Sunday, 9 December 2012
I am thankful to get a recommend from a respected fellow foodie about any restaurant, but especially so for a Cantonese one, as my knowledge in this area, especially for London is scant indeed. However having said that never in a million years would I venture into this area never mind into this restaurant without a recommend.
This Queensway branch of Royal China is twenty years old and the first one of six in the group to open in London. It had a complete refurb in January this year, however this is wasted on me as I have nothing to compare it too. Seating 130 its certainly cavernous, and looks even bigger given the fact most of the walls are mirrored.
We ate here on a Sunday lunch and joined the back of the waiting queue having first got a ticket from the front desk. We were told to expect a fifteen minute wait but this turned out to be thirty in the end. I was concerned at losing thirty minutes of my two hour car parking and was determined to get my food order in very quickly.
The two menus that we were offered were both dim sum this is the restaurants speciality. One was a speciality dim sum with a small choice at higher pricing than the other normal dim sum menu. We asked for the carte, or as it was described to us as the evening menu. We chose two dim sum dishes and three main courses and two portions of plain boiled rice between the two of us.
First up were four rather tasty Minced Pork Dumplings. Mostly dim sum seems to arrive in threes so four between the two of us made us happy. It saved us splitting one with our chopsticks. The chilli and fish dipping sauces were there to add an extra dimension taste wise
The other dim sum selection was Fried Squid Paste. A trio of rubbery but acceptably chewable delicious balls, for want of a better description.
There was no order for the dishes arriving at the table, they arrived when they were cooked and they were cooked very quickly indeed, making this a very slick operation. In fact the speed of the service reminded me very much of Yauatcha, another highly successful and well organised restaurant.
I liked the look of the Smoked shredded Chicken on the main menu. Not too sure on the smoke element I could not detect any.
This ate rather well, crispy yet moist in the middle, the chicken was not at all dry. The mild red chilli did not sting the mouth either.
I was craving some Prawn with Ginger and Spring onion but could not see it on the menu, but I was informed it could be cooked for me.
There was a decent portion of prawns, ten in total, so five each. The ginger was in quite large slices not batons. Surprisingly enough it tasted rather mild I would have preferred more punch from it. Not bad but I have had better.
The final dish which we ordered is classic Cantonese, Beef with Oyster sauce. There was an aubergine dish on the menu with minced prawns. I liked the look of that, and on reflection I should have ordered it instead. Still...
Overall this dish was fine, a little one dimensional perhaps and I would not order it again in a hurry.We have eaten this dish many times down the years and this one was no better than most of them. Unsurprisingly the quality of the beef varied throughout the dish. Most of it was tender. Some of it was not. Three or four pieces would have benefited from more careful trimming.
In summing up. Nothing really exited me about eating here. It is busy and buzzing though.The most exciting part was the anticipation of getting a table. Its fair to say that the dim sum was more enjoyable than the Prawn and Beef dishes. If we did return, which realistically I can't see happening soon, dim sum would be our preferred choice.
Just goes to show that you can't please all of the people all of the time.