Britta Jaschinski / Time Out
Time Out rating:
Time Out says
Wed Feb 15 2012
Royal China is still the place in London to get high-quality, authentic dim sum at a reasonable price. This original branch, in Queensway, does a roaring trade on a Sunday: the doors open at 11, and there is a queue pretty much from then to nab a spot in the bustling dining room. Bookings are not taken.
Still, a bit of bustle is what you want in an authentic dim sum restaurant, and Royal China is worth the wait: the food is of reliably high quality, the service efficient, and the newly-renovated digs quite posh for the price. The refreshed interior is not a departure from the group’s signature style: elegant gold murals on black lacquer-lined walls show geese flying above dancing waves, and gold leaf lines much of the ceiling. Luckily, the classic and well-priced dim sum menu has not changed.
Char siu buns are airy steamed bread around tender barbecued pork that lacks the one-dimensional sweetness of Chinatown versions. The ‘Royal China cheung fun’ is a must-order selection of prawn, beef with water chestnut, and roast pork wrapped in wide rice noodles, and covered in sweet soy sauce.
While one could happily eat just from the dim sum menu, the specials are worth a try. Clams with bean curd skin rolls offered a pleasant contrast in texture: juicy, sharp seafood (all things from the sea are a speciality here) sandwiched between crispy fried bean curd skins. Similarly inventive and pleasing were yam cakes with chunks of wind-dried meat, sitting under deep-fried glutinous rice and prawn croquettes: perfect Sunday afternoon comfort food at the intersection of surf and turf, crunch and smooth.
The staff’s reputation for brusqueness seems unfair; on our visit, they were efficient and accurate in a busy dining room. Royal China is a popular – and great – place to bring children, but be warned that the tables are really packed in, and there is limited space for prams.
Royal China 13 Queensway
020 7221 2535
- Opening hours:
Meals served noon-11pm Mon-Thur; noon-11.30pm Fri, Sat; 11am-10pm Sun. Dim sum served noon-4.45pm Mon-Sat; 11am-4.45pm Sun
Tube: Bayswater or Queensway tube
Main courses £7.50-£50. Dim sum £2.30-£5. Set meal £30-£38 per person (minimum 2)
- 13 Queensway
- 020 7221 2535
- 13 Queensway
- Royal China
Food and drink
Restaurant and bar facilities. Take away. Reservations required. Lunch. Sunday lunch. Vegetarian dishes. General facilities. Private rooms
Meal times. Best for Sunday lunch. Best for dinner. Wow factor. Business. Going in a group. Late night. Eating out. Romantic
- Type of event: