In the age of Snapchats and Instagram stories, short-lived is fast becoming the norm de jour in just about every aspect of our lives, and ditto in the case of the F&B world too! While we have plenty of reasons to rejoice seeing to all the amazing additions to B-town’s food landscape, there’s also that air of gloom that sets in when you see the legends of yore succumb to time. Nevertheless, this isn’t a sad monologue to commemorate another legendary eatery biting the dust, this is a much-merited nod to one of the finest eateries in town – Royal China!
Now you’ve heard me go gaga over SoBo in quite a few posts, and if you know me you know how fiercely guarded I am about the townie vibe, but I’m sure all my town folk will agree that this is one of those places that make the town, well the town! I haven’t really gone into the history of the place to decipher how old it is, but it easily dates over a decade and a decade that has been spent acquainting many ignorants like us with the finer nuances of Chinese (Cantonese) cuisine.
The moment you enter the contemporary looking lobby, a brigade of staff is at hand you guide you to your seat and from the moment you rest your behind on the cushy sofa’esque chairs, to the point when you’ve shelled out a sizeable amount of cash, the experience is nothing short of sublime! The décor at their town outlet is modern but exudes a zen sort of vibe, and they’ve painstakingly done up the place without making it look too garish.
I’ve stated this quite a few times before that the service staff are what separate a meal from an experience, and the Royal China brigade goes all out in ensuring you have a culinary experience that makes you wish you were a cow who could ruminate over it again and again.
As for the food here, there’s a lot I have consumed in my many visits here, and I will only recount some of the dishes I’ve either enjoyed a lot or not enjoyed so much.
STEAMED CUSTARD BUNS – Life is uncertain, start with dessert! It’s as if the phrase was coined for these heavenly steamed custard buns. These round little beauties are simply outstanding and are my absolute favourite on their menu.
CHILLED MANGO PUDDING – Does this need any more of an explanation? Besides if you’re not really hungry, these wobbly portions are good to play around with too.
LOBSTER FRIED WONTONS – I know there are many raves going on about their duck, but the lobster wontons are absolutely the best thing on their menu and you just cannot miss these.
FRIED SOFT SHELL CRABS – They come with a topping of chopped veggies and the entire construct is a delight to devour. Besides, the batter on the crab is so perfect, not a touch less not a touch more.
SEAFOOD DUMPLING WITH GINGER AND CHILLI OIL – Ohhh, their chilli oil is to die for and the dumplings are just perfect.
CRISPY AROMATIC DUCK and PEKING DUCK – there isn’t much that separate these two quackers, and boy are they both delectable. There are no words to describe the sound of the crunch and the softness of the meat and the delicate balance of flavours in the sauces. Superlative!
BEEF CHILLI – Now this is something I have only seen recently on the menu, but I am so glad I did. The beef chilli is simply outstanding, and light on the calories too J
STEAMED CHILEAN SEA BASS – Fish, ginger, spring onions! I doubt there is anything out there to beat these three together. This is healthy and an absolute must try!
There are a few things on the menu though, that can definitely be given a miss.
CHICKEN AND SHRIMP SUI MAI
In terms of the price, Royal China is your typical fine dining establishment and you may end up spending in upwards of 2000 at least for a decent meal for two people.
Overall – Go / No-Go. Most definitely Go!