With two thriving restaurants already dominating Birmingham’s Chinese Quarter, I knew that Chung Ying Central was going to be something; And I certainly wasn't disappointed. Combining Cantonese cooking with an Asian style cocktail bar, they’ve hit the nail on the head for a Chinese restaurant in Colmore Row, where everything from after work drinks to intimate meals are catered for.
Adopting a more modern, upmarket style, Chung Ying Central has been kitted out in only the best decor, departing from presumed overt themes. A sleek, luminous cocktail bar dominates the front of the venue, whilst the dining area is awash with rich wooden furniture, lattice lampshades and glamorous black and gold walls.
The Food and Drinks
The menu boasts a wide range of traditional Chinese dishes, with everything from the familiar, to the new and exciting. I ordered the Chicken Yuk Shung and can honestly say it was one of the tastiest things I've ever eaten. But what Chung Ying Central do best is their dim sum; delicious, flavoursome and perfectly cooked small plates of food, that are fantastic for tapas style dining with a cocktail or two.
Chung Ying Central calls itself a cocktail bar too, and after sampling some of their creations, I can see why. As well as the classics, they also boast a selection of unique Zodiac inspired cocktails to choose from, celebrating the Chinese New Year no less. I tried, or shall I say, devoured, this year's special the 'Velvet Horse', a deliciously fruity and well-balanced blend of Absolut Mandarin Vodka, Creme de Mure, Lemon Juice and Cranberry Juice.
Expect to be greeted by the owners like an old family friend when you arrive, and be engulfed in the warm, welcoming nature of the service here throughout the night. With the relaxed ambiance and constant buzz of conversation, the restaurant-cum-bar adopts a lively, easy atmosphere which will keep you there for hours on end whether you're drinking, dining or both.
Though it only opened at the end of last year, this new venue has already earned it's a fantastic reputation and growing population. And after my visit, I can confirm to be a firm fans too! For a winning combination of Chinese food and Oriental cocktails, we suggest you shimmy on down to Chung Ying Central, stat.