Gluten Free Menu at Henry Wong’s Harborne

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.

img20160908185019It 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.

When: 08/09/2016

Where: Henry Wong, 283 High Street, Harborne, B17 9QH

Who: Henry Wong

Tiki turns 10 – Island Bar hits a decade

You can read about my visit to Island Bar here

One of Birmingham’s first independent cocktail bars celebrates their 10th birthday in September, following a decade of providing customers with some of the freshest cocktails in town.

main Island 15 HR (88)

Island Bar, situated on Smallbrook Queensway, first opened their doors on September 9th 2006 offering an alternative option to the Birmingham pub and bar scene with handcrafted cocktails, classic creations and in-house Tiki concoctions, as well as an extensive rum collection and range of bottled beers.  The venue’s ethos was, and still is, to serve quality products by knowledgeable staff in an unpretentious venue.  The bar has had many a makeover in the past 10 years as well as seeing the cocktail offering expand, and the music profile moving from indie/rock n’ roll to more soul and disco.

fire Island 15 HR (35)

To mark this big birthday, Island Bar’s General Manager Simon Gilligan has created a line-up of events

There’s some great events all week including:

Weds 7th  – Big Old Quiz of the Decade, £1 to enter, 8pm – 10 years of popular culture and Island Bar!

Thus 8th – Tiki Thursday with Jam Jah Sounds & Wray & Nephew Rum take over

Fri 9th & Sat 10th from 8pm, FREE entry all night: DJs from past and present taking to the decks to re-live some of the best moments from the Island Bar dancefloor.

Then finish with a Bank Holiday style Island Bar Big Weekender!
A one-off menu has been created by Simon for the weekend offering Tiki fans 2 for £10 all weekend on the favourite tipples of the past 10 years.

Island Main Bar Island 15 HR (96)

Island Bar’s birthday isn’t just a milestone for the bar but also a celebration for the independently run family Island Bar is part of.  Bitters ‘n Twisted Venues is one of Birmingham’s hospitality success stories.  Run by Matt Scriven, his idea was to offer the flagging bar scene in the Midlands a much needed injection of creativity and fun 10 years ago.  Following Island Bar’s opening in 2006, neighbouring boozer The Victoria and then gin emporium The Jekyll & Hyde were set up.   Fast forward 10 years, Bitters ‘n Twisted Venues owns and runs 10 venues within Birmingham and the Midlands with the most recent being Bodega Cantina opening in Leicester, July 2016.

Matt Scriven said of this milestone:

“Looking back to 10 years ago the hospitality scene in Birmingham has changed beyond recognition.  We’ve been honoured and determined to play a large role in this renaissance of Birmingham and we remain passionate about contributing positively to this great city for another 10 years.  I can’t believe how quickly the time has gone and what we have achieved and I hope our customers continue to love what we do for many years to come.”

island-bar 3


The team at Island Bar are asking customers to join in with them via social media to share their best memories over the years, using the #Island10, to collate a decade of anecdotes and pictures.  The best ones will be rewarded with drink based prizes for the weekend.

Ramen-heaven – Tonkotsu is coming to Selfridges Birmingham

As you know, I’m always on the lookout for something a little different in Birmingham…

Tonkotsu, one of London’s best-loved ramen bars, will open a restaurant in Selfridges in Birmingham’s Bullring on September 5th.

Named after the pork bone commonly used as the base ingredient of broth for Hakata ramen, after the success of six locations (including Selfridges) in London, they’re moving north to bring their in-house made noodles to the people of the Midlands.

Paul Winch-Furness / Photographer

Ramen is a Japanese noodle dish containing stock – usually pork and chicken – with a special wheat noodle and toppings including marinated egg, slices of pork, wakame seaweed and bean shoots. Tonkotsu is proud to make all its noodles in-house thanks to their bespoke Japanese noodle machine, giving a fresh springy noodle.

Tonkotsu serves a variety of completely authentic, delicious ramen with starters, sides, Japanese craft beers and whiskies to complete the menu.

Paul Winch-Furness / Photographer

In addition to the authentic ramen, chicken karaage – delicious Japanese fried chicken – and gyoza dumplings, Tonkotsu Birmingham will also serve katsu curry, perfect for a mid-shop pit stop. Japanese and British lagers and ales will be on offer along with house cocktails and wines. All dishes will be available to take away.

Katsu curry


Tonkotsu is a group of six London restaurants, including Selfridges Oxford Street Foodhall, serving ramen with homemade noodles in slow-cooked broths, along with craft beers and cocktails.

Paul Winch-Furness / Photographer

Tonkotsu Birmingham Selfridges will be the first location outside the capital and the team is very happy to be partnering again with Selfridges, after becoming a popular choice for shoppers in the Oxford Street store.

You can have a sneaky peek at the menu below:

Tonkotsu Menu

For locations, check out