Hidden behind A World of Books bookstore at the Pelton Center, Hidden Wok is an unpretentious restaurant serving Americanized Chinese food. It's a friendly place where children are welcomed, but certainly not a destination restaurant. The food is good enough for what it is, but leave any gourmet expectation at home. It's a bit expensive at about $8 per entree and the portions are small for a Chinese restaurant - you won't go hungry but don't expect to have leftovers.
The restaurant occupies one long, windowless room. The modest room is fairly spartan and the furniture seems to harken back to other decades. But it's a pleasant enough place to eat. You sometimes have to go looking for someone to seat you, but service is fine (no complaints about rice and noodles dropped all over the floor).
On our last visit (May 2004), we ordered the steamed dumplings and the green onion pancake as appetizers. The dumplings were pretty tasteless; none of us liked them (and that includes Mika), and they weren't much helped by soy sauce. We liked the pancake better, though it would have been better with a dipping sauce. It also seemed a little bit too small for the price ($2.50).
I had the lemon chicken and Mike had the three delight pan fried noodles. The lemon chicken consisted of bite-size pieces of chicken coated and served with lemon sauce. The sauce was fine and wasn't too sweet. Mike wasn't thrilled with his dish. The noodles reminded him of the crunchy oriental noodles that come in a can - though I didn't think they were that bad. The rest of the dish was just OK.
We both had sodas which came in room-temperature cans with a glass of ice. Warm sodas are a pet peeve of mine - they just go flat when they hit the ice.
On the plus side, Hidden Wok is (as I mentioned) toddler-friendly and is close to our home. So we'll probably continue to go there occasionally (once or twice a year).
145 Pelton Center Way
San Leandro , CA