Call me Russ L

The Feeder’s Digest

Posted in Food by Russ L on 24 September, 2006

A few restaurant trips have taken place over the last couple of months. I don’t remember much about any of them.

A few days off work in August gave me an opportunity to try Wing Wah the Wolverhampton Road branch – ‘Oldbury’ on their website) for the first time in ages, and in fact my first opportunity to attend their dinnertime (tell you what, I’ll even let you call it ‘lunchtime if you’re posh) buffet. Comparisons are easiest here, and by making them we can begin to create the grand Chinese All-You-Can-Eat League Table (now there’s an idea for a website) – the food, while nice, isn’t as good as I remember it and probably coming slightly behind Modern China and far behind The Big Wok. You can’t argue with the price for the daytime buffet, though, it’s a mere ten minutes walk from where I live, and as I say it still was nice (even if I’m not sure what’s supposed to be so drunken about the drunken pork). The Big Wok retains the championship.

Two trips were made to Café Soya, near The Bullring/Arcadian in Birmingham, once with El Maxino on the day we went to see The Black Veins at The Market Tavern (see a previous post) and with my mother on the Saturday of Artsfest (see a different previous post). Despite the name, it isn’t a vegetarian place (although they do have a sister-restaurant that is), and instead we’re looking at top-quality Chinese/Vietnamese (I think) cuisine for very reasonable prices. When with Maxi we shared the crispy lettuce wraps with chicken to start, before she had a chicken hot-pot curry and I had seafood satay. All of it was fantastic, with very (and I mean very) generous amounts of chicken/seafood. The second time around the set menu was partaken of. Eating cashew nuts in sauce with chopsticks is A) a challenge; but also B) gloriously worthwhile. With good service on top of all this, Café Soya gets top marks from me.

Between the two visits there I took the parentals to the Chiquito on the Hagley Road for their anniversary. I used to be a regular at this place, and really consider it a shame that I don’t get to go too often anymore. I’ve heard plenty about how the Chiquito chain is supposed to have gone massively downhill, but after this I don’t agree. It’s certainly not quite as good as it once was, but the food is still fantastic and the oft-repeated complaints of ‘small portions’ lead me to think that there must be some seriously big eaters out there, since I have never walked away from the place any less than absolutely stuffed. The fajitas are so much fun to make at your table (food that you have an excuse to play with – it’s the future) and I’ll never tire of the cocktails.

~ Russ L, getting hungry thinking about all of this.


2 Responses

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  1. Maxxxine said, on 14 November, 2006 at 3:36 pm

    It’s Vietnamese.

    Jack and I went to Cafe Soya last Friday and had Set Menu A! There was so much – definitely enough for three people. I was so full at the end of it. Phew! Good stuff.

  2. Russ L said, on 14 November, 2006 at 4:15 pm

    I’ve no idea why I wrote that there – I’m aware it’s Vietnamese.

    I was having a divvy moment at the time, obviously.

    Big Wok tonight. Huzzah!


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