Restaurant review: Wing Wah, Birmingham City Centre.


AD/Gifted meal.

In days of old visiting a restaurant with others apart from maybe Indian would have resulted in myself sitting around for an age looking at my one option on the menu whilst my dining companions took 15 plus minutes (if I was lucky) to decide what they were going to choose.

At Wing Wah a Chinese restaurant near The Hippodrome theatre in the thriving Chinese Quarter of Birmingham, that misfortune certainly doesn’t apply. The Vegetarian and Vegan section of the menu takes up a few pages, so I’m now feeling the scratching of the head whilst I decide and then I decide and decide again only to realise that I need to put my reading glasses on ( because I’m getting on in age) as a be misread the dish I thought I was going to have. Is this stress? Far from it. It’s brilliant to discover, and bravo for Wing Wah for it.

Wing Wah used to be at the Wing Yip centre in Nechells but relocated this year to its new home in the centre of the city.

Inside, it’s a smart, relaxed place with white table cloths and comfy seats set around a mixture of table arrangements.

We sat on this Saturday evening on a half circle table which allowed for good people watching and more private dining.

For Vegetarians and Vegans Wing Wah devotes a whole section of the menu.

Ruth and I chose to share three starter dishes: Sweet corn fritters, Crispy Spring rolls and Deep fried Vegetarian won tons.

All of the above were exceptional appetisers. Snack like, finger foods perfect for grazing on.

The Sweetcorn Fritters ( a North Eastern dish) encapsulated Summer promise. They were sunny and crunchy, with crisp fresh flavours and a real winner.

The Crispy Spring Rolls, a light, thin and crispy skin, airy with real vegetable flavour and very enjoyable.

The Deep fried vegetarian won tons were the perfect appetiser. Crispy bites which were snack like, with a good rounded flavour.

All three were exceptionally balanced and taken together were a lovely way to begin the meal.

For the main section of the meal, we again chose to share three dishes along with a portion of egg fried rice.

The Gai Lan ‘Chinese broccoli’ is one of my favourite ever dishes and this proved to be outstanding. Coated in a beautiful ginger sauce the thick tender stems were tender, crisp and had a beautifully smooth and glossy sheen. Lovely flavours.

The second dish the Aubergines in green pepper and black bean sauce was also lovely with sweet subtle flavours and complimented the Gai Lan perfectly.

The third main dish was the well recommended Caramelised crisp aubergines, which were sweet and crispy bites of loveliness.

These were all eaten with sticky egg fried rice though there are vegan versions.

Our meal was completed by some delicious jasmine tea as we were too full for deserts.

Our meal at Wing Wah was excellent. Their new Vegetarian and Vegan menu has plenty of choice for both, including a substantial “Mock meat’ section which would tempt many diners and looked well thought out and would be worth trying next time.

The service was lovely and informed and attentive and recommended dishes in turn. The restaurant had a good atmosphere and is a lovely venue for a celebration or meal with friends.

For vegetarians it’s a top notch choice and can’t come recommended enough. With so many choices it’s a venue to return too.

A fine addition to the City’s Chinese Quarter.

Thanks for reading,

Wing Wah also do afternoon tea and have private rooms for parties.

Many thanks to Paul Fulford and Dorian Chan for the kind invite.

Henry Wong restaurant in Harborne announces Military Home Fisher House as their chosen charity. 


   
 It’s always nice to report on something slightly different than the direct food related news and reviews. Henry Wong a lovely Cantonese restaurant in Harborne in Birmingham which is fabulous for Vegetarians, has always been involved in local charity work. 

They are still involved with The Ladies Fighting Breast Cancer charity which raises money directly for the cancer unit at Queen Elizabeth Hospital, but have now added Fisher House also at The Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham.  

The  QE’s Fisher House is Touted as a ‘Home away from Home’, Fisher House is intended for injured military personnel – many of whom have suffered life changing injuries in service – and their immediate families and is based at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital.  

The Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham is the receiving hospital for all the UK’s military patients who are injured or fall ill anywhere around the world during active service. These military patients are treated by both NHS and military medical staff. Over 400 serving military personnel form the Royal Centre for Defence Medicine are based at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Birmingham.

Fisher House opened its doors in April 2013, and has already provided medical assistance and respite for almost 1,700 people, including patients, parents, partners and children. This adds up to more than 9,500 nights of accommodation provided for people ranging in age from one month to 94 years!

Help from businesses like Henry Wong of Harborne is integral to the running of Fisher House, as it solely relies on funds from charitable donations. Mike Hammond, the Chief Executive of QEHB Charity, which runs Fisher House explains “We are extremely grateful to everyone at Henry Wong of Harborne for choosing to support Fisher House. It costs the charity £250,000 a year to run the facility and we rely entirely on the generous support of individuals and companies, like Henry Wong, to raise this. More fundraising means we can offer more free accommodation and support to more military patients and their families. We very much look forward to working with Henry Wong of Harborne in 2016”.

