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Wings Restaurant Review

Helen Ramsbottom has a bumpy flight at the self-proclaimed 5 star restaurant

Written by . Published on February 8th 2011.

Wings Restaurant Review

The website of Wings states this in its opening sentence: ‘Wing’s is one of the very few 5 star restaurants in Manchester’.

Disappointment aside, being entirely objective it was a letdown dish. It could have been any generic meat, it didn’t possess the distinctive flavour of lamb. It could easily have been thinly sliced chicken. Or beef. Or ostrich. Anything.

There is no accreditation to this accolade. It appears to be a very bold self-assessment. I decided to see if it lived up to its own hype one Friday night.

My accomplice, JP, and I booked for 8pm, but had to take a table at seven as long as it was returned by nine. This seemed to hint at a busy place, maybe that could be interpreted as a good sign.

We ended up late by half an hour but our apologies were brushed aside, as the staff assured us it was fine and ushered us to our seats. As I was sitting they gestured I should change seats as there was a stool waiting to grace the presence of my handbag. Nice touch.

Initial service was impeccable.

The liquid order was taken and delivered, an aperitif each to start, G&T (£5.20) and a Tiger Beer (£4.40) and a bottle of Chablis to accompany the food(£30.90).

On their website Wing’s claim to offer the finest of wines, this seemed the case. An impressive cellar takes pride of place in the restaurant, though the prices are knock-out in a very painful way, not a single bottle under £20 and climbing to a maximum of £999.

I benchmarked these prices against those of the cocktails. A Kir Royal comes in at £12.50 - definitely 5 star pricing.

A comprehensive dim sum and starter selection meant debate on what to start with. Spotting the Rolls Royce of dim sum we ordered the seafood soup dumpling at £5.40 for one piece. In context, other dim sum, were a more reasonable, £3.40-£3.90 and in plural form.

The food when it arrived was underwhelming. The soup was a thin tasteless broth and while full of chunks of different seafood, the dumpling wasn’t starting a party on my kisser on the flavour front.

Conversely the chilli diced duck lettuce wrap (£8.90) was much livelier. Packing a considerable punch it had cheeky chilli and chunks of chestnut in abundance. Slight dicey moment as my friend has intolerance to certain nuts and their presence wasn’t flagged on the menu. Luckily no anaphylactic shock ensued. This was a cute little DIY dish where you scooped the contents into lettuce leaves making your own wrap. Those taste buds were starting to get their groove on.

Equally impressive were the ribs. Not being able to call it between salt & pepper versus barbecue we requested to go half and half. Perfectly happy to accommodate this for £10.10 we were presented with a fine flavoursome, fleshy feast. I do hate it when ribs are more bone than meat. These didn’t disappoint.

Salt and pepper ribsDespite our delayed arrival the restaurant asked if we’d like a break before our mains. Ten minutes would be fab thanks. It turned out to be closer to thirty. This is where it struck that the initial insistence to have the table back by 9pm was unnecessary unless they’d had some cancellations through the course of the evening. The place was hardly bursting at the seams.

The long wait wasn’t worth it: everything fell apart at the main event.

Deep fried spicy scallops in Tsing Tao beer batter (£19.90) were so buried in the batter an archaeologist would have struggled to hoist them out. Once I’d hacked my way through, the spicy element was entirely absent. Quality scallops but lacking in advertised spice.

Worse was to follow as Wing's got the order wrong with the lamb dish.

Food is a passion, no move is made lightly when it comes to matters of the tummy. Expecting the sizzling sliced lamb in black pepper sauce (£11.90) we were served sans sizzle simply sliced lamb in black pepper sauce (£10.90). No oohs and aahs when the spitting and spluttering plate should have made its way to us.

Alerting the waitress to this error she mumbled something indecipherable and showed me on the menu the item we had been served saying ‘No sizzling platter’.

Drawing her attention to the page titled ‘Sizzling Platters’ she ‘aahd’ but that was about it. Conscious the clock was ticking I didn’t request they replace it but nor were they falling over themselves to offer to do this. Mental note there’s a reason each dish has a number.

Disappointment aside, being entirely objective it was a letdown dish. It could have been any generic meat, it didn’t possess the distinctive flavour of lamb. It could easily have been thinly sliced chicken. Or beef. Or ostrich. Anything.

This was a very uneven meal. Decent starters, welcoming service, good environment and then poor mains and big muddle. Five star, not really. The food doesn’t reach those highs unless we’re judging against an eight star standard.

I’ve had tastier take outs from Blue Ginger.

Breakdown:6/10 food
3/5 service
3/5 ambience
Address:Wing’s Restaurant
1 Lincoln Square
City Centre
M2 5LN

Tel: 0161 834 9000

Venues are rated against the best examples of their kind: fine dining against the best fine dining, cafes against the best cafes. Following on from this the scores represent: 1-5 saw your leg off and eat it, 6-9 get a DVD, 10-11 if you must, 12-13 if you’re passing,14-15 worth a trip,16-17 very good, 17-18 exceptional, 19 pure quality, 20 perfect. More than 20: Gordo gets carried away

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35 comments so far, continue the conversation, write a comment.

