To bid my cousin farewell prior to his 2-year study stint in France and Italy, I took him to lunch at the high-raved Royal China located at the prestigious Raffles Hotel. This is a popular restaurant; advance reservations must be made to secure a table.
My first impression on the service was, well, not good. No greeting whatsoever upon entering, not even a nod of acknowledgement.
Surprisingly enough, Royal China originates from London, which may explain the exquisite modern décor. Tiffany blue hues, pristine white dining furniture, tablecloths and china set the tone of sophisticated refinement.
The aunty waitress who took our order was friendly, brownie point for that. However, it was difficult to catch anyone’s attention when we needed our teapot refilled and we wanted to order more items later on.
Took some pics while waiting for the food to arrive.
Bite-sized Baked Egg Tart ($4.80) was very ordinary. Ever since I tried Yan Ting’s egg tart, I have never came across any that can match up to theirs.
Steamed Prawn Dumpling ($5.60). Fresh, flavorsome and crunchy prawns encased in smooth skin. Its simplicity at its finest. Mention-worthy were the size of the pawns, I had to take a few bites to finish a single dumpling.
I never pass the chance to order my favorite Liu Sa Bao/ Salted Egg Yolk Bun ($4.80). Although Royal China’s rendition includes fresh mango juice (I dislike mango), it didn’t deter me from getting a basket. Molten, flowy golden liquid check! Pillowy buns check! However, this mixture of sweet and savory custard wasn’t my cup of tea.
Baked BBQ Pork Puff ($4.80) was another hit. Nibble the buttery, flaky pastry to reveal generous filling of lean pork meat. We like that the BBQ sauce was not overly sweet.
Other popular classics we had were Steamed Pork Dumpling with Wolfberry ($5.60) and Pan-fried Bean curd roll stuffed with minced prawn ($5.60). Both were average.
I’d stop short of recommending the Wok-fried Cheung fun with homemade XO sauce ($8.80). It didn’t look anything like the photo in the menu which enticed us to order it, and lacked the robust flavor one would expect from XO sauce. Taste Paradise’s rendition is wayyyy better.
Century egg and lean pork congee ($6.80). Don’t you just love congee with chuck of century egg in them?
I love taro and I love scallops, so ordering Deep-fried yam puff with Scallop in Portuguese Sauce ($5.60) was a no brainer. While the morsels were a tad oily, the smooth yam, crispy crust and unique Portuguese sauce made up for it. Wished the scallops were thicker though, but then again, for the price, I consider it a good deal.
Having dined at Taste Paradise and Yan Ting, I wasn’t particular impressed with Royal China’s offerings and service. I mean, they were not bad, but they weren’t spectacular either. Worth a try but I’ll choose Taste Paradise or Yan Ting for my dim sum fix in a heartbeat.
Raffles Hotel Arcade
1 Beach Road
Tel: 6338 3363