Royal China is the chain of Chinese restaurants in London and is best known for dim sum. Besides dim sum, they serve up some of London’s best Hong Kong Cantonese cuisine. It’s been a while since I’ve had a non dim sum meal there and was invited to review their dinner menu at the Canary Wharf branch.
This branch is located opposite the Canary Wharf river bus stop, and a short walk away from the Cabot Square and the shopping mall and offices. Like most good Chinese restaurants, one wall is dominated by a large fish tank with live fish and lobster. These are only partly for decor but it’s actually part of the menu. Chinese diners like to know that their fish is super fresh and better yet if they can pick the ones they want straight from the tank.
On the menu is a selection of Cantonese classic dishes but if you are unsure, try one of the set meals or ask the waitress to recommend. This is not the place to just have sweet and sour pork and a plate of egg fried rice, although they do have that on the menu too. It’s an opportunity to explore other Chinese dishes. I will just share how we typically order but as it was only 2 of us, it’s not that easy to get the regular variety of dishes, although we did try.
For starters, a must-have dish is the crispy duck with pancakes. The duck is shredded tableside and you get to make up your own pancakes. A quarter duck is enough for 2. Once this dish arrived, it rather overwhelmed our little table for 2.
Accompanying this, we had a bowl of dumplings in hot sauce, which wasn’t as well executed as DTF as the pastry skin was a bit too thick but the filling was delicious.
It was the end of Chinese New Year when we went so there were some auspicious dishes on the menu for the occasion. Those dishes were designed for large groups of diners so we opted for an ala carte selection to go with rice.
The sweet, sour, crispy shredded beef is an all-time favourite which we had with a clay pot of steaming fish fragrant aubergine. Balance in every Chinese meal is essential which was provided by a plate of Kai Lan, Chinese broccoli. Every Cantonese meal is usually rounded off with a soup but not this time.
Instead, we had the Chinese New Year dessert, red bean soup with glutinous rice dumpling.
As always, Royal China delivers fine Cantonese cooking.
The Chinese restaurant scene in London is changing with all the newcomers serving Szechuan or Northern Chinese cuisines. It’s great that Royal China is still going strong and long may they continue to fly the flag for Cantonese food in London.
Royal China Canary Wharf
30 Westferry Circus,
London E14 8RR
EatCookExplore was a guest of Royal China