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Lady Iron Chef
It has been two years since my last visit to Royal China Restaurant at Raffles Hotel, and I was glad to finally make a trip there for dim sum during lunch recently. I’ve said it before and I am happy to say it again. Royal China Chinese Restaurant is definitely one of the best dim sum places in Singapore. Much has been said about Royal China’s gorgeous interior – it is impossible not to like the Tiffany blue themed restaurant. Prices are very reasonable for the quality of the dim sum, they range from $3.6 to $4.8 for a basket. We took a quick look at the menu and made our orders: “please give us siew mai, har gau, char siew bao, custard bun, cheong fun, char siew soh, egg tart, and carrot cake.” Everyone was very excited when the waitress brought the dim sum to our table.
After having the Cheong Fun and Siew Mai, we proceeded with the Baked Pork Bun ($3.6), and it was good enough to make me order it again next time. But if you do not want too many pork items, skip the Char Siew Bao and get the delicious Baked BBQ Pork Puff ($4) instead. When it comes to Char Siew Sou, I’d rank Royal China’s rendition as my top 3 in Singapore, with the other two being Yan Ting and Taste Paradise. Having tried the best pan-fried carrot cake from Si Chuan Dou Hua, I felt that the one from Royal China was mediocre.
The few of us were debating on where to find the best custard buns (liu sha bao) in Singapore. Names like Taste Paradise, Si Chuan Dou Hua, Mandarin Court and Peach Garden were mentioned, and after trying Royal China’s version, it is definitely in the same league. I poked a hole into the liu sha bao to take a peep at the magnificent custard fillings. The bun was too hot to eat, but I put it into my mouth anyway. The golden liquid burnt my tongue, but it felt so good. It was hard to resist ordering a second portion.
Royal China’s Baked Egg Tarts ($3.60) were also very good. Delicious little devils. If you are planning a visit to Royal China after reading this post, make sure you order their Steamed Prawn Dumplings ($4.8). They were amongst the best I ever had: the skin of the har gau had the right consistency and thickness, and each dumpling came with a big shrimp which was fresh and crunchy. Like the other dim sum places in Singapore, Royal China at Raffles Hotel only has dim sum during lunch, and it is a must to make reservations in advance. The must-try dim sum items are custard bun, har gau, char siew sou and egg tart.