Thursday, March 05, 2009

Royal China: Very Royal Indeed

Peach bun

Complimentary "birthday buns" from the restaurant that all Chinese birthdays ought to have. Nothing special, at least the one at Lei Garden has salted egg.

My family celebrated our grandma's 80th birthday last Saturday. Due to the worsening economic crisis, we had to downgrade from Lei Garden to Royal China especially after Lei Garden increased their price.

I believed many people before me have waxed lyrical praises on the pale blue walls of the restaurant so without further ado, let's get on with the food.

Crispy aromatic duck roll
Crispy aromatic duck roll

Trying to eat this made me exceedingly aware of my inadequacy with chopsticks. The duck roll was deep fried with vegetables, duck meat and lovely sweet sauce inside it.

Roasted Pork with mustard sauce and sugarRoasted Pork

We also ordered another dish not included in our special menu. The roast pork, (my grandma's favourite) had this special mustard sauce that you can dipped in with sugar. It was sweet and mildly spicy at the same time. Despite not being in the menu, this was one of my favourite dish for that night.

Double boiled shark fins soup with chickenDouble boiled shark fins soup with chicken in claypot

The chicken soup comes in a claypot with the large chunk of shark fins on a special dish. They will stir in shark fins in front of you. In spite of the amount of chicken meat and shark fins, this pale in comparison with the doubled boiled soup from Lei Garden. This soup also gave a very bad impression of the service in this restaurant (see below).

Steamed pink garoupa in light soya sauceSteamed pink garoupa in light soya sauce

Plenty of bones in the fish which I can endure but! The fish wasn't very fresh. I am not impressed.

Sauteed Caral Clam and Scallop with asparagusSauteed Caral Clam and Scallop with asparagus

Most of the people seated at my table hated the clam. Personally I loved the chewy texture of the clam. Acquired taste? The scallop was only slightly above average fare though.

Deep fried ribs in special sauce
Deep fried ribs in special sauce

A western dish in a chinese restaurant? Probably because Royal China is originally a London restaurant. The sauce of the ribs was too special for me. Or should I say, too salty. The result was a forgettable salty experience.

Braised sliced abalone with mushroom
Braised sliced abalone with mushroom

The abalone was tender and chewy. The mushroom was huge and juicy. What more can you ask for?

Braised Prawn Noodle In ginger and shallot sauceBraised Prawn Noodle in Ginger and Shallot sauce

The prawns were succulent. The same cannot be said of the thin yellow newspaper strips that they were nested on top of. However, there were people who liked those noodles. I suppose this is another case of acquired taste.

Chinese fusion Dessert
Chilled Chrysanthemum and Apple jelly with diced Aloe Vera

Probably the most interesting of all dishes in the entire 8 course dinner. Eaten with the bits of sour plum and walnut, the dessert was a deviation from the usual Chinese dessert that were typical of such restaurants.

At around $100 per head for a 8 course meal, it is not worth it for the food or for the service. Firstly we waited a long time in between for our food. In end, we spend almost 3 hours in the restaurant (7pm to 9:40pm++). And despite the number of staff for our two tables, the service for my table is atrocious. The staff actually removed our shark's fins coup claypot without informing anyone after serving anyone a bowl. This would be fine if it wasn't for the fact that the other table had second helping! Are you telling me that our claypot had no more soup even though the size of serving should be the same? Or did the staff took the soup for some other reason?

To be honest, even without that incident, I do not feel that Royal China is value for money. The best and cheapest chinese restaurant I have eaten before is at a small shop located at Malacca. This doesn't even come near to it.

Will I return to this restaurant again? Probably not, unless it's for the dim sum which I heard is good. And even then I will think twice.

Royal China is located at #03-09, Raffles Hotel


ladyironchef said...

oh dear. not up to standard eh? i haven try their main course before, can't afford. dim sum is cheaper. haha. but going to royal china is a downgrade from lei gardens? prices are about the same no?

T__T said...

It's cheaper by 400 dollars for a group of 20 pax. The main course... maybe this special menu isn't that good.

T__T said...

I checked and confirmed. It appears that I'm wrong that it's cheaper but rather, Lei Garden has increased their price.

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