Royal China

Why go here:

Known to be one of the best dimsum serving places in London with prices which match its much less-worthy Chinatown counterparts.

What it looks like:

I visited the Canary Wharf branch of the restaurant which is situated right next to a ferry pier and offering a stunning view of the Thames. The restaurant has definitely got the royal feel to it with the black, red and golden tones and the alternating mirrored and painted walls.

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The food:

You can’t go to a dimsum joint and not order dimsum. Instead of discussing all the different dimsum dishes we ordered, I’ll mention the ones that stood out the most for me. The steamed prawn dumplings with coriander and the roast pork cheung fun were morsels of deliciousness. The coriander enhanced the flavour of the prawns in the dumplings and the roast pork was sweet and smoky. The peanut sauce served with the cheung fun was so good, I could have had a bowl of rice with the sauce alone.

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Besides dimsums, we also tried the Chiu Chow Chicken, which was chicken prepared using authentic preserved chillies from the Chiu Chow cuisine of south-east China. The chicken was quite hot but the aroma of the garlic and the vibrant chilli peppers really makes this a tongue tantalising dish.

The green tea served here seemed to be one of the only things that disappointed me. You are better off ordering wine or just water. Service is similar to the standard Chinatown eatery- rude and rapid. I didn’t see any of the waitresses smiling and chatting to the guests, but I think this is more of a cultural difference. At Chinese restaurants, the service is all about speed and efficiency and they must have a very hard job at Royal China, since its supposed to be always brimming with dimsum lovers.

Verdict:

The dimsum as well as the al-a-carte dishes are of great taste and quality while being a fraction of the price compared to other Canary Wharf eateries. Come here for a weekday lunch with colleagues or clients if they love Chinese or you could come over for a date during the weekend. The restaurant doesn’t take reservations though, so you’ll have to come early or be prepared to queue.

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