Event: Blogger Bites at Chung Ying Central, Birmingham

dsc_0002Chinese New Year 2017 lands on Saturday 28th January and if you’ve never tried Chinese food, now’s the best time to get some chopsticks and try some authentic Chinese food. The Chinese zodiac declares 2017 as the Year of the Fire Rooster.

It’s late January, it’s still pretty chilly here in Birmingham and all the festive food has finally worn off. An invitation to a warming banquet of Chinese food is the perfect anecdote.

A group of bloggers and I were invited to the Chung Ying Blogger’s Bites event at the Colmore Row location last night. Chung Ying Central is a Chinese restaurant specialising in Cantonese cuisine and Dim Sum, part of the Chung Ying Group it runs Chung Ying Cantonese and Chung Ying Garden in the Chinese Quarter.

Have you tried Dim Sum before? The little parcels of happiness are actually best served to be shared and are perfect with tea, so it was great to see the different teas available including oolong, pu erh and jasmine tea.

I started off with a Shanghai Rose cocktail, consisting of vodka, lychee liqueur and rose syrup. It was so easy to drink and I could easily have had a few. We were served homemade prawn crackers and a very fiery sweet chilly sauce that I liked.

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Shanghai Rose Cocktail

 

I chose a Sapporo beer to accompany the food. We were served in the traditional format of sharing plates, with the opportunity to try a bit of everything. I personally feel this is the best way to try food, especially Asian cuisine.

We started off with the Sichuan “Dan Dan” Noodles and the Deep Fried Chicken Karaage with Honey and Garlic.  The wheat noodles were nicely spiced, consisting of chilli oil, minced pork and prawns, and a soupy base. I have no idea why they are called Dan Dan!?
I love fried chicken, be it Korean or Japanese, the Chung Ying version pays homage to the crispy Karaage of Japan and adds honey and a decent amount of smoky garlic. I really liked that they use chicken thigh, as it remains nice and succulent when cooked, whilst being crispy on the outside. I use chicken thigh at home and tend to ignore chicken breast.
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Sichuan “Dan Dan” Noodles
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Deep Fried Chicken Karaage with Honey and Garlic

The next dish for the Blogger Bites evening was Pei Par Tofu. Don’t like tofu? No worries, this doesn’t taste like tofu, and there are hidden morsels of prawn and pork, minced with fresh tofu. It’s then deep fried and stir fried, resulting in a light filling insides and a  lightly crispy coating.

The Pan Fried Pork and Vegetable Steamed Bunwas very light and not stodgy at all. I’ve had a stodgy steamed bun in the past, so was slightly fearful. Considering the size of them, I’m surprised I managed a whole one and half of another. The pork filling was well seasoned.

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Pei Par Tofu
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Pan Fried Pork and Vegetable Steamed Bun

We were also served King Prawns in salt and chilli, which were ginormous. I was introduced to the Chinese equivalent of chorizo sausage last night. Lap Cheong sausage was the star attraction in the X.O Lap Cheong Fried RiceIt’s a cured smoked pork sausage, with a slight sweetness.

Hear me out, the Stuffed Pork Intestines in Salt and Chilli, were really good. Almost akin to pork belly, with crispy skin, and tender, juicy meat.

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Stuffed Pork Intestines in Salt and Chilli
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King Prawns in Salt and Chiili
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X.O Lap Cheong Fried Rice

By this point, I’m seriously full and I’m thinking about the hours of abs class I’ll have to attend to work off this food baby. We are served a few desserts to share, and I can only manage a nibble. Salted Caramel Brownie, Pan Fried Water Chestnut Paste and a steamed Caramel Bun. I did expect the bun to ooze caramel once cut through, but it didn’t.

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Steamed Caramel Bun
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Salted Caramel Brownie

After the mammoth meal, I conclude that my favourite dessert has to be the water chestnut. It’s more jelly than paste and there really isn’t a description that can do it justice. The jelly like consistency, has only a hint of sweetness, with crunchy bits inside. It’s really refreshing and light and the sort of dessert I’d have after a Chinese meal. I hope you try this dessert as it’s so tasty!

Jasmine tea and a small tipple of Chinese ice wine were a welcome sight, before getting ready to go home.

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Pan Fried Water Chestnut “Jelly”
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Changyu Golden Diamond Vidal Ice Wine
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Jasmine Tea

It was a lovely evening and it’s hard to choose a favourite dish or find fault in the evening. If you like prawns, you will love it there, they’re pretty much in everything. However fear not, if you have dietary requirements you will be catered for. Lots of options for dairy-free, gluten-free, vegetarian, vegan etc. If you work in the area, check out their Winter lunch menu here.

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The entire evening was complimentary for review. Thank you East Village PR and Chung Ying Group for extending the invitation.

As always my writing, my honest views.
Winepressgirl x
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3 Comments Add yours

  1. Laurence Golding says:

    Dear Winepressgirl,
    I’ve just read your nice review of Chung Ying Central. I thought you might be interested to know the meaning of Dan Dan. This is a quote from a book by Fuchsia Dunlop entitled Shark’s Fin & Sichuan Pepper. “Dan Dan noodles are the archetypal Chengdu street snack. Their name comes from the bamboo shoulderpole that street vendors traditionally use to transport their wares: the verb ‘Dan’ means to carry on a shoulderpole.
    Although the name Dan Dan noodles refers only to the way in which the snack was sold from a shoulderpole, over time it has become associated with a particular recipe in which the noodles are topped with minced meat and ‘ya cai,’ a famous vegetable preserve whose dark crinkly leaves add salt and savour.”
    I have a recipe for you to make at home if you’re interested. It uses beef rather than pork and no prawns.

    Like

  2. Nosh & Breks says:

    I love the food here – sounds like you guys had a really fun evening!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It was incredible! They also offer services through Deliveroo 😊

      Like

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