147 Dundee Street, Edinburgh, Midlothian, EH11 1BP
0131 228 6668
Although I’ve not been to China (yet) I do like to visit Chinese restaurants that have cuisine a bit more authentic than chicken balls with sweet and sour sauce. My hunt for the flavours of China has thus far taken me to Imperial Palace in Longstone and XiangBala Hotpot in Dalry.
One Chinese restaurant I hadn’t tried yet, but have heard loads about, was the Wing Sing Inn in Fountainbridge. To be honest, I’ve walked past the restaurant countless times; a lot of my misspent youth was misspent at Fountain Park. Drinking Bacardi Breezers in McCowans, watching every film at Cineworld with my Unlimited Card, and vanquishing zombies on the House of the Dead arcade machines. Ah the days.
I’m not often over that side of town anymore, but my wine-tasting class is at Boroughmuir high-school (and as I’ve mentioned before, I’m usually pretty peckish when I leave!). Being walking distance away from Wing Sing, I made the decision to give this grotty looking establishment a try. And that’s exactly what I did on a very wet Monday (armed only with my camera phone; so apologies for the pic quality!)
I’m going to start by saying that we walked in at 9:30pm. It was quite late and the restaurant obviously wasn’t in full swing. I think the staff were winding up and wanting to go home, so perhaps we didn’t get the sort of service that we’d have received if we went in at, say, 7 or 8pm.
The menu in Wing Sing Inn is nothing if not… well, authentic. When I talked about the Imperial Palace in Longstone, I mentioned that there’s a European style menu at the front (deep fried, black bean sauce, etc) with the more unusual dishes at the back. Wing Sing Inn only has the unusual dishes. Cold pork lung, jellyfish, fried chicken gizzard, all that good stuff.
We were a bit unsure of what to order as we were unfamiliar with most of the dishes. In the end we went for fried dumplings, frog’s legs, and steamed pork belly with preserved vegetables. I also asked for some sparkling water as I’m going through a serious fizzy water kick at the mo’, but sadly they could only offer us tap.
After waiting for what seemed like an eternity (but really wasn’t long at all) our food arrived. It’s funny how your perception of time changes when you’re soaked to the bone due to a freak rainshower.
The dumplings came out first, and I have to say that I’ve never seen them served like this. They were all stuck together like a big dumpling pancake. When we tried to pick them up, the slippery filling fell out and tried to escape. At first we just thought it was because we’re not deft enough with our chopsticks, but then eventually it became apparent that it was an issue with the dumplings themselves not being sealed properly.
Apart from being slippery characters, they were pretty tasty. There was a definite hint of celery in the porky-meaty mixture. Sadly the dipping sauce was a bit lacking, as it just seemed to be a bowl of sharp vinegar. Some soy sauce wouldn’t have gone amiss.
The frog’s legs appeared next. It’s ridiculous, 25 years on the planet before eating a frog. I should be ashamed. What can I say about these tasty little morsels?
They were like super light buffalo wings. The batter was in a tempura style, and the meat itself had a texture similar to fish but with a far milder flavour. Some people say they taste like chicken, but it definitely wasn’t meaty enough to be chicken. The batter had a bit of chilli heat to it, so although they were delicious I did end up gulping down a fair bit of my water!
I would eat these again. Every day.
Funnily enough, despite being pretty ‘normal’, the pork belly disappointed us.
The sauce had a weird taste; almost chocolatey and a bit of star anise while the pork itself was a bit too rich and fatty for me. The texture was very soft, but at the same time it made it seem quite flabby. Neither of us were too keen on it.
The rice was fabulous though; quite sticky, and I wouldn’t have been able to get through the pork without it.
In a way I was disappointed by Wing Sing Inn; having heard so many fabulous things about it, I didn’t feel like it lived up to expectations. I will put it down to the late hour and the fact that we didn’t order anything too adventurous; I reckon going with a group and all ordering something weird and wonderful would make it a far more interesting occassion.