Confession: when it comes to restaurants, I have a tendency to stay in my comfort zone. If I find a place I like, odds are I’ll stick with it instead of checking out other, similar places. For example, I have only visited a few of the Chinese restaurants in town on the principle that I am a Lucky Kitchen kind of gal (order the dumplings and “Lucky Deluxe Her Fun,” and you’ll understand). But after hearing about the super-cheap lunch menu at TK WU, the Chinese joint on Liberty, I decided I ought to branch out and give it a shot.

I roll up at about 1 p.m., and the cheery lady working behind the front counter is quick to direct me to a table. Within just a minute or two, another woman drops off menus with a full pot of tea. A whole pot? Just for me? And no additional charge? …I’m into it.

First off, I come to realize the menu isn’t super-informative — the description of the “princess chicken” reads, “Chunks of chicken served in our delicious spicy sauce” — but I soon see that this quick, simple and to the point style is a defining quality for TK WU when my server returns after just three or four minutes to get my order. Despite its vague description, I do get the princess chicken; I’m in the mood for something spicy, and I’m all for indulging my inner-princess every so often.

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Photo by Brooke Gabriel

Here’s what I like about lunch at TK WU: you get a friggin’ mountain of food for a crazy-low price. Just $6.50 buys me a cup of soup, a vegetable spring roll and a big pile of saucy stir-fry with a generous side of white rice. That great deal alone seems gold-star worthy to me, but the food isn’t half bad either.

The hot and sour soup is warm, spicy enough to tickle my lips, and has a good mix of soft and crunchy bites. The spring roll’s crispy without tasting greasy — unfortunately, I can’t say the same for the chicken, which really lets my inner-princess down. (I did say the meal wasn’t half bad.) The meat is chewy, and while the sauce seems okay, it is too heavy for my taste. The choice of vegetables in the stir-fry, which includes what appears to be chopped celery and some sort of squash, really turns me off, as I can’t make sense of adding weird, funky flavors to an otherwise pretty okay dish.

Even so, I haven’t written TK WU off, and will definitely come back to try out another dish from the lunch menu. The servers are  friendly enough, and the deal is just too good not to investigate further. It’s worth checking out, folks — just maybe skip that princess chicken.

Address: 510 E Liberty St., Ann Arbor, MI

Hours of Operation: Sunday – Thursday: 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., Friday – Saturday: 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.
Lunch served daily until 3 p.m.