Helen Wilcock digs into flavours of the East with a meal at Royal China Queensway
China Town is obviously an extremely popular choice for those of us looking to enjoy one of the UK’s favourite cuisines, but if you’re looking to avoid the tourist trap without missing out on delicious dishes then Royal China is the ideal alternative, with five sites located around London.
We visited Queensway which is the original site for Royal China and despite being located next to the tube, as soon as you enter the restaurant you are transported from London to China, with the comforting smell of delicious food and stylish interiors.
Living up to its name, the design is regal and traditional with a gold ceiling, mirrored pillars and a large tile mosaic on each wall. The restaurant is no doubt popular with locals and tourists alike with the large round tables quickly filling up before 8pm.
There is also a private dining room situated at the back of the restaurant which was also in use, clearly a popular restaurant for a Wednesday night!
The menu is clearly separated out into different sections for starters, meat, fish, chef’s specials and sides. I was dining with a friend who is vegetarian and this proved slightly more complicated as we had to search the menu for appropriate dishes.
We began our Chinese feast with Vegetarian Spring Rolls (£6.50) and Crispy Aromatic Duck (£15.80). The duck was shredded at the table which added some drama to the evening and it was delicious; both on its own and wrapped in a pancake with plumb sauce and thin slices of cucumber.
The spring rolls were crispy and provided the perfect crunch when bitten into; however, they did require being dipped into the chilli sauce accompaniment to add some much needed spice.
This was then followed by Chicken with Chilli in ‘Chiu Chow’ style (£11.80), Vegetarian Dumplings (£6.50), Egg Fried Rice (£4.50), Stir Fried Mix Vegetables (£11.80) and ‘Shaolin Monks’ Vegetables (£11.80) served in a Clay Pot.
The chicken wasn’t full of flavour like I was expecting which was slightly disappointing but the rice was light and fluffy and a great side to all of our dishes. The ‘Shaolin Monks’ vegetables arrived at the table sitting on a hot plate and looked great as they bubbled away, again adding some drama to the dinner.
While we made the mistake of not leaving room for dessert we were extremely tempted by the Mango Pudding (£4.80) and the traditional Lychee in Syrup (£5.20).
The Wordrobe verdict
A welcoming atmosphere that made you feel immediately relaxed with a menu brimming with authentic options, although limited vegetarian dishes. The staff were wonderful at letting us take home what we were unable to finish, which is great if you accidentally over order.
Make it happen
Where: 13 Queensway, London W2 4QJ
Bookings: Phone +44 207 221 2535 or click here to make a booking
Words by Helen Wilcock