The poshest branch of this high-end mini-chain, Royal China Club puts a premium spin on even the humblest of dim sum, making you feel like royalty.
The ‘club’ in the name makes RCC sound like a members-only section of the Royal China Group, which isn’t far from the truth. This, the premier link in the chain, has an air of quiet elegance found in five-star hotels, right down to the faint tinkling of a piano. The kitchen turns out consummate Cantonese cooking, using prized ingredients (abalone, lobster, veal) at every opportunity. At lunchtime, dim sum includes the signature cheung fun, which here comes filled with velvety dover sole and smooth pieces of scallop – all sitting in a puddle of sweet, smoky sauce. A quartet of siu mai (steamed pork dumplings) are topped not with a dice of carrot (as they would be in Chinatown), but with pearls of salmon roe, as you’d expect at the banqueting table. Even simple noodle dishes are elevated to premium status: our steak ho fun noodles were smothered in a dark, soy-laced sauce full of umami savouriness, heaped with expertly judged slices of medium-rare sirloin, and sprinkled with sesame seeds. Wherever possible, the polished, softly spoken staff employ silver-service methods, making everyone feel like a visiting dignitary.