I’ve lived in the area for a significant amount of time, and to the best of my recollection, Mason Wok and Sushi was one of – if not the first – Asian restaurants in Oswego. But despite it being around for so many years, I’ve never made it there.
I recently decided to change that, so I made my way to Mason Square in Oswego at the intersection of Route 34 and Douglas Road to visit Mason Wok for lunch. Featuring bright blue lettering announcing their presence to all who pass by, the storefront restaurant blends in with the rest at first glance. But upon entering, I was greeted at the counter for ordering takeout and picking up orders. The employee working the register was helpful enough to direct me to the restaurant area to the left, decorated with stone walls, black furniture, dark wood floors and a brightly lit bar that dominates the space, serving as a prep station and bar.
I was promptly seated and provided with a menu offering Chinese and Japanese dishes. The waitress was attentive and helpful in pointing out which dishes I would want to avoid due to some food allergies I have. She didn’t hover throughout my visit, but always seemed to be nearby when I was done with a dish, needed a refill or was ready for the check.
I really appreciated that. I was looking for a nice, quiet lunch to try something new, and I got exactly what I was looking for.
I ordered a lunch special of miso soup and three types of rolls: eel and avocado with a teriyaki drizzle, tuna and avocado, and salmon. Each set of rolls came in a set of six, so it was a filling and satisfying lunch. The miso soup was delivered first – for those who have never tasted it before, miso soup is a traditional Japanese soup featuring a dashi stock mixed with miso paste, and often features additional ingredients, including seaweed and tofu. I greatly enjoyed the lightly flavored soup, and definitely will seek out the dish in future visits to Mason Wok or to other restaurants.
As for my sushi, each roll tasted fresh and delicious. Being someone who is relatively new to the world of sushi, eel was a new taste for me, and I greatly enjoyed it. It was bright and flavorful, pairing well with the smooth avocado and the tangy teriyaki sauce. The tuna was equally fresh and enjoyable, coated in sticky rice like my eel rolls were. My favorite though, were the salmon rolls, one of my favorite types of sushi. The salmon was fresh, wrapped in rice and and nori, and paired well with the ginger and wasabi offered as a side.
After thinking about my meal, inexpensive for the amount I was given, and the high quality of the sushi, Mason Wok is an overlooked Oswego gem. It’s been around for ages, sticking through the expansion of the Route 34 corridor and the influx of franchise restaurants in the area. Mason Wok’s staying power certainly is something to praise, and I look forward to my next visit, when I plan to try something from their expansive Chinese menu.
• The Mystery Diner is a newsroom employee at the Record Newspapers. The diner’s identity is not revealed to restaurant staff before or during the meal.
The Mystery Diner visits a restaurant and then reports on the experience. The Mystery Diner is not intended to be a restaurant critic, but does highlight the parts of a dining experience that he/she can recommend.