I was invited to Chung Ying Central to sample their new menu and give open and honest feedback. All food and drinks were complementary.
Over the years I’ve had the pleasure of sitting at a fair few ‘Captain’s Table’ food events across Birmingham. If you’re not familiar with the term, it usually means sitting at the ‘head table’ in the restaurant where the chef comes out and tells you more about their new pickings and what they have to offer. Being a blogger has its perks, obviously. After closing for a short period of time over Christmas, their recent January opening showcased new menu items and I can happily say, the food is more fantastic now that it’s ever been.
On arrival I headed straight to the bar area where I saw our host for the evening – Adam, from Hoot Hospitality. Within seconds I was handed a glass of wine (Adam knows his stuff) and I took a few moments to mingle with other renowned foodie bloggers across Birmingham. Company was marvellous as usual, and we sat at the high table at the front of the restaurant with an impressive menu laid before us.
Over the course of the night, our glasses were topped up with a variety of stunning red and white wines provided by Connolly’s. I tend to drink a lot of red if I know I’m having Chinese food and as expected, the pairings were gorgeous. We had 3 courses to smash through, beginning with some Bao samples. Bao is becoming more popular across Brum so I was eager to sample the Sweet Potato Katsu (V) which is filled with Crispy seaweed, Kimchi and Tonkatsu sauce. It has the perfect crunch, right amount of sweet filling and is a fantastic starter priced at £5. The Beijing Duck, also worth 5 of your golden coins, is a simplistic white fluffy parcel of joy sandwiched with Cucumber, Leek and Hoisin – easily demolished in two bites. Duck is my favourite ever meat, and understandably so when it’s this gorgeous. It was by far my favourite of the two.
Typhoon Prawns & Kimchi Dumplings
Forgive my filthy ways, but I like getting dirty with my food. There’s something satisfying about eating prawns, pulling off the tail and biting out the insides. Perhaps it’s why I love eating spare ribs so much, you have to work for your food a bit more. Being able to try one of the prawns (£20 for the full whack) which are served with the shell on; seasoned in Dried chilli, Black bean, Garlic – they are moorish and satisfying. The tender morsels of fishy flesh, paired with a monthlong celebration of dumplings (£4) is a winning combo.
Course Three: All The Trimmings
The third part of the meal was highly anticipated with promise of Stewed Belly Pork with Pickled Vegetables (£10), Crispy Pork Intestines with Hoisin Sauce (£7), Black Pepper Rib Eye Beef (£15), Salted Egg Lobster (£28), Buddah’s Delight of Chinese veg, Mix fungi & tofu, Vermicelli, Fermented tofu paste (£10) and Fried Glutinous Rice. Each table shared small plates of each course so hardly any went to waste. I can’t get over how rich the Belly Pork was, by far the winning dish for me. The crispy intestines were also a different take on Chinese cuisine and tasted a lot like gristle. A lot of people were put off by it but I’m not embarrassed to say I ate my fair share. The rest of the sharing dishes were very filling, packed full of flavouring and not too overwhelming.
What I like about Chung Ying Central is that the food isn’t pretentious and is great value for money. I know a lot of people who visit on a lunch time, something I’m still yet to do. I can honestly say nothing I tried on the night disappointed me, not even the intestines. I really love their new menu options and would go back alone just to try more duck bao. You can check out their full menu here.
Huge thanks to Hoot Hospitality, Chung Ying Central and Connolly’s Wine for watering and feeding us. It was a fantastic night. Please note: I was invited to Chung Ying Central Captain’s Table to sample the food and to give honest feedback. All thoughts, photos and opinions are my own.
Modern Chinese restaurant, part of a local chain, serving classic dim sum and cocktails. 126 Colmore Row, Birmingham B3 3AP