It was a perfect fit for Henry Wong of Harborne owner, Parm Rai, who has a long history in supporting Birmingham-based charities. Commenting; “First and foremost I wanted to support a charity local to the restaurant in Harborne. Mike Hammond from Fisher House regularly visits Henry Wong and has, on occasion, brought along some of his patients to dine with us, as part of their reintegration to society. I, like many, feel indebted to these military personnel who have literally laid their lives on the line for our us, so I could think of no worthier charity to support in 2016”.
Henry Wong of Harborne will be organizing a calendar of exciting events both on and off-site that will raise awareness and funds for Fisher House.  

Henry Wong Harborne was opened just over 30 years ago and saw a relaunch by businessman Parm Rai in 2008. They introduced a new cocktail bar, outdoor terrace dining area and a private dining room to host events.

   

    

Henry Wong restaurant is also celebrating the Chinese New Year with this year is the year of the Monkey.

2016 (on the Chinese calendar) is a year of the Monkey, starting from February 8 (Chinese New Year), and ending on January 27, 2017 (Chinese New Year’s Eve).

The Monkey is ninth of the 12 animals in the recurring 12-year Chinese zodiac cycle. Every 12 years there is a Monkey year. (Interestingly, Monkey years are all multiples of 12 — from 12 AD, through 1200 AD, to now in 2016.)
   

For details of Henry Wong you can find them at:

http://henrywongharborne.co.uk/

For more information on Fisher House: 

http://www.fisherhouseuk.org/

http://www.fisherhouseuk.org/about/

For more information onLadies Fighting Breast Cancer: 

http://www.lfbc.org.uk/

Thanks for reading, 

Andy 😊

Thanks also to Henry Wong and FU Media for the information on Fisher House. 

All photos apart from the food pics courtesy of Henry Wong. 

For previous vegetarian food reviews of Henry Wong see the links below: 

https://t.co/8wgJpC8N9R

http://t.co/9artBxAlv7

Veggie Dish of the Day: Chinese Green Gai Lan at Henry Wong, Harborne, Birmingham. 


   
For Vegetarians seeking a sophisticated but different kind of meal, with an extensive vegetarian menu Henry Wong in Harborne in South Birmingham is just the ticket. Specialising in Cantonese food Henry Wong presents exquisitely flavoured and classically presented dishes with a golden service. 

Set in a stylish dining room, with a rich woodwork and leather seating lounge bar area (serving cocktails) Henry Wong is a place for all occasions, but is becoming a place for Ruth and I to visit for celebrations as on this occasion to celebrate Ruth’s birthday late last year. 

We had visited Henry Wong before last year and had a fantastic evening. 

See my review:

https://vegiefoodie.com/2015/06/08/review-henry-wong-harborne/ 

    

One of the Vegetarian main courses on the menu is Chinese Green Gai Lan with Ginger and Shaoshing Wine. A dish so simple looking but packing a huge flavour of tongue and senses twisting exoticness that with that taste you begin to believe in the afterlife. 

The thick stemmed tender and crisp Chinese vegetable Gai Lan (also known as Kai Lan) is a bit like broccoli, served simply with the light touch of ginger and Shaoshing wine, it’s a delightfully shiny, and glossy dish, tossed simply with the ginger and Shaoshing wine, the warmth of the ginger balances the pronounced taste of the Gai Lan with an intensified cooling flavour kick lingering long on the palette. 

It’s an aromatic dish of substance and a vegetarian essential not to be missed at luxurious Henry Wong. 

 Chinese Green Gai Lan with Ginger and Shaoshing wine. £9.50.   A beautiful glossy dish eaten best with a couple of shared dishes (or another vegetarian dish) and some sticky rice. 

   Cocktails at Henry Wong.

   

 Last two photos courtesy of Henry Wong.

With thanks to owner Parm Rai, chef Ricky Wu and a special thanks to restaurant manager Marianne Ho and her team for helping us celebrate Ruth’s Birthday with their exemplary service.

We paid for our food and drinks at Henry Wong, but received a 25% discount from Parm as it was a special occasion. My review is honest as always and I was not required to review or write about my experience.

Henry Wong, 283 High Street, Harborne, Birmingham, B17 9QH.

http://henrywongharborne.co.uk/

http://henrywongharborne.co.uk/menus/food-menu/

Review: Henry Wong, Harborne. 


   

 

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. 

Andy 😊

http://henrywongharborne.co.uk/

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 thank to Parm 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. 

AH