HardWok Cafe: An adventure in Taiwanese cuisine

Just next to the Lake Hills Library, nestled unassumingly alongside a few other establishments, sits the cleverly named Taiwanese restaurant, HardWok Cafe.
I found this place because a few friends of mine had alluded to an apparent great treasure known as honey toast, which is essentially a box built of toast, topped with ice cream and all variants of sweets. A helpful Yelp search had pointed me toward HardWok Cafe as an excellent nearby option. I was not disappointed.
While I cannot compare HardWok Cafe’s honey toast to the honey toast of other establishments, I have to say that I came for the dessert but stayed for their entire menu. In some, it might inspire a sort of analysis paralysis, but for someone who loves trying new things it promised me a journey in food, and I knew after my first visit I would come again many times after.
HardWok Cafe has some exciting options on its menu, which not everyone may be familiar with. For instance, I learned of a dish referred to as Thousand-Year Egg, common in China and Taiwan, which consists of fermented egg. As well as this, there are many dumplings and classic Taiwanese dishes. I haven’t had the opportunity to try it all yet, but I learned I love their fried pork chop and that they have some of the best pork dumplings I have ever had.
While there, I learned the joys of using condensed milk as a topping for some of their sweeter menu items and that yogurt in green tea is my new favorite thing. Their bubble tea is one of their most advertised menu items and they have a massive variety of options. I could never get bored of visiting even if all I got was bubble tea.
Their desserts are as varied as their entrees and their drinks. From simple “slushes,” to tofu pudding, to, of course, honey toast, there are a plethora of options to choose from. Tofu pudding, for example, I found to be strange but comforting, especially when served warm.
The honey toast was everything I hoped it might be, built of warm, toasty bread and delicious ice cream, exciting edible decorations and, most of all, a total adventure. In the times I’ve gone, I’ve had their chocolate honey toast, topped with chocolate ice cream, pocky and fruit, as well as their matcha honey toast which has matcha ice cream, red bean and pieces of mochi topping it. It’s a massive dessert, and definitely meant for more than just a couple of people, but the experience is both novel and absolutely worth reliving with friends.
To complete this perfect package, I always enjoy the atmosphere of HardWok Cafe whenever I visit. The seating is comfortable and spacious and, even when the restaurant is busier I don’t feel crowded in. It is full of windows, which is comforting to those who enjoy natural light flooding a space. Empty or full, those who spend their time there will find themselves surrounded in a comfortable level of white noise.
Whether the occasion be a date, an outing with a large group of friends, studying, or perhaps just a stop on the way to class or some other destination, I would recommend everyone who enjoys Taiwanese food, everyone with a sweet tooth and everyone with adventurous tastes to try out HardWok Cafe.