Birmingham has many good restaurants, and Harborne until recently wasnt a place that I visited much.
I’m using this as an excuse for not eating until last week at Henry Wong in Harborne. You see this smart Cantonese restaurant has just celebrated its 30th Birthday, yes that’s Pearl for those in the know, that’s a long time in the restaurant trade and yes many years excuses from me.
Henry Wong has been a mainstay of Harborne life and has forged a reputation for intricately detailed dishes and good customer service, yes they care, this could account for the 30 years, that and the diverse Cantonese menu that caters terrifically for Vegetarians. Alas, my excuses have run out I’m afraid.
Well, better late than never Ruth and I visited Henry Wong last week and could see in three hours why the restaurant has been a mainstay for so long.
Initially it wasn’t without issues. We felt a bit hurried to our seats, not offered a drink at the bar and then ignored for quite a long period of time at the table for a drinks order. After the initial remiss service (they did have a large private birthday party on) though it settled down into a mighty fine night with excellent and attentive service.
After our order was taken we were given a pre starter type dish of of spinach, and Edamane Bean (immature soybeans in the pod) to share, I enjoyed the spinach, which had a good soy flavour and was a good introduction to the food. The Edamane beans I wasn’t sure about.
Yet the flavours of the dishes were the real deal throughout. The quality use of ingredients and sauces to compliment the ingredients were modest in the sense that the flavours didn’t overwhelm the dish.
Take my starter Asparagus with chilli and garlic, an absolute joyous dish, the delicate asparagus lifted with the balanced flavours of chilli and garlic, 3 simple ingredients a wowser of punch, which didn’t overwhelm the primary ingredient. Fantastic.
That trend continued. For the Vegetarian main courses I asked the advice of our waitress who I found out was veggie. She said she would get the chef to make me something. I also chose the Chinese Green Gai Lan with Ginger and Shaoshing wine, which I’d had my eye on which Ruth and I shared.
The above dish was delightful. Crisp, tender, like broccoli, but carrying more taste, slightly drenched with ginger and Shaoshing wine, a large plate, again, simple ingredients made heavenly by the delicate touch of balanced flavours. A signature dish.
The other dish that I enjoyed was a mixed vegetables, ginger sauce. Subtle, gentle heat, a great combination of vegetables with the enhanced ginger flavour beautifully complimented by some small crispy fried Tofu, which were soft, chewy and melted away when bit Into. Beautiful.
Alongside that we shared some vegetarian Singapore noodles, and Spring Onion Rice. Both lovely, and both creating a substantial meal with the above main dishes.
Though we had enjoyed a large meal we both fancied a desert so we shared a Duo of chocolate and caramelised nut, with vanilla ice cream. A lovely, sweet, well presented dish. Beautiful.
We also enjoyed 2 double espresso’s and a sweet but addictive liquor which was named ‘Jammy Dodger’ as it did taste like a biscuit of the same name. Very childhood memory friendly. We surprisingly enjoyed as we are more brandy and whisky types. Thanks for the recommendation.
We also drank a bottle of El-Coto Rioja. A delicious white wine that complimented the food splendidly.
The atmosphere was good in the restaurant throughout. The decor is smart, modern and though quite a large dining room was welcoming, though could do with a couple of large plants maybe. The floor to ceiling windows enhance the light in the room and sitting in the window as we were overlooking the terrace was very relaxing and private too. The room was full of contented diners, chatting and laughing, and there you have the secret to the 30 years. Good service, good food and a fine menu of dishes that begs for repeat visits.
The Vegetarian options are plentiful, lots of choice, made beautifully. Well balanced flavours, fresh ingredients, cooked well, where the spices, sauces and condiments don’t overwhelm the primary ingredient.
I’m in no doubt it’s one of the best restaurants for vegetarians in Birmingham.
Henry Wong also cater for gluten free diners.
For a good night in Harborne Henry Wong is a great choice, especially if you like fine wine, and mingling with friends or been cosy with your partner.
I can’t wait to go back.
Thanks for reading.
0121 427 7666
Henry Wong, 283 High Street, Harborne, Birmingham, B17 9QH.
Disclaimer: We were invited as guests of Henry Wong, for a fair review purpose. All food and drinks consumed were complimentary on the night. My opinions in this review are my own and honest as always.
Many thanks to Marianne Ho and her front of house team for their kind hospitality and food recommendations. And to Ricky Wu and his team in the kitchen for the food.