At Wok Masters by Moy in South Miami, you will not find food kept warm by steam tables waiting to be brought out to customers. There is no precooking; every dish is cooked to order and made with fresh ingredients. The prices are very affordable, with many dishes costing no more than $13, and rarely are there fewer than three cooks in the kitchen and three servers on duty.
Yony (pronounced “Johnny”) Moy and crew moved into their 6907 Red Rd. location last October with big aspirations. Within a year they hope to open two more locations – one in the Brickell area and another in the nearby Dadeland mall.
That impetus for successful business expansion has family ties dating back three generations. In 1957 Yony’s grandfather Moy Chin Yen moved from the Canton Providence to Venezuela and promptly opened Los Faralitos (The Beacons) and El Palmar (The Palm Grove), which became favorites among local residents and politicos alike.
In 2008, Yony brought his family’s business to South Florida when he opened Qianlong Chinese Cuisine in Doral. When he chose to expand a few years later, he decided Wok Masters would be a more memorable and pronounceable namesake. He knew a catchy name wasn’t everything, however.
“To be competitive in this country, we have to do things differently,” says Moy.
That difference is evident the minute customers enter the restaurant. There is no wall separating the dining room and the kitchen.
“The Chinese kitchen is a mystery to many and we are trying to do away with that mystery,” says Moy. “Having an open kitchen allows us to do that, as well as keep things very clean.”
First time visitors may find it difficult to decide on a meal. Yony, influenced by South American culture, decided to implement his own version of tapas (samplers) for large parties unsure of what to order.
“Chinese tapas let people find out what their favorite dish is,” he says.
Vegetarians who have been relegated to only a handful of restaurants that meet their needs will soon be able to add another quality location to their list of dining options. They are developing a full vegetarian menu, a rarity in Chinese restaurants. Many meals on the regular menu will soon have vegetarian counterparts, including Mongolian beef and Kung Pao chicken.
It is this kind of forward thinking that has kept the Moy family in the restaurant business for more than six decades; that, and adaptability.
“The secret to succeeding in today’s economy is the size of the restaurant,” says Moy. “If it is smaller, it is more manageable.”
The restaurant may be humble in size, but the location offers great opportunities. Customers who call at 305-663-3593 may order either take out or delivery and their proximity to the shops at Sunset Place and the surrounding office buildings make the lunch specials from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. a terrific option.
By far, the most renowned dish served at Wok Masters is the Peking duck. Served over two courses and costing $46, it is the greatest indulgence diners can treat themselves to. The Moy family has quite a history with the white-feathered bird. It was at El Palmar where Venezuelans had their first taste of the Chinese delicacy.
“They may not speak Chinese because they are flown down from Long Island, but they are authentic Peking ducks,” Yony jokes.
Whatever your tastes may be, it appears Wok Masters by Moy has you covered.