palace Dinner, a feast for two that serves up tandoori prawns, lamb sheekh kebab and a half-dozen other dishes. Still another option is the lunch buffet, which offers some 30 items for $7.95 ($8.95 on weekends). Dinner service is a la carte.

Taste of India is open for lunch and dinner daily. The restaurant is owned by Billal Hossain and Mohammad Hossain, who are not related. Both are natives of Bangladesh and became good friends while working at Bombay Grille. Taste of India is their first venture.

A few miles down the road in Raleigh, but halfway around the globe in culinary terms, Virgil's Jamaica (1813 Garner Road.; 828-1853; www.virgilsjamaica.com) has opened in the old Skipper's Fish & Chicken spot. The restaurant, which offers takeout and catering only, serves up a sampling of owner/chef Virgil Wilson's native Caribbean island fare. The shop is open from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday-Saturday, but according to Wilson's charming wife and partner, Taffee, the hours are subject to change.

The menu offers a modest but varied sampling of Virgil Wilson's native island fare, with entrees such as West Indian curry chicken, escovitch fish, jerk pork and oxtail stew served with rice and your choice of side (stir-fried cabbage, plantains or beans). A selection of sandwiches, served on buttered and toasted coco bread, is also offered. Time to break for lunch. I hear a jerk fish sandwich calling.

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