John HarrisFebruary 7th 2011.

I still miss the Lincoln....

Richard WallFebruary 7th 2011.

I have only tried this place once but had good food and excellent service. Green tea in didsbury is good at the moment despite limited menu.

EditorialFebruary 7th 2011.

John, isn't that because you sell boat rides to tourists in the Cayman Islands offering one trips to the Bermuda Triangle. Or are we geographically confused?

John HarrisFebruary 7th 2011.

No I occasionally go on alcoholic boat rides, but my daily grind is recovering money from fraudsters...

And as for geographical confusion, you should probably check a map for the respective locations of Bermuda and the Cayman Islands :)

I used to love the Lincoln as a venue for lost alcoholic afternoons - and Wings has never been much of a replacement.

AnonymousFebruary 7th 2011.

Wildly overrated place this. Distinctly average and a lazy choice given the plethora of decent alternatives in this city.

AvoFebruary 7th 2011.

Surely such a delicate thing as a scallop would warrant a gossamer thin tempura batter rather than a thick jacket of doughy stuff?

mikeFebruary 8th 2011.

Ha...if it really wasn't up to scratch, I would take that as a hint they'd rather you not eat there! Wings is an absolute top restaurant...I've probably dined there well over 50 times, and without exception, the food has always been first class, as has the service. Wings is on par with Royal China Club, Hakkasan, and better than Yauatcha in London....not sure who you are to review Restaurants, but I'd wager you don't eat out in Good restaurants regularly....

TrueAllergySuffererFebruary 8th 2011.

"Slight dicey moment as my friend has intolerance to certain nuts and their presence wasn´t flagged on the menu. Luckily no anaphylactic shock ensued"

What is it with people and their "intolerances"?? I suffer serious allergies and dining out can often be like minesweeping. And its because of people who are willing to eat a dish full of nuts despite their "nut allergy" that there are restaurants/chefs/waiters who fail to pay enough attention to the requests of true allergy sufferers.

PaulFebruary 8th 2011.

"Can I have a Table for 8". "No you can have one at 7". "ok tat tar"

mikeFebruary 8th 2011.

Wings have been top re: allaergies etc....friends with Cashew, Chilli (!!) and egg (??) allergies have all been caterred for superbly......
I've also witnessed Wing throw a party of 6 high on Champagne out of the restaurant for 'mickey taking' his staff...First class!

CHALLFebruary 8th 2011.

I find the review totally unbelieveable. Wings is the nicest and classiest chinese restaurant I have ever been to. The service is outstanding and the food has always been amazing. The restaurant is always full of celebrities who obviously know good food...so I would recommend that you revist the restaurant as you must have been having a bad day!!

GedFebruary 8th 2011.

Chall, "...celebrities who obviously know good food..." Specific celebs in mind or just a sweeping assumption?

MalleyFebruary 8th 2011.

Reviews like this - on websites like this - are why Manchester hasn't got that many decent eateries...celebrate the good in Manchester restaurants, don't try and make a name for yourself by being controversial. And don't get me started on Gordo.

AnonymousFebruary 8th 2011.

"...celebrities who obviously know good food..." sounds like the kind of thing a PR person for Wing would write, knowing that Manchester's food and drink scene is as much about which "celebrity" eats there as it about good food.

M30February 8th 2011.

"The restaurant is always full of celebrities who obviously know good food"

Like Wayne Rooney and other monosyllabic footballers?

Wings is a only "classy" Chinese restaurant for those who:

• prefer shopping in the Trafford Centre to the City Centre
• holiday in Dubai
• think Panacea oozes sophistication

mikeFebruary 8th 2011.

methinks M30 is well and truly ensconced in downtown Eccles....

IainJFebruary 8th 2011.

I've eaten at Wings quite a few times, and always found the food excellent and the service even better. It's one of my favourite restaurants in Manchester to take visitors, particularly when I want to impress. Not sure what the reviewer is on, but I have observed that poor service is sometimes a symptom of an impolite diner...

EugeneFebruary 8th 2011.

I rate Wings as the best chinese in Mcr city centre by a long way (although Oceans Treasure is an excellent (relative) newcomer).
Compare this to Vermillion and it probably isn't as good although that too can be a little hit and miss.

I really can't understand all these rants suggesting the reviewer is wrong or mistaken...if you weren't there dining with her, then how the hell would you know?!

Next time - try the jellyfish - i love that stuff.

WhitesidesOnsideFebruary 8th 2011.

M30 - how do you know that Wayne Rooney doesn't know the difference between good food and bad? Are you referring to the fact that he's a footballer? Do all footballers lack sophisticated taste buds? Are you alluding to the fact that he has enjoyed a less than privileged upbringing in a relativley poor area of Liverpool? I really don't understand why/how you make the connection between a lack of taste in a culinary sense and Wayne Rooney?

John McFebruary 8th 2011.

