I embarked on a trip with friends to Birmingham for the Black Book Festival and upon getting to Birmingham, we discovered their Chinatown and we knew we had to try a restaurant there before we left the city. There is a Jin Li in London’s Chinatown but this one had a more homely feeling. If you enter Chinatown where the supermarket is near the entrance, go up the stairs to a restaurant that has a wide range of Sichuan food.
Amongst the range of amazing food, the vegetable dishes such as spicy fried pak choi and griddle cooked potato and aubergine were so delicious for its soft texture. Jin Li’s dishes are guaranteed to make you relish in the taste of good Sichuan cuisine and how the pepper instantly goes to your tongue.
Unfortunately, there were a few dishes that I don’t recommend. Although the crab looks spectacular, there was a lack of meat to it and could barely get any.
There’s a lot of griddle cooked dishes such as the sautéed chilli pepper diced chicken and cooked prawn. The diced chicken was a bit crunchy but still held that spicy flavour, the mapo tofu was also perfect and was cooked just right to melt nicely into your mouth.
What I liked about this place was how informative the waitress was and how much she wanted to help get a real taste of great Chinese dishes (and not the standard English tastes of sweet and sour pork). Of course there was an intent to sell but everything we were recommended to taste was great. It doesn’t make a rank 8 on my spicy ranking as it was more bearable than other sichuan dishes that I’ve had before.
I dream to have this again but unfortunately we didn’t finish it all, with more time and containers in hand.