A lot of people I know have extreme opinions of Royal China. They either love it or really don’t. Hate is too strong a word but they don’t enjoy their meal at all. Our palates have become accustomed to spice, oil and an Indianised Chinese at most places that we forget there are different types of Chinese food. Most of the dishes at Royal China are cooked Cantonese style, which most perceive as bland or plain. I beg to differ-once in a while it’s nice to taste food and ingredients without a heavy coating of oil or bold spice. I’m not saying either is good or bad. I’m just saying change is good.
Tonight my aunt and uncle have taken my sister and I for dinner and I know our meal is going to be just that – royal! These guys are regulars and have probably sampled everything on the menu. It’s best to leave the ordering to the professionals. We’re greeted warmly with friendly hellos as we’re escorted to our table. The menus are promptly returned as we don’t need them.My aunt knows what we like and what we should try so she rapidly orders.The maître d and she are in heavy discussion as to what to order. I just sit back take a deep breath and eagerly await food.
( The food kept coming and we were too hungry so I didnt get a chance to really take very good pictures, my apologies but it gives you an idea of what my evening was like )
The salt and pepper squid is one of my all time favourites at any restaurant anywhere. Sadly this one looked delicious but was too salty and hardly any pepper.
Salt and Pepper Squid
The satay chicken was a little different from the satay I’m use to having. I’m not a very big satay fan mostly because I don’t enjoy the peanut sauce that accompanies it.
Chicken fried wantons in my opinion is the most boring thing you can order on a Chinese menu. However, the regulars assure me that these wontons are out of this world. They arrive at our table and my first thoughts are they are tremendously oily, as i can see the oil glistening in the candle light. Ignore the oil- one bite in and I have to agree they were super. Brown crisp outside with soft chicken inside. I’m still not a wonton fan but I’ll admit these were good.
Chicken Fried Wantons
The sea food dumpling in chilli oil was a great dumpling in itself but I’m not a fan of the chilli oil. I like spice but I found this one a little too much.
Seafood Dumpling in Chilli Oil
My favourite were the prawn and coriander dumplings. I love it when the coating is thin and there is ample stuffing inside the dumpling. I could eat serving after serving of those little treats.
Something I tried for the first time was the Shanghai dumpling. Or the soupy dumpling as we called it! Its a dumpling which you eat in a tiny bowl as its stuffed with chicken and soup. Yes that’s right SOUP. I thought it was excellent and had to be very careful while serving myself for fear of puncturing the dumpling and ruining it. Of course I ruined it anyway when i cut into it with my fork instead of eating it at one go with my soup. I’m quite fascinated to know how on earth they make it! How do you put soup in a dumpling!! Our own varied theories being tossed about we asked the waiter who smiles but refuses to give out trade secrets.
No true Chinese meal of mine is ever complete without my favouritest dish of them all. My drool worthy pan fried noodles. Everyone wonders why I obsess over these noodles but how can I not? The two textured noodles crispy on top and soft inside in a subtle sauce if you can even call it a sauce and vegetables and meat bursting all over. It’s my idea of heaven on a plate.
Pan Fried noodles
No Royal China meal can ever be complete without the steamed tenderloin balls. They are served on a lettuce leaf in those hand woven baskets and simply melt in your mouth. I think this dish is really one of Royal China’s royal treasures.
Steamed Tenderloin Balls
When pork puffs are ordered, instantly I make a face. I’m not a fan of puffs and the mention of it reminds me of my childhood of chicken and mutton puffs my granny use to get for us from P.A.C or R.T.I . If you are a Parsi or grew up with Parsi friends you will know exactly what puffs I’m talking about. However I have to remind myself this is certainly not P.A.C and there really is much more to puffs.They arrive and my first thoughts are they’re like little sweet biscuits that are Shiny glossy on the outside with sweet yummy pork stuff inside.Not really a dish I would order or enjoy myself but the common consensus around the table was that this is what a real puff should be.
You’d think we’re done by now and in a food coma -Oh no! Such a meal deserves a royal end to it. Toffee bananas with ice cream seems just about right. It’s not my favourite dessert but I’ll happily eat it. Banana is my favourite fruit and I love the hard sticky toffe outer coating with soft banana inside. A bite of that with freezing vanilla ice cream is a burst of flavour in your mouth.
Toffee Bananas with Ice cream
Of course we cannot eat anymore but we’re still lamenting how we ‘forgot’ to order the Chilean sea bass, the crackling seaweed and a couple of other delectable treats.
What I love about Royal China is I’ve never had a disappointing meal. EVER. To me, that says a lot. I love that my food comes to my table steaming hot ten minutes after the order has been placed. This kind of prompt service impresses me tremendously. I didn’t have to ask twice for my water or even the bill. It’s also very possible that we’re being given the royal treatment as I’m with regulars who frequent this place more than any other restaurant but I’m still very impressed. Big thank you to the Madons for a delicious and an extremely entertaining meal 🙂