The move is a homecoming of sorts for the solicitor turned chef: he was brought up in a Chinese takeaway in Cardiff and cut his teeth as a restaurateur in Wales with projects including Cen at Celtic Manor, which is just outside Newport.
Woky Ko: To Go will offer a varied menu with dishes such as king prawn pad thai with Woky Ko’s own XO chilli oil, his best-selling Korean fried chicken katsu curry and signature 24-hour braised pork chow mein, which uses Cen’s traditional Chinese master stock.
Sides dishes include crispy squid, sticky ribs and togarashi fries and Woky Ko’s signature steamed bao buns with fillings including hash brown with sambaizu slaw, pressed chashu pork belly with pickled cucumber and crispy duck with Peking sauce.
The service will be initially available via Uber Eats, providing to-the-door delivery and later via Click and Collect from the new Spytty warehouse on the Woky Ko app.
Larkin opened the first Woky Ko in a shipping container in Bristol’s Wapping Wharf development in 2016 and has since expanded to four individual establishments within the city.
Projects include a lunchtime street food stall in St Nicks Market, a rooftop beer and bao bar and a popular delivery service operating from a double height building on Queens Road.
"Lockdown was really the driving factor of this move, as it prompted us to really step up our delivery offer, bringing people dinners at home in Bristol," says Cen.
"It’s proved so popular that although it sounds crazy, this feels like the right time to come back to Wales, launching Woky Ko: To Go just with delivery to begin with.”
“Our new facility is in the Spytty area of Newport, in an industrial unit with big facilities which will enable us to develop ideas for all the Woky Ko restaurants, while also serving the whole of Newport with home deliveries of some of our favourite dishes. We’ll also be using it to produce our Woky XO chilli oil which is a favourite with our customers."
“I’ve long felt that Asian food in UK is very underrepresented, it’s so much more than what we’ve come to expect. Woky Ko is all about expanding this out to different flavours and regional styles, that give a new twist on some dishes which are already family favourites.”
Read our 2019 interview with Cen here.