Were I to find myself on Death Row sentenced for crimes against the English language – and dreading the compulsory TV interview with super-twat Piers Morgan more than execution – the last meal I’d order would be a simple one.
Tamarind chicken wings from the newly-opened Eat Vietnam in the increasingly trendy Stirchley.
They’re gloriously plump and tasty things that have been deep-fried precisely so that they’re crisp skinned and succulent within.
Tamarind gives them a sweet and sour vibe that balances their richness.
There’s a scattering of peanuts that have been gently browned to add to their crunch and flavour.
Abandoning my chopsticks, I used my hands to tuck in eagerly and soon they were messier than those of an over-excited schoolboy.
And they set a high standard that other dishes maintained during an early evening midweek dinner at this place.
Originally a pop-up concept, Eat Vietnam now inhabits small premises that are plainly decorated.
Seating takes the form of benches or stools and many of the tables are long and designed for sharing.
The menu is concise, but ticks the right boxes.
My wife tucked into a generous bowl of banana blossom coconut curry with jasmine rice that was an engaging pale gold colour and had a good whack of chilli heat to counteract the otherwise sweet sauce. She enjoyed it greatly.
The plate of crisp pork belly that I ate rivalled the wings.
Slabs of pig were absurdly tender, the fat properly rendered so that it inhabited that enchanting twilight zone between being liquid and solid.
The crackling retained crunch and on top were flakes of dried chilli to add oomph.
Lightly pickled strips of carrot and cucumber offered freshness.
A bowl of plain jasmine rice was sticky and substantial.
We shared a plate of turmeric fried hake that had a slightly funky flavour from fish sauce and lay in a little pool of sweet vinegar that revived the palate.
Garnishing throughout the dishes was pretty but unfussy and sometimes featured herbs native to south-east Asia but unfamiliar to me.
Eat Vietnam really is a welcome addition to Birmingham’s food scene.
So good, indeed, that I’d even endure Piers Morgan’s inane vain chat so long as I had a plate of those tamarind chicken wings in front of me.
Need to know
We paid £35 for two with plenty of food.
It’s currently unlicensed.
There are vegan and veggie options.
Check the opening times online.
1422 Pershore Road, Stirchley, Birmingham B30 2PH.