Henry Wongs in Harbourne

A couple of weeks ago I was lucky enough to be invited to a special dinner at Henry Wong’s Cantonese Restaurant in Harbourne, Birmingham to sample their new menu.  Henry Wong’s has been based at the top of Harbourne High Street for 25 years and has recently had a menu overhaul and a refurbishment which includes a brand new cocktail bar and outdoor terrace.  Laurent Perrier were hosting the drinks and had matched a different one of their champagnes to each course cooked by executive chef, Ricky Wu and his team. 
We started with cocktails on arrival which as their main ingredient used Laurent Perrier NV Brut champagne.  While I went for the gin and lemon juice flavoured kind, my plus one James sampled the brandy, star anise and brown sugar concoction.  Both were delicious with the brandy cocktail giving you that warm fuzzy feeling inside.
We were then lead into the private dining room with other bloggers including representatives from ‘What’s On’ and ‘Dine Birmingham’, and Henry Wong’s new management team to sample some of their new menu.  I’ll admit I had a little ‘Wow look who they’ve invited, what am I doing here? moment but all that was forgotten with everybody being so welcoming – and we all had the same passion – blogging! David the rep from Laurent Perrier gave us the low down on each different champagne before each course which was fascinating to listen to.  I learnt quite a lot about champagne across the course of the night – but then with there being so much champagne on the table, I might have forgotten some of it too (oops!)
I’ve never been to a Cantonese restaurant for a meal before (I’m strictly a take-away Chinese kinda girl) but I was blown away by the food on offer and even though I’m quite a fussy eater who doesn’t tend to try new things, I can honestly say that this one one of the most incredible meals I’ve ever eaten.  I made sure I sampled each dish that came to the table which included Steam Scallops with Spicy Soy Sauce, Butterfly King Prawns with Wasabi Sauce, Honey Pepper Chicken, Singapore Noodles and Shanghai Fried Rice with Pak Choy and mushrooms.
However, for me the stand out dish of the evening was the Soft Shell Crab with Chilli and Garlic Sauce – oh my word, I’ve eaten fantastic sea food before but never one so tender and flavoursome.  I also really enjoyed the Aromatic Duck with Pancakes – my first duck experience and I’ve had my mind opened to all kinds of new foods and flavours.  I even enjoyed the lamb ribs – a meat I usually dislike and the Sweet and Sour Seabass was just divine.  The night was topped off with Mango & Lychee Fritters served with Vanilla Ice Cream – perfect.
Now lets talk about the champagne.  I’ll put my hand up and be the first to admit I’m not a huge drinker of champagne.  The truth is, I’ve never found one that quite fits my tastebuds.  Well, that’s certainly changed thanks to Laurent Perrier and the delicious selection of champagnes they chose to accompany the meal.  With the starters came the Ultra Brut and with the main course came the Rose but my favourite was the dessert champagne – Laurent Perrier Demi Sec, a non vintage champagne which has a sweetness kick to it.  It was a pleasure to drink and I may have had one or two top ups in my glass.
Overall I enjoyed the food, the drink and the atmosphere at Henry Wong’s and have already recommended it to most of my friends.  The service we received was also excellent with the only time your glass was ever empty was in between courses when the champagne was being changed.  First class service!  James and I have already booked to go back for our belated anniversary meal at the end of the month.
A huge thank you to Henry Wong’s for having us and to David from Laurent Perrier for matching the champagne to each dish to ensure we had the perfect accompaniment to the meal.  I think it’s safe to say it was an enjoyable evening had by all.

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*I was invited to this meal by Henry Wong’s.  No financial compensation has been received for this post.

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