18230 E. Gale Ave.
City of Industry, CA 91748
Inside Plaza Puente Hills
I first heard of this restaurant after an old friend from college mentioned how another classmate had opened a noodle shop near Rowland Heights. Then, during the first week of my Foo-Foo Challenge, Murakami-san mentioned that he finally found a restaurant which serves an excellent top-notch Chinese noodle soup. So for the next month, while I was religiously driving back and forth from Foo-Foo Tei, a huge sign near the 60 freeway kept flashing "WONTON FOREST", calling me in to give them a try. And as soon as the challenge ended, Murakami-san took me there for a post-celebration on him (ありがとう).
Although Wonton Forest doesn't exactly serve a noodle in the same category as Japanese ramen, there definitely is tons of Japanese influence involved. From the J-Pop playing in the background to the chef's studies and time spent in Japan, Wonton Forest is more than worthy to be featured here on Go Ramen! (Btw, before I even mention how the food was, if the owner of Foo-Foo Tei thinks Wonton Forest is "top-notch", enough said.)
Wonton Forest Noodle Soup: This signature noodle soup, a great change of pace than what I'm normally used to, was remarkably refreshing. The lightness combined with near perfect flavor, really portrayed a classic wonton soup. I was impressed!
The fresh homemade wontons were also amazing. Half pork, half shrimp, and 100% bliss. Absolutely delicious! The other toppings include choy sum, sliced pork, flavored egg, roasted garlic, and green onions. The sliced pork was a little dry and average, but the flavored egg was unexpectedly substantial.
There are two types of egg noodles that you can choose from, the thin egg noodles above and the thick egg noodles below. It is a matter of preference, but I usually tend to prefer thick. Try them both and decide which one you prefer.
Chiu Chow Noodle Soup: I used to date a Chiu Chow girl...okay, let's not even go there. Chef Paul's Chiu Chow soup was surprisingly more refreshing than the last. It's the second most popular soup, but I'd have to declare it my first. With minced pork, shredded chicken, fresh shrimp, and little round fishballs (circular kamaboko) topped with roasted garlic, cilantro, and green onions, this soup is far more eccentric than that girl I dated.
Ohh...how could you even resist the ingredients pictured below. Add a couple wontons and you'll be that much closer to heaven...guaranteed! And yes, every soup is modifiable. This Chiu Chow soup comes with the flat chow-fun-like rice noodle but it can be easily switched out with your favorite. Flexibility is another great quality of Wonton Forest. And if you don't even feel like soup, order your favorite noodle "dry style"--a soupless mixture of oyster sesame sauce that looks and smells downright delicious. You can bet I'll be trying that next!
Homemade Chili Sauce: An intricate 3-day process that would probably make my head spin, Chef Paul swears by his homemade chili sauce and I absolutely have to agree. A simple dab into any soup can transform mediocre to magnificent. And the best part about it, you can take a jar home for only $3/bottle and create some magic of your own.
Salmon Nori Cut Roll: "Poached salmon, nori, rice noodle, cucumber, and lettuce wrapped in nori and rice paper topped with a creamy miso sauce." Need I say more. No!
Choy Sum: Chosen by Chef Paul for its sweeter taste than the usually bitter Chinese Broccoli, this Choy Sum served with a side of oyster sauce is a must order if you like an extra vegetable. I could eat this everyday...and then some.
Green Onion Pancake: Aaahh, a prototype from the "secret menu." Described as a Japanese pancake (okonomiyaki) covered in Hoisin sauce, this thinly cooked negi pancake is just waiting anxiously to get on the menu. Hopefully, YOU won't have to wait much longer.
Wonton Forest is definitely on its way to becoming great. After chatting with Chef Paul, I could honestly say he has the right mentality to run a quality restaurant. There's nothing more encouraging than a chef who works for the people and not for the money. Admirable indeed! Service is outstanding, food quality is exceptional, and overall it's extremely worth stopping by. And remember, if it's busy then it helps to be patient. Chef Paul likes to reflect his talent on every dish himself. Trust me, it'll be worth the wait!
Lunch - 11am~3pm
Dinner - 5pm~9pm
Closed on Sundays for Dinner only.