This has been one of our favourite dim sum places in London for the longest time. It was one of the first Chinese restaurants that started serving dim sum in a nicer environment and with better service than the brusque approach in most Chinatown places.
Royal China in Queensway has a very big dining room, with space for many family sized round tables, each with their own lazy susans. The walls are lined with black lacquer screens which is their signature look that is replicated across the chain.
I was there with my friend Fiona to review their dim sum menu which they serve daily. For those who are not too familiar with dim sum and how to order, they have pictures on their menus that help. Fiona asked me to order and this is what we had.
Dim sum being a Cantonese tradition, we had to have a soup as they do make really good soups- a nourishing Seafood coriander soup. As customary, we also ordered a pot of Oolong tea to go with our lunch.
Followed by an appetiser portion of crispy soft shell crab.
We had an array of dim sum, most were done well but I found that the cheung fun was not fine enough nor was the skin of the Shanghai dumplings. It does take a very skilled dim sum chef to execute these dumplings perfectly and unfortunately in London we don’t seem to have many that are trained. Besides this, everything else was delightful.
I did like their variation on crispy duck with their crispy duck rolls.
Our other assortment of steamed and fried dim sum dishes arrived including my favourite, the prawn and chive dumplings. Fiona rather gamely tried the chicken’s feet which a lot of other English friends have balked at. It really is an acquired taste as Chinese people like to chew on the bones which is more flavourful, rather than opting for a large chunk of meat.
We had lovely dim sum even though we probably ordered too much for two people. Since it was her first dim sum meal in a long time, it would have been wrong not to have a breadth of dishes. One of the comments was that everything came in multiple of 3 and that made it difficult for 2 people dining.
Dim sum always works better in a bigger crowd as you can order more varieties. On the weekends, they serve a few more special dishes than the menu we had. Dishes like crispy suckling pig is available as a dim sum dish and if you see it on the menu when you visit, you should try it. Don’t forget to get there early on the weekends to beat the crowds.
Royal China Queensway
020 7221 2535
Eat Cook Explore was a guest of Royal China