The Royal China Baker Street which has been around since 2004 is the flagship branch from the group of eight in which in belongs. The speciality is Cantonese food, in particular dim sum which is why I come here and is made by 3 chefs with over 20 years experience between them. Big sweary Gordon has even been here to film the F Word back in 2008 in his attempt to make dim sum, he shown a clean pair of heels!
The menu has all the classics which I love.
Pu erh tea – it’s smooth, earthy and mellow. More importantly it cuts through the richness so you can eat more.
Chilli sauce, chilli oil, Worcestershire sauce and fish sauce vinegar – all the essential condiments.
Prawn and chive dumplings £4.20 – these are one of my favourite and most essential dim sum order and if chefs get them wrong then there’s no hope. Here, however they’re good as the prawns encased in translucent wraps are as succulent as can be and the aromatic chives as fresh as can be.
Pork and radish dumplings £3.80 or chiu chow fun gor (in Cantonese) is good. All the ingredients are clear and identifiable which are enhanced by 5 spice. I love them.
Har gau £4.20 – succulent prawns seasoned with white pepper, sesame oil and diced bamboo shoots enveloped in translucent wrapper. It’s pure crack.
Prawn cheung fun £5.20. The prawns I know will be good as I’m sure they are from the same stock as the dumplings. The wrapper seasoned in house blended soy is soft and silken as it should be.
Fried yam paste meat dumplings £3.80 or wu kok in Cantonese. They arrived fresh from the frier which meant that crispy piping hot exterior made the generous yam filling even more delectable. That is the litmus test of a good filling by the way, how much yam it contains as it’s a yam dumpling after all!
Generous amounts of purple yam filling here.
Vietnamese spring rolls £4.20. The indicator that of how good these fried treats can be is the value it brings from the sum of it’s parts. In this case the ingredients are good and well seasoned – my slight grumble is that the wrapper could have been crispier.
Kai Lan with ginger £10.80. If I was being finicky which I will be as I’m a paying customer these albeit delicious could have benefited with less cooking to retain those naturally crunchy sweet qualities.
Stuffed bean curd rolls £3.80 – with these it’s all about the bean curd wrapper skin which provides the perfect little container for all the fresh ingredients. There’s pork, prawns, wood ear shrooms and other julienned vegetables which all taste fresh – perhaps a drizzle more of sauce would have lifted them though.
Spicy chickens feet £3.80. You can’t have dim sum without ordering these, you won’t be disappointed too as they carry loads of flavour.
Plain cheung fun with peanut sauce £4.20. This was the hero dish for me, silken, soft and totally luscious. The peanut and hoisin sauce provides a delectable coating making the mouth feel extra rich.
Roast pork cheung fun £4.80. They were delish.
Beef dumplings £3.80 – piping hot, fresh from the steamer, just like how it should be and dip them into the Worcestershire sauce for maximum effect.
When did I go? Aug 2016
The damage: Expect to pay £25-£35 per head with tea.
The good: It was hard to fault the freshly made dim sum here in the plush surroundings that arrived in no time. The plain cheung was a stunner and it’s hardly fair to call it plain as it was so intensely satisfying to eat. I would suggest checking this place out if you haven’t as it makes a refreshing change to some of the hit and miss places in Chinatown.
The bad: It’s a bit costly in comparison to its Chinatown cousins.
Would I go again? Yes
Address: 24-26 Baker St, Marylebone, London W1U 3BZ
Closest tube: Baker St/Oxford Circus
Phone: 020 7487 4688