As a big fan of Chinese fare and creative cocktails, I was happy to discover that there is a restaurant where I can indulge in both. Even better it’s only a mere 3 miles from my home, located in a convenient spot in Birmingham City Centre, on Colmore Row.
Chung Ying Central is housed in a beautiful old building in the business district of the city. Inside the décor is modern and clean, with a fantastic large bar and plenty of space between tables. But, enough about the setting and onto what is for me, the most important part, the food!
I was really excited about trying the Dim Sum at Chung Ying Central. Having been lucky enough to spend two weeks in Hong Kong with my husband, we both adore Dim Sum but have always found it hard to get in the UK. We both agreed that the Dim Sum at Chung Ying Central is the best we’ve had outside of Hong Kong. The amount of choice is really impressive and we loved the steamed varieties. A lot of Chinese restaurants in the UK serve Dim Sum, but it’s primarily limited to deep fried spring rolls and similar. These are often nice – but not a patch on the amazing flavours from quality ingredients, cooked in traditional bamboo steamers. We tried several different options, all very delicious, but our personal favourites were the Pork and Prawn Siu Mai (so delicious that we had a second portion!) and the Char Sui pork buns, which were light and fluffy, with a sweet and sticky pork filling.
We also tried out various items from the starters and main menus. I think a personal highlight was the duck Yuk Sung. I love this dish but have always had pork in the past, so it was great to try out a different meat. The dish was full of flavour and crunch, which I really enjoyed. Whenever I make yuk sung I always blend the ingredients very finely but the Chung Ying left the meat and vegetables very chunky. I thought this really enhanced the taste and has inspired me to change the way I prepare ours in the future.
When it came to mains I asked for a recommendation, and was told that the crispy pork belly is a hit with many customers. I can see why as this dish was unbelievably tasty, with the pork belly cooked to perfection. The skin was crispy while the meat was tender and delicious. It’s making my mouth water thinking about it! As well as how tasty everything was, I was really impressed with the quality of the food at Chung Ying Central. The ingredients were all clearly high quality and the portions were just right.
The cocktails are also noteworthy as the menu is extensive. The Zodiac cocktails are great fun, there are 12 different ones for each Chinese Zodiac sign. I challenge anyone to not end up trying out their own year! I’m a pig (no comments please) so I chose a Miss Piggy and as my husband is a Horse I tried his for him as he was driving :o). This was a Velvet Horse and both cocktails were incredibly yummy, very fruity and a great combination of tastes.
I would highly recommend Chung Ying Central to anyone who likes Chinese food, or wants to try something different like the Dim Sum. We’re already planning a return visit and I’m looking forward to our next opportunity to go and tuck into Char Sui buns washed down with a cocktail (or three!).
I was offered a free meal at Chung Ying Central with a view to me providing an honest review, which this is.