As most students are deeply divided on this Benson Center staple, two Old Gold & Black staff members review the Asian Fusion options.
Many Wake Forest students remember the horror that they experienced upon returning from summer break last year to find that one of the favorite Benson dining options, Boar’s Head, had been replaced. Where were students supposed to get their sandwich fix — a much different craving than for Subway — in Benson? The Pit sandwich line was too slow and nobody wants to waste a Pit swipe just for a sandwich.
Students, still reeling from the sudden removal of a fan favorite dining location, were quick to try the new option, Take Two Asian Fusion. They had been hopeful about the new dining option, wishing that it would be a satisfactory replacement. But, that did not appear to be how it turned out. Rumors about the new dining option spread throughout the campus with reports of the food being disgusting, food-poisioning-causing and, worst of all, inauthentic.
The first time I tried Take Two Asian Fusion in September, I did not like it one bit. I could not bring myself to call what I had consumed Asian food. There was virtually no curry in my chicken curry and the noodles tasted like wet flour. I was ready to shun Take Two Asian Fusion for the rest of my Wake Forest career. However, upon coming back from winter break, I was delighted to see that Take Two Asian Fusion had revamped itself. I knew I had to give the dining option it’s rightful second chance.
Yet, even after trying the improved Chipotle-style Take Two Asian Fusion, it was difficult to really get behind this dining option as a worthwhile, enjoyable eatery. I created a bowl with white rice, beef, broccoli and carrots — something that seemed to me to be straightforward. Unfortunately, no part of my meal was satisfactory. The rice, the base of the meal, was mealy and hard, as was the beef, in addition to being chewy. I was surprised to find that the broccoli was uncooked, sadly cold in contrast to the pleasant warmth of the rice and beef. I did not use any of the sauces offered by the station, instead opting for the classic soy sauce. Still, nothing about this meal felt inherently Asian to me. As someone who grew up on Asian takeout, this was quite disappointing.
I acknowledge that Take Two Asian Fusion provides the international student population familiar foods that remind them of home and that the students who have worked with Aramark to create this dining option deserve great recognition for their accomplishments. However, there are better options. Someone wanting to use an Old Gold swipe can create a satisfying meal at Forest Greens or at Moe’s. Someone looking for an authentic Asian meal would be much better traveling off campus to an established Asian restaurant.
Despite the fact that Take Two Asian Fusion fails to deliver a delicious ethnic cuisine, I will continue to retry their food in hopes that they will constantly look to improve and strive to be what college students look for in their food: healthy, delicious and satisfying.