Wonderful Woks and wicked wings
Walking through the door following the delicious scent of Chinese food being freshly cooked at Fortune Cookie on Raglan Road, people often stopped in their tracks thinking they had come into the wrong restaurant.
Talking to the Asian Express, owner Kamran Ayub said: “Puzzled, they would ask if this was a Chinese takeaway. I would laugh and then go through the same routine of bringing the chefs from the kitchen so the customers could see they were actually Chinese.
“They couldn’t understand how someone from a Pakistani background was serving at the counter of a Chinese takeaway. What they didn’t know was that this was the first 100 per cent Halal Chinese restaurant in Yorkshire.”
That was 18 years ago, and Kamran explains it’s been hard work to establish Halal Chinese food as an option for the Muslim community, but “finally we feel our hard work has paid off. Now we are firmly established as the premier Halal Chinese.”
For the Muslim community in Leeds, Chinese food was ‘off the menu’ unless it was Halal.
“Since we opened, we have realised how far people were travelling to try our all-Halal Chinese food,” Kamran said.
“We’ve had to expand the Fortune Cookie franchize and now there are two more restaurants – one in Dewsbury and another in Bradford.”
The sparkling new restaurants are run by people who’ve trained in Leeds and taken their expertise to these two cities.
“Fortune Cookie is the only place where you can go to sit down, have a delicious Chinese meal and then follow it all up with a selection of delicious desserts like waffles, homemade cheesecakes and a selection of fantastic milkshakes.”
The Leeds branch is currently being refurbished and the team are hoping to have it ready by September so that customers will be able to enjoy the newly expanded premises.
“We’re going to have seating for around 30 people and because there’s such a demand for dishes like our famous spicy wings, we’re going to be open from 11am ‘til late,” adds Kamran.
The wings and chips at Fortune Cookie have been getting everyone into a bit of a flap, with people travelling from all over the country to try out their signature dish.
“Our chef uses a secret spice rub which has been tweaked to perfection over the years,” Kamran smiled.
It’s true. The wings at Fortune Cookie are a hit of fire, crunch and all things scrumptious - sitting crisp-skinned and juicy amongst golden chips. Their snap builds nice and slowly to a friendly scorch which is balanced and tempered by the potato.
Fortune Cookie are hoping that the older generation of people who didn’t have a choice in what they could order because Halal Chinese wasn’t available 20 years ago will “come in and try them now.”
“I’m positive they will be pleasantly surprised. Fortune Cookie are pioneers in bringing Halal Chinese cuisine to Yorkshire and we are hoping that you will come down to one of our restaurants to try out one of our fantastic dishes – whether that be a Kung-Po, Stir-Fry Noodles or our famous wings and chips,” Kamran adds.
Fortune Cookie is certainly as fortunate as its name suggests, having enjoyed tremendous business over the years.
Luckier still are its customers, who get to taste some of the finest Chinese food in town.
81 Raglan Rd, Leeds LS2 9DZ
Phone:0113 244 2228
1 Grove Terrace, Bradford BD7 1AU
50 Bradford Rd, Dewsbury WF13 2DU