Chinese 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.
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.
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 Bun, was 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.
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 Rice. It’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.
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.
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.
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.
The entire evening was complimentary for review. Thank you East Village PR and Chung Ying Group for extending the invitation.