Wok in Motion

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by j

Have always enjoyed the food until this evening. This evening was different. The crab ragoon was chewy-not crispy. All in our party agreed that the dishes were too sweet. My mongolian beef was inedible as it tasted as though there was syrup on it. I kept adding soy sauce to cut the sweetness, but it did not work. The sesame chicken was somewhat sweet with an odd flavor. Their hot dishes were not very spicy at all. Very disappointed and will not be returning.

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by JG

What a treat! The food was excellent and presented very nicely. The hot tea was served in a beautiful tea pot and the tea containers were unique. The staff is friendly and attentive. I liked the intimacy of the environment. The waitress made a mistake on our bill and caught us outside to correct the error. Pretty impressive. No fortune cookies though... but who eats them anyway.

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by hojo

Food not bad, although my Sushi Tempura roll consisted of only rice and shrimp, covered in what had to have been strawberry yogurt (we were told it was strawberry mixed with mayo, which was definitely not the case, and were also told the roll wasn't supposed to have anything else in it except the tempura shrimp...ummmm yes it was). The other rolls we had were good. Service is very lacking, takes forever to get their attention once you are seated. Owner is friendly.

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by Sedition

Wok in Motion does a great job on their Chinese dishes. The traditional sweet and sour chicken, for example, is well presented. Unlike most of Des Moines, it arrives with the nicely golden brown chicken separate from the rice, fresh veggies and sweet and sour sauce. This is compared to the typical presentation of over cooked chicken chunks and chopped onions swimming in a glowing ocean of sickly-sweet "Sysco Sweet Cherry Sauce".

The sushi is passable if you need a quick fix. Avoid the sashimi hand rolls, as they look ok, but have a disappointedly washed out taste. I suspect they use frozen-shipped rather than fresh fish. The nori rolls are acceptable, although a little small. However the "Happy Eel" is a must try, one of my Darling's favorite specialty rolls.

The West Glen center is a nice locale for walking around on warm summers nights. Winestyles just down from Wok in Motion does a great job of presenting wine for wine neophytes, and has a nice small patio for sipping wine with some bread and oil.

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by nevesis

Interesting food -- not authentic, but certainly inspired and tasty.

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by Heidi

Nothing impressive, here. The atmosphere isn't exactly inspiring, but it's nice and clean. Only seating for 4 at the sushi bar. Service was unremarkable.

The night we went we only had sushi, and it was just ok. The waitress didn't ring in our order correctly, so we didn't get what we had intended. The avocado and crab in the california rolls was practically non-existant, and the tuna was just ok.

And so, our search for a decent sushi place in Des Moines continues. Would love to find something on par with Takanami and Formosa in Iowa City...Taki, Waterfront and this place can't hold a candle to our IC favorites.

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by Mel

I've been to Wok In Motion several times, as I live nearby. Most of the time, I order sushi, which has always been excellent. It comes beautifully presented and each piece is full of flavour. Ihave had (and loved) yellowtail (roll and not), round clam, shrimp tempura, tuna, eel, california rolls, sweet shrimp (non-roll) and more. All of it has been beyond satisfactory. I have also had their delicous seaweed salad, lo mein, and miso soup.

In short, all of the food is WONDERFUL! The service has always been satisfactory and the appearance/environment are nice.

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by Nikki

Always had a great time when we've gone to Wok In Motion. Its become the restaurant my friend and I go to whenever we want sushi. (After a horrible experience with Taki) The waitresses are always friendly to us and the sushi chefs are more than willing to answer any questions we have about what they are preparing for us.

The hot food is good as well. You get a nice sized portion, especially for lunch, and their appetizers are great. We always get spring rolls & crab rangoons to start off our meal. Great place to go if you're looking for good food at a great price!

