Both the setting and food here are enjoyable, without ever being quite as good as you’d hoped. The short walk from the station leads you to expect a dramatic waterfront location. And the conversion of this former grain warehouse looks classy, the old girders painted red and neatly turned into Chinese pillars. But there’s no river view, and the restaurant can feel large and anonymous – perhaps not surprisingly, as it’s next to a conference centre. As for the dim sum, some of ours was superb. Grilled chive dumplings stuffed with prawns and water-chestnut were crisp outside and crunchy within. Turnip cake was firm yet creamy, with tiny flakes of pork and burnt onion and a distinctive taste of turnip. The cheung fun, though, were gelatinous, and the pak choi less al dente than plain gloopy. Whelks in black bean sauce was a nice idea for the East End, but didn’t quite come off. With more Chinese people once again living in Docklands, it’s perhaps not surprising that you have to book here at weekends, when a more authentic atmosphere might make up for any occasional shortfall in cooking standards.
|Venue name:||China Palace||Contact:|
2 Western Gateway
|Cross street:||Royal Victoria Dock North|
|Opening hours:||Meals served noon-11pm Mon-Thur; noon-11.30pm Fri, Sat; 11am-11pm Sun. Dim sum served noon-4.45pm daily.|
|Transport:||Tube: Custom House DLR|
|Price:||Main courses £7.80-£20. Dim sum £2.60-£5. Set meal £16.50 per person (minimum 2); £28.50 per person (minimum 4).|