It’s early Saturday night and everyone seems in the mood for dumplings. There’s no special occasion with Chinese New Year on our doorstep, but Tsingtao is flowing and whether you’re a carnivore or plant-based client, the kitchen is steaming. I hear English spoken at one table, Mandarin at another, while next to me are two elderly Bogotanos reaching for chopsticks.
Wú – Dumplings and Beer is quite self-explanatory with a small counter for placing orders and an open kitchen where cooks busily prepare assorted dumplings, rice, noodles and vegetables. The long patio facing the Giordano Bruno park (Calle 69A with Cra 9) quickly fills to capacity, and with limited seating inside – 35 in total – Wú is wooing in clients.
The brainchild of Wú is Andrew Clarkson, a Bogotá born and trained chef, whose grandfather arrived in Colombia after WWII to work the iron roosters of the National Railway Company. And following his own vapor trail, Andrew baptized his second restaurant venture in the city as Wú, Mandarin for smoke, fog or mist.
China’s most famous dawn-to-dusk food comes as a one-page menu with stand-alone pork dumplings, prawns, beef and a vegetarian selection that includes mushrooms and tofu, spinach and egg – and believe it or not – caramelized onion and mozzarella.
Wú is a pay as you eat place with the standard fare, a plate of five dumplings ranging in price between $13,500 and $16,000. The Mixed Platter for $18,500 includes six dumplings of any two flavors. Sides include a bowl of stir-fried broccoli with sesame, noodles with carrots in oyster sauce, fried rice, and deep fried eggplant sticks, each priced at $7,100.
The sides are highly recommended as they are decent-sized portions, and depending on one’s appetite could be a meal to itself. The noodles made quite a stir at our table, so too, the crunchy greens, to the extent that if I was in search of lunch for under $20,000 pesos, I would order these two sides dishes as my main. That is exactly what Andrew had in mind, so he came up with the Wú Lunch combo for $16,000 that consists of 3 pork dumplings with noodles and broccoli. The vegetarian lunch offers the same sides, but the dumplings are made with Spinach and Tofu.
The Year of Pig in the Chinese zodiac ushers in prosperity and opportunity to save those extra pesos in the piggy bank. Wú’s affordable menu, authentic preparation, and subtle flavors makes this cafeteria in Quinta Camacho a casual dining option to celebrate good fortune with friends, and as its name suggests, dumplings and beer – a perfect match. With a good selection of beverages and artisan beers there’s no rush to get to the deserts, but with two choices – a Tapioca pudding (Pudín de Tapioca) and Arequipe-filled Won Ton – try them both, as they topped off a memorable meal.
Wú. Calle 69A No.9-66