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by Dr. Bob Landry

I love sushi but the night I went the sushi made was horrible. They didn't have nigiri and the eal was still cold. This place is the worst place I have ever been, one waitress put wasabe in my sake and I complained about it she didn't even care. It was the worst service I have ever had in a sushi/stir fry restaurant. I gave your waitress a $1 tip and she got angry and yelled at me saying you poor hobo. I hate this place!!!

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by Sparks

Nothing to write home about. Good sushi, but my dining partner received sushi that wasn't explained well on the menu and when she tried to tell the server she didn't understand english, nor the question.....ambiance is decent for lunch but I would head back to Taki for somewhere "nice".

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by Adam

excellent service and food! we will be back very soon!

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by Lisa

I'm disappointed. We have been to Wok in Motion several times and it seems to get worse each trip. The miso soup is fabulous (and it is what earned a 2 star instead of 1) but I have been more and more let down by the food and service. I have always ordered Braised Tofu and added my own veggies, as I was told it came with none. This time I asked for broccoli and was charged extra for it; something never done before. This time there were other veggies in the dish, including red peppers; which I do not like. Had I known they were a part of the meal, I would have definitely asked they be omitted. (The half a dozen or so other times I have ordered this dish, there has never been any peppers) Also, the tofu was not at all braised. It was barely cooked, leaving it with a rubbery texture, no flavor, and an unappealing pinkish color that looked like silly putty. Our egg rolls came out fairly quickly, but were very soggy on the bottom; actually squishy. Our soup did not arrive before our meal, so we had to ask our server for it. My main dish sat getting cold while I ate my soup. All in all, I was really let down. If a a restuarant is good once, it should always be good. I don't want to waste my money on what may or may not be a good meal this time. If I ever go back it will be a LONG time from now.

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by Susan

both the sushi and the hot food were incredible. the servers were very sweet, and had their stuff together pretty well. the food was out on time, we didn't have to wait for a table... it was a very enjoyable night. i am coming back soon to sit at the sushi bar, instead of sitting at a table.. just to see what it is like. =]

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by Mark

I went to Wok in Motion with one of my best friends who enjoys sushi as much as i do. We normally go to Taki and after our experience at Wok in Motion we will make every effort to continue to go to Taki. Wok in Motion was the first restaurant i've ever been to where i had to fill out the 'rank our restaurant' card to note just how bad the food was.

On a good note, the service was excellent, as well as the miso soup. And that's it. Our sushi arrived to our table at a somewhat decent time. However there is no amount of wasabi, ginger, or soy sauce that can override how bland our portions of sushi were. Our portions were found lacking for the price we paid compared to Taki's generous portions.

I remember the look of disgust on my friend's face that mirrored my own half way through the meal. I only wish now that i had the courage to stand up and just walk out. It was that bad.

Hy-Vee's "Sushi" is better than this stuff!

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by Kim

I visited Wok In Motion on the recommendation of a friend and was wonderfully surpirsed at the atmosphere and friendly staff. Unlike many Asian restaraunts theatmosphere is more intimate. The food was wonderful I enjoyed the Walnut Shrimp, which was excellent and my companion had the Jack Daniels Beef which was very tender and full of flavor. We tried their crab rangoon which was an excellent recipe, unlike the fishy frozen kind at other resturaunts. I will be returning. I would recommend Wok In Motion any day to anyone wanting a wonderful dining experience.

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by david

After hearing about this restaurant, I had to try it, since I'm a big fan of Asian food. We ventured out on a recent Friday night and found the place to be quite crowded. Luckily, we were able to be seated after only a short wait. The only available table was very close to the door, which turned out to be a bad choice. As the place got more and more crowded, people were standing almost on top of our table, because there was no place for them to sit and wait. The staff seemed to be quite stressed out due to the crowd. We ordered some tea, sushi and the main dishes. The tea came right away, and unfortunately, it was quite weak and tasteless. You would think that a place like this would have quality asian tea. After about 15 minutes, the sushi came---we had some California Rolls and the spiced tuna rolls. Very flavorfull---can't wait to try others. We finished the sushi, and waited and waited and waited. Our meals were nowhere in sight. I called our waitress over, and she apologized stating that they had only one chef and one in training. This seemed odd for the crowd that was in the place. The main course took over 45 minutes to arrive, but I have to admit, it was worth the wait. I ordered the combination lomein, which was very flavorfull---large plump shrimp, tasty beef and chicken. This was the best Lomein that I've had in the Des Moines area. Wok in Motion is definitely experiencing growing pains, but the tasty food will keep bringing folks back. I for one will go back soon.

