We ate there yesterday (31 December) after a long day shopping at the Bullring.
As a vegan, I had been looking forward to this place. We had planned to go right into China Town, but tired and hungry we decided against, so I was really pleased that this restaurant that I had seen online was not far from the car park on Pershore Street where we had left the car and a short walk from the Bullring itself.
It is nice and spacious inside and has a nice feel to it. A friendly waiter ushered us to our seat showed us the menu, then disappeared ..........?! Finally after nearly 15 minutes we signalled and a waitress came to us. The menu itself is very confusing, and it is hard to know what is made out of tofu and what is meat. The waitress was not terribly good at explaining the options, particularly as I am a strict vegetarian. I ordered a soup as a starter and tofu with a spicy vegetables and noodle dish, which I make at home on a regular basis, and if she had taken the time to explain more, I probably could have had something a lot nicer.
As it turned out, my 9 year old wandered to a leaflet stand by the door and found other menus - one of which had a kids meal for £5.50, and one listed all the vegetarian options (although still confusing, this was more helpful), another listed certain meal deals. There were also chef specials written on the wall. At no point did anyone show us these menus or specials, which is quite annoying. We asked if we could change our order to something from the kids menu which they did. However whilst my son ordered a meal for children (which showed a picture of a chunky breaded fish fillet, chips and peas). What he actually got was FISH FINGERS, chips and peas! We asked for a knife and fork as I defy anyone to use chopsticks to eat fish fingers and chips - a different waiter seemed annoyed at the request and only brought a fork. Then we had to ask someone else for ketchup. Meanwhile, my soup was tepid and bland, although my husband enjoyed his spare rib starter but said that too was not very hot.
The main courses arrived. Very large portions. My food was OK, but nothing to write home about and disappointingly had very small amounts of poor quality tofu - similar to a well known brand that you can buy in supermarkets, and not the kind of chunky firm tofu I am used to getting in Chinese restaurants. The flavours were basic and I had to put liberal amounts of the spicy chilli condiment that was on the table to give it some taste. My husband had a squid dish, which he seemed to enjoy.
Lots of local people eat there and from overhearing conversations it seems popular - it might be because of the large portions perhaps? But for me, the service and the food just lacked the WOW factor. That said I would probably go back there now that I know what to expect, if I just wanted something to eat after a long day walking around the city centre. But it's really nothing special and on my next visit to Birmingham I will probably venture further into China Town to look for something better.
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