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REVIEW: Royal China

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Decked out in imperial red, the décor at Royal China has a suitably regal feel. The restaurant, which sits in the heart of DIFC, offers high-end Chinese dining with a focus on all things traditional. Having first opened in London, the chain soon spread to cosmopolitan cities like Singapore, Shanghai and Bangkok, where it’s renowned for its dim sum.

When we enter the restaurant, diners can be seen sipping on jasmine flower tea before their meal – the drink is a customary welcome gesture in northern China, and one of the most popular teas across the country.

Given that there were multiple large menus, and lots of dishes of dish variations, we were a bit confused at where to start. Our waiter recommended some of the famous dim sum, so we opted for sesame prawn rolls, which were crunchy on the outside and tasted delicious dipped in soy sauce. The steamed chicken dumplings come in a thin, translucent wrapper (if you’re not familiar with Cantonese dining), and are a bit more of an acquired taste.

For main we went for Chinese dishes that are common around the world. As expected, they were simple but done extremely well. The sauce on the kung pao chicken had a perfect balance of spice and salt, with a sweet aftertaste, and the strong favours complemented the chicken and cashew nuts. Our guest opted for the roast duck Cantonese style, which had crispy skin smothered in a thick, rich sauce.

The range of desserts is slightly limited for those who aren’t fans of fruit – but in saying that, we recommend the fruit platter. It’s full of tropical colours, with the likes of lychee, mango and pineapple.

Overall, Royal China’s food is great, once you’ve managed to negotiate all the menus, and the decor ensures it feels a cut above the rest.

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