Sunday, 3 May 2009

Dining in Good Company

WHEN I noticed that a fellow diner in our Friday night restaurant was a Michelin-star chef, I relaxed a little, confident that if it was good enough for him, it'd be good enough for us.
It appeared that Luke Tipping, executive chef at Simpson's, in Edgbaston, was enjoying a meal at Wongs in Fleet Street to celebrate his wife's birthday, along with their two young children.
The cake with the sparkler for a candle, along with the good-natured rendition of Happy Birthday was a giveaway.
I've wanted to visit Wongs for a while. Not only does it have a great reputation, it is also tucked away off a city side street and, as you step into it's pretty courtyard decorated with Chinese lanterns, you feel as though you are escaping the world.
Welcoming staff presented us with a dish of fresh prawn crackers to munch on while the boy browsed the menu and I gorped at the Michelin-star chef.
We started with aromatic duck pancakes and - rather endearingly - we were presented with the quarter of duck leg for approval, before it was whisked back into the kitchen for shredding.
I wonder what would have happened had we given it the thumbs down?
While we waited for our (de) feathered friend to return we enjoyed the tinkle of live piano music, chuckling at the addition of Gwen Stefani's Rich Girl to the playlist.
A silver-lidded dish of pancakes, a pool of plum sauce and julienned of cucumber and spring onion arrived to accompany the duck, which proved particularly succulent without being overly fatty.
A triumphant starter was followed by a mixed-bag of main courses. The crispy shredded beef served in a fruity sauce could not be faulted, neither could the fluffy boiled rice.
However, the chicken and cashew nuts lacked punch, and the mixed veg in black bean sauce - while perfectly cooked - needed a richer sauce.
I was defeated by the time we'd cleared our plates, but the boy soldiered on ordering a portion of ginger and honey icecream.
'Now that's what I call a portion of icecream,' he said gleefully as he was presented with a cocoa-dusted plate featuring two generous scoops of creamy looking stuff.
Purely for research purposes, I found room to sample a mouthful and it was as good as it looked, containing really chunky pieces of crystalised ginger.
Service was impeccable, the atmosphere delightfully private and - despite being pricey - I'd certainly return because I feel the vast menu could unearth a few more hidden gems.
For details on Wongs call 0121 212 1888.
Wongs on Urbanspoon

10 comments:

Heavenly Housewife said...

U go boy! I always say, there's always room for ice cream :D

Emily said...

Yeah, you are right. What was I thinking?

Nicola said...

Hi Emily,
Could you tell me where Wong's is in Birmingham? Can't seem to find a website for it but not sure of the address. Thanks for your great blog, always enjoy reading your posts!

Emily said...

Thanks Nicola. I couldn't find a web address either. It's in Fleet Street, just off Summer Row not far from Mechu and Apres. http://www.myvillage.com/birmingham/places/1413-wongs-bar-and-restaurant/showMap/

Thinspired said...

Ooooh...you know Chinese is a weakness of mine! You described everything with such lovely detail. I want to go!

Jo Dyson said...

I love Wongs. My boyfriend and I have been there loads of times. I love the crispy duck as well and the guy on the piano is just brilliant. I posted a review of it on my blog a little while ago.

Emily said...

You would love it here Lara. Great menu, lots of rice. I know how partial you are too rice. You would not have been able to resist.

Emily said...

Thanks Jo. I will have a look!

Nicola said...

Thanks Emily for the info! I shall be heading over there as soon as I can, sounds lovely.

Emily said...

Great Nicola. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!