The Gluten-Free Gourmand
I realize it’s been a long time since my last post back in November of last year. I’ve been busy with the new house, a new job, and cooking a lot at home. My goal is to make this blog about Salt Lake City food events, so I’m going to refocus a bit and dedicate a little more time to figuring out how I’m going to execute that goal.
However, right now I’m craving my new favorite place which is, surprisingly, in Wood Cross. It’s a lovely little restaurant serving up Shanghai-style cuisine in a strip mall setting about 10 minutes from downtown Salt Lake City. The food is outstanding…seriously. We’ve been there several times and I feel compelled now to share it with everyone.
As their name suggests, they serve boba drinks here. If you’ve never had a boba drink (gasp!) or, worse, don’t even know what they are, then you need to remedy that now. Boba drinks, also known as bubble tea, originated in Taiwan and are typically either a tea drink or a fruit drink with tapioca pearls at the bottom. We have a limited selection of places to get boba drinks here in Salt Lake City – Coffee Connection on State, Lollicup on Redwood, Gossip & Asia Palace on 33rd, Ocean Mart in Sandy, and now…Boba World. I’d like to think that Boba World should be renamed Boba Queen as it’s been my favorite of all that I’ve had here in Salt Lake City. The mango and green tea flavors are my favorite. The green tea is served in a ice cream shake-like consistency with a nice amount of green tea flavor and a really nice creamy texture. The mango is not overly sweet as a lot of fruit boba drinks tend to be. But…the boba is the best part – it’s chewy, not hard, even if you let it sit in the extremely cold drink. I’ve had a lot of boba that, when I’ve ordered it in an iced drink, starts to freeze and stick to its neighboring bobas.
But, is Boba World limited to their namesake? Not at all. In fact, the trendy drink served here is not at all their biggest asset IMO. It’s their Shanghai cuisine. It’s fresh, their noodles are all homemade, and just so so flavorful. Like I said before, I crave it…crave it… from the center of my soul.
Take their Sesame Balls. I’ve had sesame balls at a lot of restaurants in Salt Lake City, and they’re good but very hard at the other places, suggesting that perhaps they were made hours, if not days, before they made it to my table. Not here…I was immediately shocked and pleased to bite into a Boba World sesame ball and find that it was chewy and hot. The sounds my husband and I were making while we devoured these were almost obscene. This is a definite try.
Or how about their Juicy Shanghai Dumplings? Another dish that made my toes curl with delight. Similar to little wonton dumplings in flavor, these come served in a large bamboo steamer and with a sour dipping sauce. The remarkable thing about these dumplings is the “juicy” part – there’s a broth in each dumpling so that when you pop them in your mouth they gush out this broth…it’s really a good feeling.
And then there’s the Fried Chicken Wings. Yum. Perfectly fried and sticky, but not sweet, these lovely wings are now in my list of top 10 best wings in Salt Lake City (more on that in a later post).
Then, there’s the Cucumber Salad. It’s bright and fresh, served in a slightly sweet, more tang, and a little spice vinaigrette. It’s light but full of flavor. Always a refreshing starter.
But that’s just the starters! Their soups are some of their shining stars. The Wonton Soup is delicious, albeit a little oily, with nice fresh veggies and more outstanding dumplings. The Spicy Beef Noodle Soup is criminally good with more fresh veggies; a dark, rich spicy broth; and the best thick and slippery homemade noodles. This soup comes dangerously close to the comfort of a good tonkatsu ramen or pho. Yes, I’m serious.
For entrees, they’ve all been good, but our favorites have been the Shangai Crispy Chicken, with its perfectly brined flesh and beautifully crisped skin, and the Beef Chow Fun, a nice savory dish with wide, flat noodles and more fresh veggies. If you’re looking for more standard Chinese fare, their Kung Pao with shrimp, chicken, and beef is one of my favorites in the state.
So, is it worth it to go to Woods Cross? Yes, yes, oh my god, yes! Besides the fantastic food, the place is owned by the most adorable couple. They cook all the food, serve, and talk to you like you’re a honored guest in their home. Don’t be surprised if they bring you a little dish to try, on the house, either.
psst…Urbanspoon, it’s in Woods Cross, not Bountiful. You’re close, though.