Dotted across London, from Fulham in the west to Canary Wharf in the south, the Royal China Group offers foodies in the capital a taste of authentic Chinese cuisine.
The group’s six restaurants, including the luxurious and critically-acclaimed Royal China Club in Fitzroiva, all have elegant décor, contrasting rich golden hues with striking red and black features.
Here lacquered murals depict ornate Chinese illustrations to create a focal point within each restaurant, with capacities varying from 55 to 150 covers.
Invited to experience the chain’s Baker Street property, the largest in the group, it is obvious why it has received such acclaim.
On arrival the atmosphere is busy, bustling and energetic, alive with a lunchtime crowd.
With its open-plan dining room, this is a relaxed, vibrant space, perfect for larger families and groups of friends eating together.
A signature Royal China mural
We are quickly seated and offered a series of menus.
With the obligatory green tea to start, with examine the myriad options.
Depending on your level of experience this can either be baffling or mouth-watering, with more than a hundred dishes on offer.
The restaurants are focused on traditional Hong Kong Chinese dishes, combining European ingredients within the authentic Chinese cuisine.
House specials include the aromatic crispy duck served with pancakes, spring onion and cucumber, while the Dim Sum is a favourite across the chain.
Each restaurant dedicates a full page in the menu to signature dishes created by the individual head chefs.
These are changed frequently, while the seasonal dishes are changed four times a year.
Cheng fun at Royal China
With a little help from the proficient, revolving waiting staff we select crab meat and vegetable dumpling soups to start, followed by vegetable cheung fun, BBQ honey pork and Yeung Chow fried rice.
Served as it is prepared, the dishes actually all arrive simultaneously, with only the crab meat dumpling soup taking a few moments longer.
Having been a little unsure, our order could have fed four.
The BBQ honey pork was sizzling hot, busting with flavour and tasted as though each mouthful would cost around an hour on the treadmill.
It must be hard for a Chinese restaurant to mess up Yeung Chow fried rice and Royal China was no exception, with a mountain of light fluffy rice offering a great side.
The vegetable cheung fun looked gossamer thin on the dish, translucent, but packed a full punch flavour wise, while the crab meat dumpling soup was a perfect final dish, light and exceptionally tasty.
While unlikely to offer much surprise to the experienced diner, all the dishes at Royal China were expertly cooked, quickly served and left nothing to be desired.
Washed down with Yanjing beer it made for a great meal.
Royal China is a large, communal restaurant, ideal for a moderately refined, though not formal, lunch with a large group of friends.
Well worth investigating.
Chicken and chive dumplings at Royal China
From humble beginnings in 1996 to an award winning chain of restaurants, Royal China always believed that only the very best is good enough.
Under the watchful eyes of award winning executive head chef Man Yuk Cheung, the group’s teams of chefs are instructed to leave nothing to chance.
Find out more at the official website.