Chicken wings are glorious things – sticky, tender, packing more flavour than any other part of the the bird.
And during my long years of gluttony I’ve consumed so many of the things that it’s rather surprising I’ve not begun clucking, laying eggs and flying.
I’ve scoffed them in posh Michelin-starred restaurants, from street food vendors, in pubs and at pop-ups.
None, though, matches those I ate at Modu, a Korean restaurant situated in an old factory in a semi-industrial backstreet near Chinatown.
This place is a absolute gem and and its wings are, I reckon, the best in Birmingham.
The fried wings are a bit of an anomaly at Modu, for most of the food is prepared without recourse to hot oil.
Ingredients are fermented, marinated, served raw or steamed or boiled. But what matters is that its dishes are tasty and satisfying.
Which is certainly true of the wings – morsels of meat in a sweet crunchy coating scattered with crushed peanuts and served with crisp, refreshing mooli.
They came during a set four-course dinner that featured far more than four dishes and cost a ridiculously low £15.
It began with mottled green parcels of thin, crisp, light batter encasing a seafood filling with a real ozone zing.
Next came a superb dish of sweet potato noodles with beef and a side serving of kimchi – the Korean relish made from fermented cabbage.
This was a stunning combination – the sweet noodles contrasting gorgeously with the pokey kimchi.
Three meat courses – pork, beef and chicken – were shared between me and my companions and were varied and flavoursome.
A plate of sweetly pickled vegetables, egg rolls, a bowl of vibrantly sharp marinated raw salmon, sticky rice and side salads were all wonderful accompaniments.
Here was a meal that was thoughtfully constructed, skilfully prepared and served in a pretty but not prissy way.
The contrasts of flavours, colours and textures show there’s talent in the kitchen.
Modu is run by a mother and daughter who are welcoming and utterly passionate about food and hospitality.
They’re chatty and friendly and are keen to explain the dishes and processes used to produce them.
The premises take up ground-floor space in an atmospheric old factory.
There’s a dining area at the front, a further eating area in a room at the back and a courtyard that, in summer, must be a delightful place to sit.
Don’t expect posh decor – it’s pared down and unfussy. But it’s comfortable, quirky and homely.
The drinks list is short, with cocktails, beers, wines, soft drinks and spirits, many of them unknown and from Korea. A bottle of wine costs £15.
Need to know
Check out the £15 set menu – incredible value.
A la carte options are available.
The place is child-friendly.
There’s on-street and P&D parking nearby.
Opening hours vary so check Modu’s Facebook page or by phoning.
113 Bishop Street, Birmingham B5 6JL. 0121 439 0123.