Tuesday 3 March 2015

Food Review: Chung Ying Central Birmingham

If you're familiar with the Birmingham food scene you may have heard of Chung Ying, one of the biggest and best known Chinese restaurants in the city. Chung Ying Central is the newest Chung Ying in the heart of the City's business and finance district.

Beef Brisket Pho

Contemporary in decor, Chung Ying Central is right on Colmore Row near to Snow Hill train station. I mention this because they have a full bar as well as some very good bartenders who make fabulous alcoholic and non-alcoholic cocktails, so you may find it handy to have a train station nearby!

Back to the food, I decided to try out the Express Menu as it's not often that I venture out for a meal at lunchtime. With plenty of menu options, the Express Menu lets you choose between soup, dim sim and traditional Chinese and Oriental dishes such as Yaki Soba and Chicken Katsu starting at a very reasonable £5.95 for soup and dim sum.  There is also a full a la carte menu available.

Vietnamese Spring Rolls and King Prawn Dumpling

As there were two of us dining, we wear able to try out a whole host of dishes and started off with Vietnamese Spring Rolls, King Prawn Dumpling and Chicken Yuk Sung. The Spring Rolls can be made vegetarian, with chicken or with pork, and were served with a clear dipping sauce of rice wine vinegar. Densely filled and crispy, these were the amouse bouche of the meal along with the satisfyingly crispy fried King Prawn Dumpling, which was golden without being greasy and served, unconventionally, with a mustard mayo. The Yuk Sung is a dish that again, can be made with a choice of meat and was particularly fresh.

Chicken Yuk Sung

Onto the mains, we sampled Beef Brisket Pho, Chicken Katsu and Pad Thai Noodles. The Beef Pho is a classic Vietnamese Soup, a cusine that is under-represented in Birmingham and good to see on the menu. A light stock based soup, this was a simple, clean dish with rice noodles, spring onion and beef topped off with crispy onions and fresh mint. Chicken Katsu is a favourite amongst many thanks to Wagamama and this was very similar in presentation. A good portion of rice and crispy breaded strips of chicken breast topped off with a spicy curry sauce was very well done and a good value dish. My Prawn Pad Thai was again, a generous portion that included plenty of large, juicy prawns and tasted light and simple.

This could be said of a lot of what we tried on the menu and the food overall tasted simple and fresh. This is owing to the fact that the kitchen staff are encouraged to cook as they would at home using fresh ingredients that are cooked in an uncomplicated way. Far from tasting stodgy, this meant that much of our food was a healthy alternative to traditional Chinese restaurant cuisine which can only be a good thing if you're watching your waistline.

Chicken Katsu Curry

Prawn Pad Thai

Service was exceptionally friendly at Chung Ying Central and the staff are well able to cater to dietary requirements and tweak dishes as everything is cooked fresh. Although it was a Monday lunchtime, the restaurant still felt inviting and had ambiance, with diners arriving to try out the menu as we ate. It's great to see such a wide-reaching menu too. With dishes from a variety of regions including China, Japan and Vietnam on offer, diners can try out more unusual dishes.

Also worth mentioning is the two-for-one offer that is available from 4pm-7pm Monday- Saturday. This includes not just cocktails and beers, but also 'bar snacks' which are much more substantial than typical bar fare. At £4 per portion, Dim Sum such as Spring Rolls and Won Ton would make a tasty drinks companion and is great to share.

Overall, Chung Ying Central offers great value in the city centre and something different to the sandwiches and soups readily available in the area. Perfect for after-work drinks or a relaxed break away from the office at lunch, there's no excuse not to try out this Oriental delight.

For more information check out the Chung Ying Central website.

Thank you to Mimi and the Chung Ying Central team!

*I was invited to dine as a guest of the restaurant. All views are my own.


  1. I love Chung Ying Central - this post is seriously making me crave their char sui buns!

    1. I have heard only good things about the Char Sui!! BBQ goodness! xx