|Chef puts his
skills on display in Tualatin
An exhibition kitchen is the
centerpiece of Wus open Kitchen, a Chinese restaurant thats a family affair
We really wanted this to be different and
Judy Chang Ransom,
Co-owner of Wus Open Kitchen
Correspondent, The Oregonian
controlled bustle in the kitchen of Wus Open Kitchen restaurant is fascinating
enough to make a diner ignore his plate of General Tsos Chicken.
And thats no small feat,
because chef Jimmy Wus version of the golden crispy chicken dish is just about
Thats probably everybodys favorite, says Judy Chang Ransom,
a co-owner of the restaurant. People
tell us that theyve tried it at other restaurants and it never tastes the same as
She and her sister Nancy Wu and brother-in-law Jimmy Wu opened the restaurant at
17773 S.W. Boones Ferry Road late last December. Its the first time all three have
joined together in a restaurant, but by no means their first restaurant experience.
Ransom previously owned the Suzie Wongs in Portlands Chinatown and the
Wus owned the Canyon Pearl in West Slope. Jimmy
Wu, 37, has been a chef for 18 years, working in restaurants in New York City, Washington,
D.C., and Dallas, so theres a lot more than just General Tsos Chicken on the
Its the effortless rhythm born of years of experience that might distract the
diner. Working in the gleaming,
glass-enclosed kitchen, Wu displays his considerable talents as he hustles through a stack
of lunch orders for the crowded dining room.
Standing before a pair
of cast-iron woks on a gas grill, Wu takes plates of freshly chopped ingredients assembled
by sous chef Tom Wang. He slides chunks of
meat into the 3-foot-wide wok full of boiling oil, scooping them out after a minute with a
stainless steel paddle and letting them drain.
He turns up the gas
under the center wok and adds chopped vegetables and the cooked meat, and adds chilies,
sauces and herbs required for each dish, deftly dipping his spatula in to various
containers of ingredients. He quickly
stir-fries the food over the gas flame and slides it onto a platter. Cleaning his wok, hes ready for the next
The exhibition kitchen is the centerpiece of Wus. Ransom says it required a lot of extra stainless
steel and not a little bravery to open the kitchen to all.
worry, she says that the kitchen of a Chinese restaurant may not be that
clean, but they can see that ours is kept spotless. The
children just love to watch the cooking, and adults seem to like it, too.
People definitely seem to like this restaurant.
On a recent unremarkable Wednesday, every one of 90 seats was taken by noon, and
to-go orders had been going out the door steadily.
The muted, rich greens, purple and golds of the wallpaper and carpet carry no hint
of the erstwhile video store. Nor do they
remind you of the stereotype Chinese restaurant full of red and black and swinging gold
Even the silent and efficient waiters play their part they all were starched
white shirts, black slacks with cummerbunds and bow ties.
And theyre all family relatives in laws, just like the kitchen
staff. In fact, Ransoms husband, John,
is one of the few family members who dont actually work in the restaurant.
Hes got a law firm in Portland, Ransom says. Hes our
Wus open Kitchen
17773 S.W. Boones Ferry Road, Lake
We cant praise this restaurant
enough it deserves public mention. Every
single visit is a great pleasure. From the
first time, they remembered us and what we ate! Theyre
so kindly and give immaculate service. The
food is perfect, exquisite. Amazingly low
prices, yet the chefs deserve to be millionaires. Weve
told them wed even move in to live if we could!
-Barbara Dingwall, Lake Oswego
Is there a great restaurant find in your
neighborhood? Tell us briefly what makes it
special. Write to Readers
Raves, The Oregonian, 1320 S.W. Broadway, Portland, Ore. 97201. Include your name, address and phone number for
verification. Readers Raves
appears in the Menus and Venues column on each Wednesdays Entertainment Page in the
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