There was a time when it was not a safe bet to dine at a casino.

With smoke filled rooms and high rollers taking all the staff's attention finding a top notch dining experience at a casino would need a giant dollop of beginners luck.

However, this has changed, the smoking ban and the emergence of al la carte menus in casinos across the Midlands mean they are thriving.

The purpose built Broadway Casino, Birmingham, raised the dining stakes when it opened over a decade ago and its Mirage restaurant is still thriving.

Diners overlook the roulette wheels, blackjack tables and gaming machines which ensures a lively atmosphere which doesn't encroach into the restaurant.

The menu includes Italian, Chinese, Indian and Japanese dishes but fear not, it's not one of those buffet places where the food hangs around like an annoyed ex.

For my starter I went for crispy aromatic duck, which is not cheap at £9.95, but when shredded crispy duck served with spring onions, cucumber, pancakes and hoisin sauce arrived I understood the price.

I had to check the menu to see if I had ordered a sharing dish but no, the delightfully done duck was all mine.

The damsel picked the Chinese garlic scallops in garlic and spring onion sauce with vermicelli noodles (£8.50).

It was large for an a la carte dish and she said it was delicately done.

I decided to stick to Chinese for my main course as did not want to confuse my stomach so chose the tender pork chops in a sweet Peking sauce (£11.95) and egg fried rice (£3.20).

Again the serving was enough for two and though the meat was a tad dry, an occupational hazard when dealing with pork, it was nice enough for me to ask the staff to let me take what was left home, a first for me in a a la carte eatery.

The damsel ordered the Italian agnello alla brace (£17.95) and when her grilled rack of lamb with fresh rosemary red wine jus and served with parsley potatoes I immediately had a dose of the food envy.

From what I did snatch from her plate it is fair to say she picked the dish of the day, the lamb was succulent and all the accompanying flavours were a perfect match.

We were both too full for dessert, and left knowing whether the chips are up or down, casino dining is a great change from normal restaurants.