Last Friday we went to London for a cooking lesson at School of Wok. Our session was an Introduction to Thai and it was amazing. Even though it was only a week ago, and I can’t believe how quickly that has gone, I would go again tomorrow.
I came across School of Wok in July when I went to the Dexham Christmas showcase, they had teamed up with School of Wok on a range of Woks and utensils. During the event we had a mini lesson with Jeremy Pang the head chef there and met a lot of the team. I was really eager to go back so we arranged a full lesson.
There are loads of classes to choose from, with differing cuisines, skills and lengths. So you can pick the one that suits you best. We narrowed our choice down by the dates we were available then had a little look at the menu for each class and opted for the 3 hour Introduction to Thai Cuisine.
I didn’t really know what to expect, but having already visited once I was sure it would be fun and we would be made to feel very welcome. I certainly had some concerns, I’m a decent cook but not amazing, I certainly can’t do that wok flippy thing so all the food lands back in nice and neatly. Even more concerning was the fact I was bringing my husband along who cannot cook, at all, had never eaten Thai food and would be totally and completely out of his comfort zone. What if everyone else at the lesson was super serious or we didn’t get on? Silly little things really.
We had enjoyed a pleasant day in London before our class started at 6pm, checked out the Science Museum, had a long walk, enjoyed the sights. We were tired when we arrived at the school, which I should point out is perfectly located in Covent Garden, so super easy to get to. It was a pleasure to be greeted by Paddy, or chef and teacher for the evening, delicious snacks and glass of wine/ bottle of beer.
We all introduced ourselves and all the other people who were learning that night were awesome. We all got on really well and during the evening would share a lot of laughs and some silly jokes about some of the root vegetables.
On the menu for the evening was
- Thai Spring Rolls
- Pad Thai
- Thai Green Chicken Curry (Sweet potato for me)
- Steamed Jasmine Rice
Flipping through the menu pack before I started I was slightly worried I was completely out of my depth on the cooking front but everything was broken down so well for us before I realised it we were just having fun and picking up on some key skills at the same time.
They were brilliant taking into dietary requirements throughout the evening, splitting us into teams that suited what we were cooking. So husb got all his meat options and I was able to go full vegetarian for the bits I wanted but grabbed some prawns for my Pad Thai.
We were taught knife skills and I have learnt that not a single knife it my house is actually sharp! Busily we chopped vegetables into match sticks. We made our curry pastes from scratch which was really interesting. Learnt about ‘Wok Clocks’ the importance of prep and setting up your ingredients in the order they need to go in the wok. We got the chance to try out our wok skills. Turns out husb has a bit of a hidden wok talent, or maybe by this point I was just a bit tipsy, the drinks had been flowing! We made our curries, got to wrap our spring rolls, did anyone else know you could use a banana as a spring roll sealing glue stick?!
I loved the way they had some thing prepared ready for us, like the spring roll fillings, but left us to prepare other things like the curry pastes. As we only three hours there’s no way we could have done it all ourselves. They also took over some of the cooking. So whilst we were making our curry the spring rolls we had wrapped were whisked off to be deep-fried and the sticky rice was prepared for us.
I needn’t have worried about my husband not having fun. He had the best time, he was so pleased I had bought him along. He had loved the atmosphere and all his concerns about not being good enough were completely gone. It was one of the most fun nights out we’ve had together.
By the end of the evening all our food was prepared and we sat down together to eat and chat some more, we were trying the different variations we had made and relaxing. After we had eaten our delicious food and packed some of it up into takeaway boxes to bring home, a few of headed to a nearby pub for a final drink before heading back to our tubes to get home.
At £95.00 per person this isn’t a cheap night out and I can safely say it’s something I would have never considered booking. Why would I spend that much money on a night out for both of us that one would most likely not enjoy? Having been though I can safely say I would go again and it is actually really, really good value for money. I can’t believe I would have otherwise missed out on such a brilliant experience.
Literally anyone would have fun attending a School of Wok lesson. It honestly doesn’t matter your level of cooking skill, my husband had never touched a clever or a wok before in his life. All the ingredients are included and you get a bot of explanation about what you are using and why and also what ingredients can be substituted and which ones really shouldn’t be.
You will leave having learnt at least one new thing. I took home several great tips, like how to hold the knives and how to make a curry paste and fold a spring roll.
I did think that maybe we were just lucky with the crowd we had that night, and yes there’s no doubt they were an amazing group of people, but I honestly think that it is like that every time with every group. There is something infectious about the vibe the School of Wok have created and I can’t see any other cookery school out there having the same kind of atmosphere they have created.
Finally you can pick from so many lessons. There will be one with food that you love and a price that’s right for you.
The value is just amazing. If we had paid to eat that food at a restaurant and drink what we drank we’d have been looking at a significant bill. We then also got the expertise of Paddy, the whole experience and the knowledge to bring home.
We were chatting after the class in the pub and the couple we were with even said what amazing value it was and what a great evening it had been.
I’m just going to leave this by saying we are 100% converted. It is not something we would have normally done but I’m so glad we did. I would completely recommend this to anyone. Honestly, just go. You’ll have a blast. Now which lesson to book next ….
Disclosure – our lessons were complimentary but all opinions are my own honest views