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by Matt

Heard this new place from my co-workers. They're all recommending this is the best place in town to have sushi and also some exciting chinese dish.

First of all, i really have to say the interior and atmosphere is far more delicate than other chinese restaurant in town. Definitely much better than what i was expecting. Not to say this is a new place, but they really put a lot of effort on creating a great atmosphere for customers to enjoy their meals here.

As for the sushi and chinese food..... ABSOLUTELY AWESOME!! I have tried Jack Daniel beef, Bourbon orange chicken, Sake Chicken, they are so delicious! totally different from what other places are offering. Sushi is also great! The rice is soft, the ingredients are so fresh! For anyone who never tried "REAL SUSHI".... this is the place to start.

The service level is excellent. Our waitress was very polite and courteous. She gave me couple suggestion on sushi menu which are exccellent! The price you pay in here is definitely worth the service and great food you have here.

I read some review on the bottom saying the service and food are not that great. I had a similar experience on service level when I visited them, but they definitely improve that area by now. They're only opened for less than 2 months, I've seen a lot improvement already.

Definitely I'd recommend everyone to try Wok In Motion.

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by Derek Brooks

I've only been to Wok in Motion once, but I will have to disagree with the comment saying that this is "best sushi in town." The rolls all seemed to have too much rice and not enough ingredients. Plus the rice was not as good as most sushi restaurants I've been to. (and I've been to plenty of them in much bigger cities). A couple years ago I made the mistake of taking a leftover sushi roll home, put it in the fridge, and ate it hours later - needless to say it tasted much much worse than it did when I ordered it earlier. However, that is exactly what Wok in Motions rolls tasted like to me.

As for the stir fry, it was very good; I liked what I tasted. When I return to Wok in Motion I'll focus more on the chinese cuisine than the japanese cuisine. Which makes sense since sushi is a japanese item and this restaurant is owned and ran by chinese.

The service here was seriously lacking. The waitress was not concerned with our experience at all. She made a couple nice suggestions at the beginning, but was very short, and very impersonable. One example is that when I asked what the difference was between Sapporo Silver and regular Sapporo she only said that the Silver was better. I obviously chose the Silver, but on closer inspection found that the only difference was that Sapporo Silver was bigger and in a can, haha.

Anyway, Wok in Motion has great potential but definitely needs some work. If they can make their sushi taste better and get the service locked down it will be a very nice place. Keep in mind that it's still very new and like all other new restaurants it has some bugs to work out. Like that Kari girl said below, luckily we have Taki around for a good alternative!

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by Sushi Connaisseur

Best sushi in Des Moines, very fresh. Beautiful presentation. Friendly, helpful servers. Highly recommend & will be back!

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I have had numerous meals now at Wok In Motion and I feel that I can now give a knowledgeable opinion of the restaurant. I feel it is unfair to judge any establishment, especially a recently opened one, without a few ventures in and experiencing different menu options. Starting w/ the Sushi rolls I have had; the Alaskan, Smoked Salmon, California, & Spicy Tuna have all been delightful w/ an excellent marriage of flavors & texture. As for the Sushi itself I tend to prefer more basic items such as Yellowtail, Red Tuna, & Salmon. All have been presented beautifully w/ excellent flavor. As for the Chinese food anyone who has not had the Jack Daniels Bourbon steak is missing an absolute treat for the palate. The steak is a prime cut that is tender, juicy, & absolutely bursting w/ flavor. The Kung Pao chicken is all white meat w/ good size chunks, not marble sized pieces you normally are served. The meat remains juicy w/ excellent flavor. The atmosphere is relaxed yet contemporary. All in all, do yourself a favor and experience this wonderful addition to West Glen before it is too busy to get a seat.

