What do the critics say?

From legendary food critics to the tech savvy food bloggers

OUR REVIEWS

Throughout the years, Royal China has received many awards and praises throughout the catering industry. From the acclaimed food critics and the casual food blogger, our reviews speak for themselves.


LONDON

Royal China Club by Time Out

The ‘club’ in the name makes RCC sound like a members-only section of the Royal China Group, which isn’t far from the truth. This, the premier link in the chain, has an air of quiet elegance found in five-star hotels, right down to the faint tinkling of a piano. The kitchen turns out consummate Cantonese cooking, using prized ingredients (abalone, lobster, veal) at every opportunity. At lunchtime, dim sum includes the signature cheung fun, which here comes filled with velvety dover sole and smooth pieces of scallop – all sitting in a puddle of sweet, smoky sauce. A quartet of siu mai (steamed pork dumplings) are topped not with a dice of carrot (as they would be in Chinatown), but with pearls of salmon roe, as you’d expect at the banqueting table. Even simple noodle dishes are elevated to premium status: our steak ho fun noodles were smothered in a dark, soy-laced sauce full of umami savouriness, heaped with expertly judged slices of medium-rare sirloin, and sprinkled with sesame seeds. Wherever possible, the polished, softly spoken staff employ silver-service methods, making everyone feel like a visiting dignitary.

Tue Sep 24 2013
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Royal China - Baker Street by Andy Hayler

Sister to The Royal China in Queensway, the Baker Street branch is a touch larger, seating 200 at a time, yet has the identical black and gold lacquer decoration. The lengthy menu is the same too, though the actual ability to cook the dishes varies between the two branches. This branch is just down the road from Royal China Club, at 44 Baker Street, a somewhat posher take on the same food but with higher prices.

Hot and sour soup here was poorer than the W2 version, a touch less spicy and the stock a little thinner (12/20). Szechuan prawns were much the same, carefully cooked with a slightly sweet chilli sauce (14/20). Gai lan, though, was a notch lower in standard than at the Queensway branch, the broccoli a little undercooked and with less garlic flavuor, though still very good (14/20). Honey-roast pork was pleasant, a generous portion of thinly sliced pork in a rich, slightly sweet sauce (13/20). The egg-fried rice was a notch below the standard it should have been, the rice a little too firm and not as fragrant as that at its sister restaurant (12/20).

One area where Baker Street outshines Queensway is in the service, which was efficient and quite friendly. At the Queensway Royal China a beer order can arrive in moments or not at all, but usually takes some time – here an extra beer was swiftly brought to the table. The bill came to £34 a head, which was fair given the generally good quality of what arrived on the plate. I felt that, overall, the Queensway branch had a slight edge on the food, the Baker Street one by contrast won on the service. Both are very good restaurants.

Sun Aug 26 2012
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Royal China - Queensway by Time Out

This stalwart of London’s dim sum parlours is always a pleasure to visit. Its perennial popularity ensures a lively atmosphere, and its authentic, perfectly prepared little dishes are head and shoulders above most of Chinatown’s lazy offerings. The long dining room at this original Queensway branch is lined in mirrors and black lacquered walls, with depictions of curling waves and geese soaring above.

Some of the capital’s best little packages of Cantonese treats are served here. Beef balls feature wonderfully light ground beef enlivened with strong accents of ginger and water chestnuts. Delicious wun tun soup has light dumplings floating in a rich broth with an undertone of five-spice, adding a depth rarely found in this classic soup. Peruse the special dim sum menu for more innovative dishes: crab and spinach steamed dumplings, and prawn and chive packages in batter were both a delight.

We could happily eat solely from the dim sum list, but the main menu offers fantastic Cantonese and regional Chinese dishes. The shaolin monk vegetarian clay pot contained an outstandingly fresh assortment of Chinese vegetables: bamboo, lotus root, mini pak choi and tofu, all on cellophane noodles.

Tue Sep 24 2013
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Royal China - Canary Riverside by www.LondonTown.com

Another superb branch of this small family-run chain with consistently excellent standards. The dim sum menu here is a straight copy from the flagship branch and the crowds are far less heavy. This means that the service is also much more attentive, and there’s an altogether more relaxed feeling about the place. The dim sum is only slightly less good than at Bayswater, which means it’s among the very best in Europe.

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Royal China - Fulham by Zagat

Dim sum is the "bee's knees" – and the "meal of choice" – at this "Hong Kong–style" chainlet whose "reasonably priced" Chinese food is "always up to a good standard"; while the decor is just "ok", and service ranges from "friendly" to "nonexistent", queues can be seen "half way down the road" at some branches, especially at the weekend lunchtime (they only take bookings for dinner).

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Royal China - Harrow by The Food Curator

It’s a great thing to have a good local Chinese, it’s even better to have a great one! Of course I’m not talking about a hole in the wall take away which offers greasy (but sometimes delicious) fair, rather a Chinese restaurant proper.

I’m lucky enough to have a great one near me which is perfect for dinner with all your usual favourites on the menu, but it also does fantastic dim sum at lunchtime and an expanded selection at the weekends.

It’s the dim sum that I go for. It’s a more interesting way to eat too, getting lots of little portions means you can try more and more flavours until you are fit to burst…I find a big pot of Chinese tea helps to wash it all down.

I love their BBQ pork steamed buns, and their cheung fun is to die for. I like to try different things when I go there. You know try something which isn’t my norm. It’s a fun thing to do and sometimes the thing you try will become a firm and long-term favourite.

As you can see from the pictures I had a selection of dishes, pork, beef, prawn, chicken and vegetarian, all of which were a delight to tuck into.

But they do have some more unusual dishes which are favourites with the Chinese community but do seem shall we say ‘odd’ for Western tastes. Chicken feet, fish lips or duck tongues anyone?

Being adventurous I have actually tried these in the past and I must say they are not really to my taste. But each to their own as they say.

That aside I have tried many, many of their dishes and can highly recommend just going there and getting stuck in. I am sure that you, like me, won’t be disappointed.

This is a great restaurant to go and try quality well presented food that ticks all the right boxes and will satiate any Chinese food cravings you may have.

Unfortunately you can’t book at Royal China for dim sum as it is just too popular, but it is certainly worth the wait.

Thu Apr 3 2014
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International

Royal China at Raffles Hotel - Singapore by 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.

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