“ Bristol Road / Northfield / Birmingham / Tel: 01214759991. „
Have been going to the Emerald over the past few years and it is usually very good. But our last visit a few days back was disappointing. I appreciate businesses have to tighten belts but there were less dishes on offer and it was so cold in the restaurant, many were keeping their coats on. Going for a pee was even worse, you could have been in a field it was so cold in there. The hand dryer didn't work (I thought I could at least warm my hands!). Apart from this, the food was only warm and the plates has not been heated. We were disappointed as we have in the past had lovely meals here. Wont be going back for some time.
visiting this restaurant in July 2010 was a very big mistake. The flooring was dirty and ripped, we should have turned around straight away. the food was dire, such poor quality we were surprised that anyone would ever consider returning to this establishment. i hate to think what the kitchens were like, the glimpse we had wasn't reassuring. so apart from the terrible, overpriced food, non existant atmosphere and still charging for tap water, we did manage to have a spoilt birthday celebration. So thanks emerald, you did yourselves proud!
The Emerald Cantonese Restaurant (Birmingham)
by Dianne - written on 15/04/10
Rating: They refused to give a free glass of tap water - despite the fact that we are frequent customers and had already purchased a meal and alcohol. I have a medical conditon and regular drinking water is vital throughout the day. They insisted on charging 50p and I refused.
I hope if they are still trying to charge now, they will get sued at this restaurant. To charge for drinking water is sheer greed.
Apart from this, we found it rather cold in the restaurant although the heating was in fact on - and this seems to be the case if you arrive around 6 pm of a winter or even maybe a Spring night.
Sometimes the food trays are not very well-maintained and the food is not that hot..If you use the restaurant at the other end of this restaurant, you can be waited on and have more freshly cooked food.
One positive thing is that you can usually get a table on a Friday or Saturday night without booking if you do go earlier than say 7.30pm. (buffet anyway).
Cost is reasonable, and cheaper in the week.
Re. The Emerald Rest, Birmingham Canonese.
They refused to give a free glass of tap water - despite the fact that we are frequent customers and had already purchased a meal and alcohol. I have a medical conditon and regular drinking water is vital throughout the day. They insisted on charging 50p and I refused.I hope if they are still trying to charge now, they will get sued at this restaurant. To charge for drinking water is sheer greed.Re. The Emerald Rest, Birmingham Canonese.
When it was my sister's birthday in March she got to choose where we went for her birthday dinner, she loves Chinese food so we went to The Emerald Chinese buffet restaurant which is in South Birmingham.
The food was that nice that when I was given the choice last week about where to go for Sunday dinner because our cooker was broke I immediately chose to go back there.
There's loads of choice about what to eat and I was glad it was a buffet so I could keep going back again and again and filling my plate. I'm not a massive eater but stuffed my face until I was nearly sick on Sunday because everything is so good.
They set the food out with starters and nibbles on one side. There is a wicked choice on this bit and I ended up trying everything I reckon. I loved the hoi sin duck pancakes because you could help yourself to the stuff and that was good for me because I like loads of hoi sin sauce on the duck so I made them exactly how I like them.
There's also stuff like crispy pork, chicken wings, mini spring rolls, crispy seaweed and spare ribs and loads more. Everything I tried was brill and as good as any Chinese food I've had in a non buffet restaurant but one of the best things is the prawn toasts because they are thick with prawns and have got so many sesame seeds on them that it makes the toast wickedly crunchy.
The main meals part is great as well with food like curries, chow mein, noodles, Cantonese battered pork as well as loads of different rices and saucy wet meals. There was one that I can't remember the name of but it had massive prawns in a spicy tomato sauce and that was to die for and I'd love to know what it was so I could order it from the Chinese.
They have a soup as well and it has been chicken and sweetcorn both times I've been and I don't like that soup so haven't tried it but my mum loves it and had bowls of it on Sunday with prawn crackers broke up into it.
There are some puddings in the fridge by the food and they are nice. It's mainly cakes that have been brought but they're nice and you can help yourself to as much as you like. They have some fruit selections and jelly as well but by the time I'd eaten all my main courses I didn't have a lot of room left for pudding but I did force some banana fritters down which were the best I've had in ages.
As well as the buffet you can order from the menu like in any Chinese and they do a few different English meals as well so that if someone you go with doesn't like Chinese they can still join in the fun. They are licensed but the bar doesn't stock a lot of the most popular drinks so you're stuck with all the standard lagers and Smirnoff and stuff like that.
The prices are quite good. At lunchtime the buffet is about £5.50 and at night and on Sunday it's £8.00 but when it's dearer there is more choice and they set loads of different dishes out. I reckon it's worth it because just one Chinese meal and starter comes to about £8.00 in my local Chinese take away and in The Emerald you get loads more food for your money.
Last week we decided to go out for Sunday lunch, but left it too late to get a table at any of the local carveries. I fancied something a bit different so we went to a Cantonese restaurant on the other side of Birmingham; Id heard good things about the place so thought it was worth the drive.
And it was. As well as an extensive Cantonese menu the restaurant offers a full time buffet which, as soon as I saw was all you can eat, I immediately chose. My partner had the same and my fussy Mother in Law ate Roast Chicken & Chips from the English menu.