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by kari

I wanted to say that what we had experienced was because the restaurant is new... and maybe that is the case.. but my experience at Wok in Motion was not what I was hoping for.
The presentation was great.. and the general atmosphere was nice as well.
It was the service, timing and general attitude that could stand a little change.
Our server was rather rude and offered no condolences for the timing (or lack there of) of our meal. And her attitude was just rather annoyed.. as if we had burdened her nite by coming in to order sushi and enjoy dinner amongst friends.
I guess time will tell..
but in the mean time I'll just continue to enjoy my sushi at Taki.

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by Vicki Tyler

My dining experience at Wok in Motion was very pleasant and enjoyable. The service, minus what was written below, was absolutely fabulous. Our server was very informative, offering multiple suggestions that turned out to be wonderful. The sushi presentation was exceptional and the atmosphere was warm and comfortable. A+

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by SloppyDog

I had a pretty good experience during my first visit to Wok in Motion. But, like Nicole below, the service was lacking. We were sitting up at the sushi bar and the suchi chefs were very friendly. It was the server lady that pretty much sucked. She seemed very flustered and we had to wait forever to get her to swipe my card. I'm hoping it is just growing pains because the sushi was pretty decent. On par w/ what I've had at Taki and Waterfront.

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by NicoleK

Still Learning.

On Friday night 4 of us headed to Wok in Motion in West Glen to try out this latest restaurant.

It is a very small joint, in fact there are only two chairs in the "waiting area". The host however, was extremely pleasant and considering it was a 25 minute wait and the two chairs were taken by other patrons, the host brought us two more.

Once seated, we were not greeted by our server for a considerable amount of time. Ordering: half of the table ordered just sushi while the other half (myself included) ordered off the Chinese menu. The soup and egg rolls came out quickly and I really enjoyed the egg rolls. It was the second course that things really went down hill. The two Chinese plates (my pan-fried noodles and my boyfriend's sesame chicken) were delivered. Thinking it would only be a few minutes until the sushi was brought out, we began eating. We completely finished both our meals and waited even longer before the sushi was brought out. Our server never explained the lateness or offered an apology and had to be reminded to fill our drinks.

Taste: I really liked my pan-fried noodles. As told, the sesame chicken was slightly bland and no better than usual Chinese take-out, the sushi was less than par, Taki apparently has much better sushi. The presentation of the sushi was really lovely.

The ticket: when asked for our ticket, I asked to split it into 2 tickets. She said she could not do that and that we would have to itemize it for her. And then proceeded to tell us that next time tell them to separate before they start taking the orders. So, what you are saying is it's our fault you don't ask how the check will be split and you don't know how to work the computer program?

I am going to chalk up the server to a 'still learning situation' and the kitchen and sushi roller really need to communicate for timing purposes. And maybe then I will return.

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Tips for Wok in Motion from foursquare users

Joe S.

Great sesame chicken, maybe the best in town.

4 people have done this

Kate S.

Fantastic lunch specials--entree, soup, and egg roll/crab rangoon for about $8. (Try the sesame chicken!)

3 people have done this and 1 other wants to


Probably the best broccoli beef I've ever had. The sauce is much lighter than most places.

3 people have done this

Tim W.

Don't knock the strawberry chicken 'til you try it!

1 person has done this

A Sushi and Stir Fry restaurant located in the West Glen Town Center. Locally owned by Hon Wong and Michael Chyi and managed by Jessica Liu. It's goal is to give a hip atmosphere and second sushi alternative to the Des Moines Area. Plus they've brought in Tony Song, a former head sushi chef in California, as head sushi chef.

The front of Wok in Motion