Fast becoming the UK’s hottest dining trend, small plate style eating is proving ever popular, with small plates and sharing dishes demonstrating their diversity by appearing on menus far and wide. With small plates proving big business, Birmingham’s Chung Ying Central is showcasing them Chinese-style with their new menu launching this week.
While tapas is typically Spanish, the food term has become synonymous with virtually all small plates regardless of culinary origin. However, believe it or not, the Spanish style dishes were not the original small plates. Dim Sum, a style of traditional Cantonese food, dates back thousands of years. Chung Ying Group plan to capitalise on the rise of small plates by increasing the range of their signature style Dim Sum Dishes to the Central restaurant located on Colmore Row.
Dim Sum originates from traditional Chinese Teahouses; travellers on the ancient Silk Road through China would often need a place to stay during their journey. Teahouses opened up along the roadside and owners started to offer bite-sized snacks as an accompaniment – thus dim sum was born.
With more and more British chefs and restaurateurs setting aside space on the menu for small plates, it begs the question as to why diners are ditching their traditional three-courses? Originally designed to encourage conversation, tapas was created to get people engaging with each other rather than focusing on just eating their meal.
Despite more traditional dishes struggling to come to fruition in mainstream dining, the style of eating lots of small plates, bar snacks and appetizers over a drink or two can be seen as the broader influence of the trend.
James Wong, Managing Director of the Chung Ying Restaurant Group comments:
“Dim sum is sometimes described as ‘Chinese tapas’ however we believe that tapas is actually ‘Spanish dim sum’. We had this at the forefront of our mind when designing the new menu at Chung Ying Central.
“We’ve seen a huge increase in demand for smaller dishes so we’ve created a menu that combines traditional Chinese flavours with modern-style dining. We’ve found that, in recent years, more and more people are becoming adventurous when dining out too; unfamiliar foods are starting to catch people’s attentions.
“We wanted to offer a menu where guests could taste authentic Chinese food without having to commit to ordering an entire dish. “We already do this in abundance at Chung Ying Garden, where we have 100 different dim sum dishes on offer, but this new menu at Chung Ying Central really brings a fresh take on sharing dishes. It’s also perfectly placed for our customer base, who are often looking for quick cuisine during a working day or busy shopping Saturday.”
The brand new menu is available from 12pm Monday – Saturday at Chung Ying Central, 126 Colmore Row, Birmingham and includes a new small plate section to accompany an increased dim sum selection. For information about Chung Ying Central, please visit www.chungying.co.uk or alternatively to keep up to date with the latest news visit their Facebook page or follow them on Twitter @CentralCY.