Billing itself as ‘Birmingham’s favourite Chinese restaurant’, Chung Ying is certainly one of the most established. The word ‘institution’ is overused, but it might be appropriate in this case. The restaurant has been serving Cantonese fare at the heart of Chinatown since 1981, and is very popular with Birmingham’s Chinese community – both resident and visiting.
Don’t expect fussy service or fancy decorations. Instead, the atmosphere at Chung Ying is buzzing with activity – waiters dart around with sizzling platters, and a red and gold theme ticks the Chinese ambiance box.
Basically, it’s all about the food. Specifically, the dim sum, or small shareable dishes coming in at around £4 each. There are just over 100 options available, but think of this as a culinary adventure rather than a case of quantity over quality. There’s duck tongue with chilli (definitely recommended), pan-fried turnip paste and steamed cuttlefish balls. This is the place to try all those ‘weird Chinese foods’ you’ve heard about, but certainly won’t find on your average takeaway menu. And, as luck would have it, they tend to be absolutely delicious.
Chung Ying also does Chinese New Year in a big way – expect drums and dragons as standard.