Chung Ying Central, Colmore Row

Chinese food certainly divides opinion, making it notoriously difficult to provide an objective review.

So let’s be clear; we love the colour, aromatic flavour and associated culture of sharing – and the Chung Ying and its sister restaurant the Chung Ying Gardens have been among our favourite restaurants for decades. The authentic Cantonese cuisine and excellent service have led to many repeat visits so we couldn’t be more pleased that owner James Wong and his family have ventured out of the Chinese Quarter to open the very smart Chung Ying Central at the edge of Victoria Square. Specialising in dim sum, pan-Asian noodles, plus Chinese beer and cocktails, the enormous range of choice that the Chung Ying ‘sisters’ are famed for was available. We tried the express lunch menu. Tailored to the time-pressed commercial district nearby, it allows you to sample the excellent dim sum, create your own bespoke main course experience and still be back at work before the sandwich-at-desk brigade even notice you’ve popped out!

UNDOUBTED STAR

Kicking off with the dim sum, we tucked in to the tasty crispy curried chicken spring rolls, deep fried shredded squid, and fluffy char siu buns with sweet barbecue-style pork. The undoubted star was the steamed king prawn and chive dumplings. For the main course, the simple pick your own base, meat and sauce system meant we were all happily sated and the quality was as high as you could wish for. The chicken chow mein with hot & spicy sauce was especially good. Chung Ying Central is eager to satisfy customers round the clock, so as well serving decadent cake for breakfast they aim to appeal to evening cocktail lovers. The décor lends itself to a few cheeky after work drinks but it would be irresponsible to provide a review without sampling the goods. We’re happy to report that the Singapore Sling and the Lychee Martini were both utterly awesome. As with any new establishment, it’s still early days and there are a few rough edges to iron out but if James’ colossal energy and enthusiasm are anything to go by, we’ll need to spread the love between three sisters throughout 2014.

CHUNG YING CENTRAL 126 Colmore Row, Birmingham B3 3AP tel: 0121 4000 888 www.chungying.co.uk/chung-ying-central