Chung Ying Garden
Big sister to original China Town big hitter Chung Ying on Wrottesley Street, Chung Ying Garden has a similar War and Peace-type menu, with no less than 450 dishes to dribble, drool, salivate and slobber over. This includes a vast array of set banquets, and live seafood as well, so those whose cockles are warmed by the thought of eating briny beasts fresh from the tank will be squids in. Watch too much Gordon Ramsay's Kitchen Nightmares and you might be led to believe that any chef who attempts to cook more meals than he has fingers will inevitably end up scuppering your scallops and making a right royal mess of your king prawns: not so here. Despite the enormous range of choices on offer, the Chung Ying Garden kitchen have had their repertoire down pat since 1987, and everything Itchy has ever ordered has been delicious, delightful, delovely. The AA and Which? Good Food guides agree too, and frequently recommend this as a prime place to get your Cantonese kicks. With seating for 380 people, there's room to teach the world to Ying, and they can have a Ying-along after dinner too; Chung Ying Garden has a karaoke system and disco area if you fancy a post-Szechwan shimmy session. More serious, Mafia-esque meeting in mind? Hire one of the private dining or conference rooms and do business over crispy beef. There's even room to park your Chevy out back if the strain of attempting to scoop up fried rice with chopsticks leaves you too knackered to walk the five minutes to New Street station. Alternatively, a mere sidestep out of the door will land you in the Hippodrome theatre or a nearby bar or club. But surely you wouldn't want to leave before taking to the mic to warble one of Itchy's recommended tunes: 'Chung Hearts, Run Free' 'All the Chung Dudes' 'Smile Like Chow Mein It' 'Dim Sum-mer of '69' 'Satay Another Day' 'Blue Suede Cashews' 'Black Bean Around the World Tonight' Anything by the Pe-Kings of Leon Eat in, then take it away. Perfect.