One of my favourite foods has always been Chinese, and yet The Bloke and I rarely visit any local Chinese restaurants, despite the fact that there are some incredible places to eat in Birmingham.
Last week The Bloke and I were lucky enough to be invited to the Chinese Moon Feastival – a celebration and a charity fundraiser for the Birmingham Big Art Project (with the objective being to commission and install a piece of high quality public art that will encourage international recognition) – that was held at three different Chung Ying restaurants across the city.
It was hosted by James Wong, MD of Chung Ying, Chairman of the Chinese festival committee and Birmingham Business Man of the Year.
The itinerary for the evening was separated out so that each course was served at a different restaurant (a fabulous idea that I’ve never experienced before). We started at Chung Ying Central, where we were treated to canapés of spring rolls and a Shanghai Rose cocktail. The prawn Vietnamese spring rolls in particular were beautiful – some of the nicest I’ve ever had – and seemed to be a clear favourite with the guests. I’d never been to this restaurant before, but I was impressed – it’s certainly somewhere that The Bloke and I want to go to again.
We then walked down to Chung Ying Cantonese near the Arcadian (appreciating the fact that it was a beautiful night in the city along the way) where we sampled a buffet of won tons, sesame toast, spare ribs, chicken wings and prawns. We also got the chance to hear more about the festival itself, how the Chinese celebrate it, and the plans that the committee has for future events. I really enjoyed the selection and it was interesting to find out about it all.
We then moved across to Chung Ying Garden, where we were presented with a fabulous banquet of sea bass, shredded lamb, salt and chilli chicken, king prawn and cashew nuts (my favourite), rice and to finish, a slice of moon cake. I loved the fact that we were in a seating plan which gave me the opportunity to meet new people, and The Bloke and I had a blast talking to everyone.
And then came the entertainment! The Atlantic Players (in which my friend Kate is a singer, flautist and saxophonist) performed two fantastic sets of soul music, we got to experience our first auction (during which thousands of pounds were raised for the Big Art Project) and crossed our fingers for the generous raffle prizes, which included a meal at Hotel Du Vin, an overnight stay at the Park Regis hotel, 4 first class train tickets and lunch for eight at Chung Ying Central. My bloggy friend Julie also won an obscene amount of alcohol as part of a competition… very jealous!
By 11.00pm, The Bloke and I were full from the amazing food and drink we had consumed, and we had enjoyed watching people dancing away and having a fabulous time. The Chung Ying restaurants were fabulous hosts, and it was one of the most unique events I’ve been to in a while. I particularly loved the idea of moving from restaurant to restaurant for each course – it’s an idea I’m certainly going to try again in the future!
A huge thank you to everyone involved for a great night!
To find out more about the Birmingham Big Art Project, click on the link here