Been to Wings many times and always received first class food and service. Dont normally rant but some of the above comments are not the Wings I know. Just cant please some people!!

ScouseSiFebruary 8th 2011.

I agree about the mouth-watering ribs, but the rest of your 'review' is absurd. The food at Wings has always been top notch whenever I've dined there, while the service has been far and away the best I've experienced in a Manchester restaurant.

stFebruary 8th 2011.

I completely disagree with the review. Have dined at Wings frequently and have always had great food and great service.

Tom SFebruary 8th 2011.

Did the reviewer definitely go to Wings? I've eaten there a number of times, and can guarantee that I'll be going again...many more times.

Readers - take my advice and ignore this utterly terrible review. The positive views in the comments section speak for themselves.

AnonymousFebruary 9th 2011.

The original Wings in Cheadle Hulme was always excellent but very over priced and I don´t mind paying for good food.
Beluga from Bramall failed when it attempted the move to Manchester city centre, now owned by someone else and doing quite well. Maybe they should stick to being local rather than trying to take on the busy city centre.

Wing wongFebruary 9th 2011.

What puts me off wings is the waitressses habit of serving you weaeing surgical gloves , they also take the wine off the table and appear at random intervals to refill your glass. I'm not incapable of tipping some wine in ! The foods ok but not inspiring and as for celebs , what celebs?

M30February 9th 2011.

South Central Monton has a paucity of Chinese restaurants, Mike.
Whitesideonside, I presume you're having a laugh. Wayne Rooney ordered something like £125 of McDonalds for his stag night, so the Palate of John Torode he has not.
My final word on this is that Wings is the New Yang Sing, and seems a vehicle for its owners ego. Wings fawn over any two bit celebrity and any third division footballer they can get through the door (trainers welcome) and everyone else can get to hell.

Very average food and disgraceful service only just better than the Yang Sing. Much much better Chinese and Oriental offerings in Manchester.

Michael WayneFebruary 9th 2011.

I have eaten Chinese food in and from all the different regional influences in China and in restaurants in other countries around the world and it is quite clear that Wings is just another one of the thousands of mediocre Chinese restaurants that populate our fair island. Ken Hom it is not although it tries to be.
Have been 3 times. Once paid for by myself huge bill (never again) and other 2 times taken for business reasons.
I can understand why the eloquent, sophisticated, elegant and stylish personality Mr Rooney eats there.
What really gets me is how on earth do the restaurants in and around Manchester think they can charge London prices.

WhitesidesOnsideFebruary 9th 2011.

M30 09 February 2011, 09:09
Whitesideonside, I presume you're having a laugh. Wayne Rooney ordered something like £125 of McDonalds for his stag night, so the Palate of John Torode he has not.

No, i'm not having a laugh M30. He's also eaten at more top notch Michelin starred restaurants both in our fine Captial and around the world than you have had hot diners you pompous buffoon. Unless you actaully know the guy and have experienced at first hand his lack of a sophisticated palate, then i suggest you put your media driven opinions of people to one side.

AnonymousFebruary 9th 2011.

Man Con put them out of their agony and call Mr Rooney's publicist and ask where he eats out or if he employs a chef at home? I thought his favourite was that place in Spring Gardens!

M30February 9th 2011.

I wasn't aware the general public had access to my full dining records, Whitesideonside
I've said my piece and you, sir, have got personal. Absolutely no need.

Mr NandoFebruary 9th 2011.

I can confirm I did the catering for the Rooney Wedding.

elpollolocoFebruary 9th 2011.

Awful restaurant serving takeaway standard food to westerners who know no better but want to spot z isters. There is good reason Chinese people don't frequent this place. Maybe Wayne Rooney has eaten in many michelin starred restaurants..he's got the cash to do so.....stil prefers a Mcdonalds though..says it all really.

AnonymousFebruary 9th 2011.

Where do Chinese people eat out in Manchester?

elpollolocoFebruary 9th 2011.

For me, it has to be Glamorous on Sat/sun/monday afternoons. This is when many Chinese have a family meal. The dim sum served at this place is top class and the clientele is 90% Chinese families having a great time. My 1 year old daughter partcilularly rates the steamed turnip cake, cheung fun, and char sui bau. in the evening they generally cater for the English prawn cracker,spare ribs, sweet and sour crowd...I can't comment on that though. Others include Tai Wu and Ocean Treasure for good dim sum as well as Red Chilli for something different(lots of chinese eat here also) . To summarise though, you'll find many restaurants in Chintown that have a lots of Chinese customers, I can even remember many years ago when the Yang Sing was full of them!!!

SimonSK7February 10th 2011.

Elpolloloco - WIng used to be the manager of the Yang Sing before it burnt down then he started Wings in Cheadle hulme. ALthough I totally agree with your Chinese preference reastaurant. But for the sticky carpet and poor decor the Kwok Man is 75% Chinese particularly at night. I dont think they even encourage anything else. WIngs is OK just overpriced and you can get the same standard for a lot less at many of the Chinese restaurants around. I do like the Tai Wu. Happy New Year

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