Gluten free and Cantonese cuisine aren’t usually synonymous. With soy being a large component in Chinese cooking, not many dishes get away from the gluten.
It can be pot luck when looking for a place that can cater for a range of dietary and intolerance requirements, so it’s nice to find a restaurant with a wide choice for omnivores, vegetarians, vegans and those with an intolerance alike.
Henry Wong’s menu highlights both contemporary and classic Cantonese dishes and as the ingredients used are fresh, they can be adapted where needed.
To highlight the gluten free options available, a few fellow bloggers and I went along for a taste.
We were treated to a variety of dishes accompanied by gluten-free wine. To begin, it was a fun twist on an old classic – Chicken & Shiitake Mushroom Yuk Sung with Pine Nuts.
The Yuk Sung came with crispy fresh lettuce and was surprisingly filling. The pine nuts and shiitake gave it a nice earthy flavour.
Next up was Soft Shelled Crab with Chilli and Garlic, Spinach with sesame seeds, and Asparagus.
The (mound!) of soft shelled crab was definitely a highlight. Sweet juicy crab meat was lightly battered, with a chilli and garlic sauce drizzled on, and was enjoyed by all around the table. The spinach and asparagus were also cooked well with a touch of al dente bite, and not overcooked and floppy.
Next was the mains consisting of Honey Pepper King Prawn, Sweet and Sour Chicken, Steamed Sea Bass with Ginger and Spring Onion, Pak Choi in a Garlic sauce, Sizzling Beef Fillet in Black Pepper Sauce, accompanied with Egg Fried Rice.
The honey pepper king prawns were delicious. These prawns were HUGE , something you don’t see often nowadays with most restaurants. Soft and crispy at the same time, these were dripping in a sweet and spicy honey pepper sauce.
I have a bit of a love-hate relationship with sweet and sour chicken. With Chinese food, I have been spoilt by having wonderful in-laws who cook amazing home-style dishes which kind of puts me off the usual restaurant staples. This was a pleasant surprise, neither too sweet or salty, with good sized chunks of chicken.
The sizzling beef fillet in a black pepper sauce is another Chinese classic and this one was great. The beef wasn’t dry and had a really nice umami flavour, enhanced by the black pepper.
My personal fave of the mains was the sea bass. I love a bit of meaty fish and this was done in a traditional style, relying on fresh produce with minimal intervention to get the best flavour. Simple, fresh, clean and delicious.
To finish was a trio of desserts. Strawberry Cheesecake, Alabama Fudge Cake and a Fresh Fruit Platter, specially selected for gluten free customers.
I’m always up for a cheesecake; this was nice, sweet and rich with a sweet strawberry coulis marbled through. The Alabama fudge cake was as expected: chocolatey with a rich sweet ganache.
The fruit platter was a sight to behold with a sphere of ice as its centrepiece.
I even found time to squeeze in a Virgin Strawberry Mojito too!
Disclaimer: For this evening, I was a guest of Parm and the team at Henry Wong and Six Peg PR, this provides no bias to the post. This blog is my own personal opinion and strives to provide an independent view, promoting, enjoying and reviewing the range of exciting food and venues in and around Birmingham.
Where: Henry Wong, 283 High Street, Harborne, B17 9QH
Who: Henry Wong