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Royalty eat here, Tom Parker Bowles is a weekly visitor, Rachel Weisz is a fan and Heston Blumenthal and Gordon Ramsay can’t get enough of it. Any discerning Londoner, who loves excellent, authentic and understated food should be well-acquainted with the Royal China group restaurants, which are situated in six locations across London. If you’ve not yet had the pleasure of visiting, then why not?
The restaurant is genuinely Chinese – and I speak from experience having grown up in Hong Kong, as well as dined in some of China’s best restaurants. From its humble beginnings in 1996 to an award-winning chain of restaurants, Royal China believes that only the very best is good enough. The group has almost single-handedly raised the bar for Chinese cuisine in the capital, and offers dim sum and food that the West End’s China Town restaurants can only dream of.
Royal China has always been famous for its traditional dim sum, delicately handmade little parcels of tasty delights, which are prepared daily by its team of dedicated dim sum chefs. However, I want to talk about its other a la carte menu, which has been developed by award-winning executive head chef Man Yuk Cheung. Leaving nothing to chance, Man Yuk Cheung and his team use only traditional ingredients, resulting in an extensive menu of seasonal dishes which have been highly-praised by every notable restaurant critic, Chinese food enthusiast and foodie in London. Dishes include: sautéed scallops with fresh asparagus, fresh lobster, stir-fried sliced duck with vegetables, stewed pork belly and lotus leaf rice.
Fellow lifestyle blogger, Inna, and I were recently invited to the flagship branch in Queensway. From the moment we set foot inside the restaurant, we were instantly transported to China – from the look & feel of the restaurant and the ambiance, you could quickly forget that you’re in the centre of London. We ordered pan-fried black cod, Cantonese style roast duck, sautéed Chinese broccoli with ginger, sautéed pak choi with garlic and egg fried rice. The waiter also helped us select a fresh white wine which complimented the food. All of the food was exceptional and made to order – I could taste every ingredient, the dishes were both succulent and aromatic, and I was in foodie heaven. When it comes to Chinese food, there’s always a risk that it’ll be overly-greasy or fried beyond texture and flavour, well, as I mentioned before, Man Yuk Cheung and his team don’t leave anything to chance, the food is balanced and skilfully prepared. We finished with fried banana in toffee sauce – perfectly sweet and a lovely way to end the meal.
Whether you come for dim sum or dinner, all of the plates are excellent for sharing so round up your friends, because more diners equals more dishes, which means more delicious food for you! Royal China doesn’t need to distract it’s customers with fancy artwork, flashy lighting or music – there are no gimmicks – just honest, real and outstanding food partnered with friendly and efficient service. A testament to this is the line into the restaurant, which frequently goes out the door and given the British weather – that’s impressive!!!