Waa’s Kitchen

I was driving around town the other day looking for a sticky rice steamer so I stopped at an unfamiliar Asian market to get one.  They didn’t have it.  Oh well.  I took advantage of the situation and asked the clerk if he ate at any of the restaurants in the strip mall.  He recommended the Filipino restaurant located next door.  I think he’s related to the owner but who cares.  He was a big guy like me and after chatting with him for a bit I knew he could be trusted with my lunch choice for the day.

Glad I took his word for it.

According to their sign, Waa’s Kitchen serves Filipino, Thai, Pho and Special B.B.Q.  I think the only thing missing is burgers and donuts.  About now you’re probably thinking Waa’s is a disgusting hole in the wall, covered with sticky sweet and sour sauce and battered chicken parts.  Well my friend you would be wrong.  This place is actually very clean and serves some fresh food.

The food is served cafeteria style (think Panda Express but way better), and everything is made fresh.  For less than six bucks you can choice from rice or vermicelli noodles with two sides.  Most of the entrees come with meat and some type of sauce or curry.  There was a fantastic looking coconut chicken curry that I wanted to try but I went with the tomato beef dish and a BBQ pork skewer.

The beef was fantastic and very tender.  Some people think stew meat needs to be cooked to death to make it tender but this chef obviously knows better.  The beef was tender and still held moisture.

The pork skewer was also cooked nicely.  It had a good balance of seasoning and sauce.  The pork was nicely seared and had no extra fat.  Even though one skewer was considered a side, it contained a hefty amount of protein.

My only complaint was the egg rolls.  Growing up our neighbor across the street made the best Filipino egg rolls.  I was spoiled.  I’ve even taken an egg roll class to make similar egg rolls at home.  If Waa’s had been served fresh out of the fryer I think they could have competed.  These were made earlier in the day and had started to get a little soggy.  Word to the wise, ask for a fresh batch.

I’m glad I stopped at Waa’s.  This is the kind of strip mall that most people will probably just drive right past, unless they need booze from the liquor store on the end.  That’s a shame too because as far as I’m concerned, I’m heading back to Waa’s pretty soon.

Waa Kitchen on Urbanspoon

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10 Responses to Waa’s Kitchen

  1. boogie. says:

    we go to Waa’s Kitchen at least twice a month. I grew up in the Philippines so I’m pretty picky when it comes to authentic Filipino food! Waa’s is by far the best Filipino food in Fresno. Its a shame that it’s so hidden, but I suppose that’s part of the “hole in the wall” charm. the BBQ skewers are THE best! and the prices are great!

    oh… and a little side note: Waa & her family aren’t even Filipino. She’s Vietnamese & she was a cook for a Filipino restaurant for many, many years. she loves Filipino cooking so much that she decided to open her own!

    • fresnobites says:

      I’m glad you were able to back up my review. I was just waiting for a hardcore Filipino critic to flatten me. I haven’t had much Filipino food but this stuff had the fresh look and I could tell she knew her stuff. Everything looked so good.

      Besides that, I didn’t even mention how friendly she was. It’s definitely a great spot.

  2. RL says:

    Where exactly is Waa’s?

  3. dkzody says:

    There was a really good donut shop in that center, since you mentioned donuts. Is it still there?

  4. Jeffrey Whitaker says:

    WOW! My Filipino girlfriend just took me there and its totally awesome!. I love good food cafeteria style. The shanghai was fresh out the fryer but I had better. But the caldareta was veery tasty and the meat was cooked very well. The skewer bbq was flavorful as well. I will definitely be back to the spot! Two thumbs up!!

  5. Fresyes says:

    I personally have not ate there, but my boss is filipino, and him and his family eat there like twice a week. They say its the best filipino food here in town.

  6. Kirk says:

    It’s located on Shields Ave. just past Maroa….you can either take the left hand turn lane into Maroa, but be careful…you have to take an immediate right into the parking lot, or else you end up going around on a one-way street, and have to circle back. The other option is to come into the shopping center from the west (again on Shields) and make a right-hand turn into the parking lot before you get to Maroa. VERY good selection, and good prices! My Filipina wife LOVED it!

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