The choice of foods in the buffet area is amazing. You basically inform one of the staff that you want the buffet and they tell you to go ahead and orders for menu meals are taken at your table. All the different plates and cutlery are stacked within the buffet area so you can help yourself. The foods are served from the kind of warming counter you see keeping the pies hot in the chippy, but with a gap so you can serve yourself. Its all very hygienic with each serving dish having its own spoon/fork contraption, when new dishes are added the old dish is removed and a new one put in its place rather than just pouring the contents into a dirty dish unlike Pizza Hut who use the same serving dish all day, just topping up the contents for their buffet.
One large serving area holds all the starters and nibbles, while another contains all the rice and main courses. Next to this is a chiller where you can choose from prawns, salad or fruit with a small choice of gateaux and desserts. The plates and cutlery are housed on conveniently placed tables along with urns containing soup.
I love the layout of the buffet area as its easy to work out what youre putting on your plate thanks to the well placed labels, its kept scrupulously clean and I can go up AS MANY TIMES AS I LIKE! The area itself is on a low level and there is plenty of room between the serveries, which is important to me as (although they werent with me this time) my children would love the idea of serving themselves to whatever Chinese food they like and this would make the visit more special for them.
The first time I went up I piled my plate with a selection from the starters section. The banana fritters were delicious; crispy batter with a soft and fluffy centre which were absolutely wonderful drizzled with syrup. Chicken seems to be the word of the day here; battered chicken balls, shredded crispy chicken, Chinese chicken skewers, chicken goujons. I tried most of it and was surprised at how authentic it was; as it was a buffet I wasnt convinced the food was going to be as good as my fantastic local Chinese restaurant. It was.
Theres an absolutely brilliant choice of dishes and the Emerald have thought of everything you could need to have a delicious feast. All of the food was fabulously cooked and tasted fresh which, again, surprised me as it had been kept warm rather than served immediately after cooking. All the popular Cantonese dishes are available, along with a selection of rice, noodles and vegetables. I was happy to see Cantonese Chicken in Sweet & Sour Sauce as its my all time favourite dish this was perfect, moist tender chicken cooked as only the Cantonese can with a rich sweet & sour sauce. Huge chunks of pineapple and red pepper gave a delicious substance to the sauce, as did the pile of noodles Id hidden underneath this red sticky sauce. Yummy. While I was piling my plate a member of staff advised me to top this with a sprinkling of shredded pork and this was so tasty, try it!
The Chicken & Cashew Nut dish is worth a mention too, but then so is everything on the menu I cant describe everything available as the review would be twenty pages long! Just take my word that everything I tried was delicious; I actually ate until I felt queasy! The Emerald have thought of everything; theres a stack of pancakes and Hoisin Sauce for you to make your own Shredded Duck Pancakes, syrup for the fritters, cream for the gateau and (of course) several varieties of soy sauce. The Crabmeat & Sweetcorn Soup is to die for and proper Chinese bowls and ladles are available should you feel the need to go for the true oriental eating experience. A nice touch.
My Mother in Laws chicken and chips from the menu was amazing value. For £9 she got the biggest dinner plate Ive ever seen literally piled with food. No stingy chicken quarter here ala the average Chinese takeaway, she *did* get a quarter but it was from possibly the biggest chicken in the country! I watched how the meat crumbled as she cut into it and she commented on how moist and tasty it was. There was a mountain of fresh, tasty chips which I assume are home made as they were so tasty. Peas, salad and mushrooms made this an absolutely massive dinner which she managed to put away, as Mother in Laws do!
To add the finishing touch to your meal, the Emerald is fully licensed and serves a good selection of lagers and spirits at reasonable prices. An extensive wine menu is available, but as I was driving I didnt look at it and the wines arent displayed behind the bar so I cant comment of the quality of wine available. The spirits were all top brand and J20 is sold, along with liqueur coffees and fresh juice.
Service in the Emerald is fantastic. Staff are constantly at hand to take orders, answer queries and even give advice on dishes. Before I went up the second time I asked as I couldnt have stood the embarrassment of getting more food to discover Id only paid for one visit! The waiter (for want of a better word) was friendly and polite as he assured me I could quite literally eat as much as I wanted, all staff speak excellent English so communication isnt a problem as it is in some takeaways.
The layout is good for a restaurant which caters for everyone; doorways are wide, tables well spaced and lots of room to manoeuvre meaning wheelchair users and pushchairs can get around easily. A gentleman in a wheelchair was dining at the same time as us and a member of staff promptly found the most suitable table for him and removed a chair so he could move around easily. Brilliant customer satisfaction. The restaurant is beautifully decorated with some gorgeous Chinese themed water features, this makes the Emerald a relaxing place to spend a couple of hours and eat wonderful food.
A buffet lunch on a Sunday costs just £6.50 per person, and this is amazing value. If Id ordered what Id eaten from a typical menu it would have cost me upwards of £15 so the savings for greedy people (ie. me!) is excellent. During the week and on a Saturday prices depend on the time and day you plan to eat, with prices for the buffet peaking at £10.50. I fancied a treat this week so price wasnt really an issue, but if you want to know roughly how much youll be spending Id suggest phoning first to check for the times youll get the best value for money. The meal is worth easily a tenner anyway so fill your boots!
The Emerald used to be quite a famous pub called The George and is located on Bristol Road South, near the old Rover plant in Longbridge. Finding it is easy, simply get onto the A38 Bristol Road in Birmingham City Centre (or anywhere in the Midlands) and drive in a straight line until you see the large gold dragons heralding your arrival at the Emerald. Its that simple.
The Emerald Cantonese Restaurant
Bristol Road South
Tel: 0121 4759991