I used to work at MoneySavingExpert, which was based just off Oxford Street in London. There was a small group of us who would participate in CTT (China Town Thursday), where we’d go to China Town in our lunch break on a Thursday and try a different restaurant each week. The plan was to find the best Chinese restaurant in London. This was not kind on my arse or my wallet.
Anyway, it’s fair to say I LOVE Chinese food, especially dim sum. So when Royal China asked me to come and try out the dim sum, I was pretty much in my element, so invited my old CTT and ex-MoneySavingExpert colleague, Kate along, because she is incredibly serious about dim sum.
So we met at 1:30 at Baker Street station absolutely starving, with the plan to eat as much as possible (because, you know… greedy!). We made the mistake of accidentally going into the Royal China Club first, which is a few doors down from Royal China and is part of the same group. Royal China is fancy as it is and always incredibly popular (come on a Friday/Sat or on a weekend and you’ll have to queue to get in), but The Royal China Club is another story. It’s packed full of celebs and soup that cost £300 – so of course slinked away (the plebs we are!) and went to the cheaper sister restaurant down the road – Royal China.
Inside is SO fancy compared to your average Chinese restaurant, but not pretentious in the slightest. You don’t have to dress up or anything. The tables have fresh flowers and the service is absolutely incredible.
What is Dim Sum?
I had never heard of dim sum till I moved to London. I think it’s something that is is quite London-centric, well… certainly couldn’t get it in Swansea when I was growing up. So really basically, they are small Chinese dumplings that are steamed or fried (basically Chinese tapas) – and are bloody stunning!
What we ordered
Honestly, we wanted to order everything on the menu (well, apart from chicken’s feet!), and pretty much did. I can’t describe just how excited Kate and I were. We ordered so much, we had to write down what we wanted to order (including three desserts!).
All in all we got:
- Prawn and Chive dumplings
- Prawn dumplings
- Minced pork dumpings
- Shanghai pork dumplings
- Roast pork puff
- Sesame prawn roll
- Egg yolk tarts
- Peanut crumbs
- Milk and Egg tart
- BBQ honey pork
- Lotus leaf rice
- Prawn Cheung fun
(Reckon that’s enough? ha!)
Is it good value for money?
Each plate of Dim Sum cost around a fiver, and considering the quality, it’s really good value – because that’s exactly what you’ll pay in China Town, but it’s not nearly as good. We ordered a load of food which came to about £70, but you would need to order half (not even that really). You could would be stuffed, with amazing food for about £15-£20 per person – you’d honestly be mad to go to China Town instead of going here.
A bit off topic, but when did everyone start using chopsticks?
Ok, how come everyone seems to know how to use chopsticks these days? I seriously struggle with them, because I only started using them since moving to London (and most of the time I just ask for a fork!). When did you start using using them? As a kid? It’s a mystery to me.
If you’re ever in London, trust me, visit Royal China (there are a few dotted around), you wont regret it!
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