The secret gem of China Town?

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Chung Ying Garden in Birmingham’s China Town one of those regular haunts for me with my family. It is particularly good as it is accessible and they have a car park right outside. But as always the main reason to eat here is the food. I went along for a bloggers banquet to learn a bit about their dim sum menu.

Although I have eaten at Chung Ying Garden many times, I have never been upstairs to the banquet room so this was rather exciting. I didn’t know that this was here and that they can host events and private dinners away from the main restaurant. It is a good size space though and there is a bar upstairs too so no dealing with the stairs when you’re hosting a wedding or some other party.

chung ying garden dim sum feast spring rolls chung ying garden dim sum feast cheung fun

I have to admit that I am a bit habitual when it comes to my dim sum order. So I have never explored the 120 strong dim sum menu in its entirety. To my surprise, I found out that they make all the dim sum (bar two) in their own kitchen by hand. That is a lot of dumplings! This makes me feel good that I have chosen somewhere that takes pride in their food to dine with my family. I reckon my mother can tell at ten paces whether something is worth sitting down to eat or not. I think 40 years or so of working in kitchens, designing dishes and running restaurants will do that to you though.

I can’t resist things like crispy won ton when done right. The crispy batter filled with soft and sweet pork and prawn minced together is perfect for dipping into a sweet and sour sauce. I have to admit that no one can beat the sweet and sour sauce that my dad makes though. Sorry but as he’s not retired, this is no longer something that you can try for yourselves. I have to ask him for the recipe one day.

chung ying garden dim sum feast won ton chung ying garden dim sum feast king prawn dumplings

The variety in the dim sum banquet was great as it showed off some firm favourites as well as some more unusual dishes. It was fun for everyone to get to walk around, chat about some of the dim sum dishes and taste a number of them. On the evening there were over 70 dim sum dishes freshly cooked for us to try out. No mean feat but the kitchen managed it well.

When it comes to the steamed dim sum, I love siu mai (I hear it’s popular among other Chung Ying Garden customers too) and cheung fun with king prawns. These are going to the most difficult things to give up when I move to a plant based diet, I think. There are some great vegan dishes in Chinese cuisine but giving up seafood will be the biggest challenge for me.

chung ying garden dim sum feast seafood noodleschung ying garden dim sum feast char sui noodles chung ying garden dim sum feast rice

There were also a number of rice and noodle dishes for us to try out including one of my personal favorites the seafood noodles. Sometimes when we go to yum cha, we order a mix of dim sum and then get the seafood noodles as well. It is a lovely way to turn dim sum into a bigger feast when we go as a larger group.

The crispy noodles or ho fun are popular with my family when we go to yum cha. Though actually, if we want a treat then we place an order for fresh crab stir fried with fresh spring onion and ginger. This is something that Chung Ying Garden can accommodate with a day or two’s notice as they only have a small tank to keep the crabs and lobsters in. I can highly recommend trying fresh crab or lobster the Chinese way. It is really tasty and worth the mess I assure you.

I wasn’t disappointed by anything that I tried at the event. And going through the photos again has made me plan my return visit with the husband and some friends. What’s your favourite dim sum dish?

Chung Ying Garden, 17 Thorp St, Birmingham B5 4AT. Tel: 01216666622

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