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Chung Ying Central

    Events, News, Pub and Drinks News

    Birmingham Cocktail Weekend announces line up

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    Need an excuse to spend a weekend drinking cocktails? Of course you don’t, but here’s one anyway!  The inaugural Birmingham Cocktail Weekend is taking place from 10 – 12th July, with over 20 venues in the city taking place and a raft of events on the schedule too.

    The idea is you buy a wristband, which then allows you to buy signature cocktails at a number of venues for £4 each.  There are also a number of events taking place during the weekend which wristband holders will get access to – including a number of drinks tastings, discounted masterclasses and free tastings.

    Venues taking part include: The Lost and Found, Gas Street Social, The Jekyll and Hyde,The Rose Villa Tavern, Malmaison, Pentahotel, Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery, Bodega, Chung Ying Central, Marmalade, The Vaults, Cosy Club, The Eight Foot Grocer, The Victoria, The New Inn Harborne, Quarter Horse Coffee, The Bureau, Aluna, Bar Epernay, Pennyblacks, The Gentleman and Scholar, Island Bar and The Chameleon Bar & Restaurant.

    There are also a number of events; Hendricks gin tasting at The Jekyll and Hyde, Jim Beam bourbon masterclass at The Bureau, Burleigh’ s gin Afternoon Tea Experience at The Edgbaston, discounted whisky masterclasses at Hard to Find Whisky, Secret BLOOM GIN Garden behind the bookcase at The Lost and Found, Build your own “Brummy” Mary at Bar Opus, Grey Goose Sunday Lunch at The New Inn, Sunday Cocktail KitchInn at the Staying Cool Penthouse and free tastings from Tia Maria, Grey Goose, Bacardi and Disaronno.

    Alex Nicholson-Evans, founder of Birmingham Cocktail Weekend, explains “This is the perfect excuse to explore some of the new venues in the city, visit old favourites and adventure to places you haven’ t been before. The free sampling sessions and the masterclasses are a great chance to get to know the spirits behind some of your favourite cocktails too. For cocktail lovers – this weekend is an absolute must.”

    Birmingham Cocktail Weekend wristbands are £6 and available from; www.birminghamcocktailweekend.co.uk

    Round ups

    March round-up

    It feels like every month I write about how quickly the last month went, but March really was a manic month for me; work was crazy busy and so was the rest of my life too!  And lucky enough for the blog a lot of this was food related…

    Food and the communitypopupcafe_RJFP

    Last month I spotted that the Real Junk Food Project were popping up at Digbeth First Friday and from the looks of things they’ll be regulars.  There was also news about 100 Meals in Birmingham, which aims to bring Brummies together to chat – a fantastic concept and I’m looking forward to seeing what happens with it.

    New newsGBK_chicken_bacon_burger

    I really thought after January the news of more venues coming soon might slow down a little but it turns out not.  I had so much drinks and specifically cocktail news that I rounded it all up.  And no sooner had I done that but I realised that there was enough for the third coming soon post.  And on the subject of new, Gourmet Burger Kitchen’s newly refurbed Mailbox venue opened so I went down to check out that – and their burgers, of course.

    Celebrationsholirave

    Despite my mother being out of the country for yet another Mother’s Day, I celebrated without her thanks to Roberts Bakery.  There was also the return of a bigger and better Holi Rave and Indian Streetfood Feast-ival.  And free beer curtsey of Old Speckled Hen seems like a reason enough to celebrate to me.

    Fine dining outDSC_1065

    This month I got round to sharing some posts from some of the fancier side of my dining out adventures.  Bromsgrove’s very own Restaurant Epi in the courtyard started doing lunch to which my camera and I heading down to.  I also completed the Lasan group set with a trip to Lasan itself…just in time for their newest venue to open.

    Adventures at homeDSC_0765

    It’s not all fine dining in fancy restaurants about town either.  There was also plenty of stuff that could be enjoyed in the comfort of my own home.  I wrote about my experiences with cake delivery service Tarte & Berry and also about pomegranate juice, Pom Wonderful – which also included a quick recipe for a refreshing drink.

    Tastes from afarPrawn Pandanus and Muu Satay

    This month I managed to pack in a lot of different cuisines.  As well as the aforementioned Indian-fusion experience at Lasan, there was also No Ping No Bling’s Thai lunch which was pretty fantastic.  I also made it down to Chung Ying Central to try out some of their dim sum and cocktails and discovered that you can have a tasty drink named after vermin.  We had a fantastic work experience girl with us at work and to celebrate we went to Bodega for lunch…and I got her to guest post her experience.

