For a long time I was not into dum sum. I can’t even recall if it was because of a mediocre experience, I just preferred other forms of Asian food. Even though I consider myself to be a huge fan of food, there are some things that I have refused to try before because they don’t appeal to me. There are now three amazing dim sum experiences under my belt (Hakkasan, Bintang – Kentish Town and Mama Lan – Dalston), which have completely changed my mind on dim sum. Whilst it was a territory I vowed to never go near, these three spots varying from fine dining to street food, firmly hit the spot on the dim sum discovery journey.
As if the universe picked up on my new love of dim sum, Royal China appeared on my radar. Heading west to Parsons Green was a mission. Being an Eastender, you really need a compelling reason to travel west of Bank. I was delighted when I came out of the station, as it was a lovely sunny day, the area is quite residential and sweet. On a little high street, there was the mysterious Royal China, its unassuming entrance concealed by a bus stop.
Now, because of where it is located and the daunting bus shelter in front of it, you can understand why passing trade my miss it. My advise to you is don’t. This is by far what I would expect an authentic dim sum experience to look like in China. Interiors aside and even service aside, its all about the food here. The menus may look complicated to the beginner, but the team are on hand to help you figure out what you should order so you have a varied spread and you don’t over do it. It is excellent for vegetarians too which is handy, as my dining companion was a non meat eater.
We were torn between so many options, as everything sounded great. We went for a ‘tapas’ vibe as the menu is built for sharing. It would be really boring to order your own starter and your own main because you would be missing out on the opportunity to taste lots of amazing food. Having studied the menu for ages, changing our minds constantly, we finally had a plan of action. We ordered a massive portion of noodles with crab. The crab meat was plentiful and free of shell pieces which can be very annoying. There were the most amazingly delicate parcels of king prawns on a bed of soy sauce as another choice. The king prawns were literally bursting with taste and the packaging was yummy melt in your mouth.
We had vegetable dumplings and some more prawn action in the form of prawn and chive dumplings. I also had an interesting portion of steamed chilli pork dumpling which was just delish. The deep fried prawn balls were not at all how you would have envisaged them, instead they were light and crispy. The only thing that did not completely tick the box for me was the spare ribs in black bean sauce. There was not a lot of meat, it was very bony and it didn’t look as I had expected. I guess it’s an acquired taste.
Regardless, every other dish made up for this one tiny error and then some. The service was seamless and as you can probably guess, the food was a bold 9 out of 10. I am still constantly thinking about when I can have my next hit of those king prawns in that gorgeous delicate parcels. Looks like I will be heading west past Bank in the near future.
805 Fulham Road
London SW6 5HE
t. 020 7731 0081