Monday, January 26, 2009

Yet More Fun Playing with Chinese Food at Wonton Gourmet

A group of 10 joined us this time (for a total of 12 diners) at Wonton Gourmet & BBQ for lunch last Saturday. (3211 Payne Avenue, Cleveland (no website, (216) 875-7000).) I know I've blogged incessantly about Wonton Gourmet before, but I just can't stop myself. The food is that good.

Concerned that a Wednesday write-up in the Cleveland Plain Dealer might cause a run on the restaurant, we convened at 11:30am. Thomas, the owner, explained that the yellow "specials" banners had all come down, because new ones were in the process of being prepared, with photos and English translations. Wonderful news! The new menu is also improved in that it includes all or most of the formerly "special" dishes.

Two types of tea were offered to our table - the standard Jasime tea and "Flower Tea". Since I'd never had the latter, I opted to try it.

Almost colorless, the tea had a strong flavor. Interesting, but probably an acquired taste.

We started our meal with the Fish Maw & Dried Conpoy soup:

Note the large chunks of fish maw - the fluffy white balls at 3 o'clock and 6 o'clock.

We also finally got to try the Chinese Donut with Rice Noodle:

It was most delicious. Our table consumed three plates worth.

We next enjoyed the turnip cake and Chive Potstickers; these photos are from previous visits:

Turnip Cake

Chive Potstickers

We also tried another "new" appetizer - "Braised Beef Combinations."

Platters of cold delights such as this are common in Chinese cuisine, but most Americans don't realize that there is a whole repertoire of cold dishes. Our platter featured sliced beef (from the shank) which was perfumed with Star Anise and melted in the mouth - even though it looked like it should be tough, it wasn't. The eggs also benefited from a marinade of some sort, and the pickled vegetables in the center were house-made. The only item that was less than a hit (though we finished every bit of it) was the stuffed pig intestine, which are the oval shaped items on top. I tasted it - and to my palate, it was definitely a taste to be acquired.

Our server explained that they offer several different meats for this platter, and promised we would get a different variety if we tried it again.

After a pause to order entrees and digest, the hits started coming!

Y'Shiang Eggplant

Clams with Black Bean Sauce

Salt & Pepper Calamari

The fresh hot chiles on this plate, and the crispy garlic, were especially delicious!

Mixed Seafood & Chinese Vegetables in XO Sauce

Our server, Man Chong, explained that the secret to XO Sauce is the dried conpoy (or scallop). This was fabulous - though most of the seafood was gone by the time I got to this plate.

Steak with Black Pepper Sauce

Yum. My Chinese Cooking Teacher, Jo-Mel, would approve!

Sauteed Ningko with Two Types of Chinese Sausages

These house-made rice cake ovals are simply heavenly - and made even better with house-made lap cheong and bacon!

Roast Duck

Succulent and lip-smacking good.

Sauteed Pea Leaves with Garlic

We were too stuffed from this repast to even consider the orange slices offered to us as dessert!

Wonton Gourmet continues to impress and to feed us fabulous Hong Kong and Cantonese cuisine. We'll be baaack!

Wonton Gourmet on Urbanspoon


  1. Oh, man, does that ever look yummy! Too bad I was knee deep in an opera to join you guys this time!

  2. I know this may not be the most appropriate question, but I am a younger foodie on a budget. So, I was wondering, since they do not have a is Wonton Gourmet priced? I would probably get carryout, and was wondering about how much it would be for something like a kung pao chicken dinner and the turnip cake appetizer? Thanks, Nancy! That turnip cake looks incredible.

  3. Hi Ryan! Wonton Gourmet's prices are incredibly reasonable. The 12 of us each paid a total of $12 per person for all of that food at menu prices, plus tip. The more people you have, the cheaper it gets!

    The turnip cake is $2.50. I don't know how much the Kung Po Chicken is, but it is certainly less than $10 an order.

    But I would urge you to skip the Kung Po - go for one of the rice plates, which range from $5.50-$7.50 and have wonderful food (you can get duck for $5.50!), or noodles - a huge bowl of Ramen is $6-7, and the Hong Kong soups are also $5-7.


  4. Thanks, Nancy! Do you recall some of the options for the rice or noodle plates? I do like duck, but are there any chicken or steak once that you recommend or remember. To give you an idea of what I like, I love anything made with nuts (peanuts, cashews, almonds) and I am a fan of spicy foods. Any rice dishes or noodle plates that fit 1 or both of those? Sorry for all the I said, I'm a young foodie still learning!

  5. Ryan - if you send me an email at plays with food (one word, no spaces) at yahoo dot com, I'll scan in and email the small menu to you.

    Asking questions is a great way to learn - don't apologize!