    And now, for April…

    Well, I’ve already broken my own imposed rules and blogged in April before doing the round-up, but I had to share some photos from The Botanist.  I’ve been back since and I’ll write up something about my experiences soon.  I’ll be doing a lot of drink blogging this month; two Catalan wines, the results of my month long trial of Beauty & Go’s radiance drinks, teapigs Everyday blend and possibly some more wine.  All being well I should be off to a couple of afternoon teas, plus Las Igunanas has a new menu and I’m booked in for Nomad’s no rules evening too. Phew!

    I’m always keen to hear from people about places I should check out, products to try and exciting food and drink related adventures.  So if you fancy emailing me, please do, my email address is hello @ fulltothebrum . co . uk or catch me on Twitter or Facebook.

    Restaurant reviews, Reviews

    Chung Ying Central

    There’s always the risk when dragging your friend out to dinner to a place you’ve only been to for lunch that you might not have chosen well.  Add in the fact she’d had a horrible day at work and I knew I was dicing with Beccy’s famous death-stare.  Thankfully once we’d arrived at Chung Ying Central and realised that our respective birth year cocktails were perfect for us, I knew the fates were looking favourably on me.

    Chung Ying Central opened in November 2013 on Colmore Row, offering dim sum and express lunches, which seem pretty popular with the nearby office crowds – which I can attest to as I’d been for lunch before and managed to fit in a pleasant meal within my lunch hour.  It is the latest offering from the Chung Ying Restaurants group, who’ve been in Birmingham since 1981 and also offers happy hour on cocktails as well as dinner, which I was eager to try out.IMG_1561.JPG

    The aforementioned cocktails Beccy and I tried were from a cocktail list named after the Chinese Zodiac, which is a pretty gutsy move considering some of the animals aren’t exactly popular.  Beccy’s cocktail, designed to fit the year of the Rat, was a spiced-rum based fruity drink with lots of citrus and had it not been her zodiac animal I would’ve guessed she’d have gone for it anyway.  For me it was the Ox Fashioned, a twist on an Old Fashioned using maple syrup instead of sugar and Buffalo Trace bourbon to give it the name – buffalo being a cousin of the Ox.  I was expecting this to be overly sweet, but actually it was pretty well balanced.

    In an act of luck, James Wong the owner of Chung Ying Central was in having dinner and popped over to say hello.  Call me a nerd but I always like to hear about why a menu has been designed as such and more importantly get recommendations from people in the know.  James recommended starting with dim sum and suggested four dishes to us; once the portions arrived we were aware this would’ve been enough to fill us without mains.  The baby octopus with garlic is something neither of us would’ve chosen to order and Beccy was hesitant to start, but this ended up being our favourite – light batter with tasty meat which was a little chewy, as you’d expect, but utterly delightful.  The Shanghai dumplings were like pork gyoza, well cooked and subtly spiced.

    By this point we were pretty stuffed but we’d ordered mains so we dug in and gave it our best go.  Beccy enjoyed her beef with ginger and spring onion which she said had a nice warming taste of ginger but not so overpowering that it dominated the meal.  My duck in plum sauce was gloriously indulgent with meat which was flavoursome with a nice crunch to the skin and covered in a delicious plum sauce that never felt too sickly.  I tried a little of the rice which was good but to be honest I was so full by this point I couldn’t manage much.

    Having eaten in many of the restaurants in Birmingham’s Chinatown I’m a fan of their food, but the atmosphere is often lacking (although in some occasions this is part of the charm) and more of a place to eat rather than a place to dine. Chung Ying Central has combined the great tastes of the orient with a modern, relaxed restaurant in the city centre which is ideally located for post-work dinner, drinks or lunch.   It’s also reasonably priced for somewhere in the heart of the business district.  I’ll definitely be back.

    http://www.chungyingcentral.co.uk/

    Disclosure:

    Beccy and I dined as guests of Chung Ying Central and so our food and drinks were complimentary. As always just because the food was free doesn’t mean I was obliged to be nice, nor would I agree to that. Beccy’s death-stare is a really and terrifying thing; thankfully I’ve only glimpsed it when it was directed at someone else.