Royal China Club is a Baker St institution and is classed as the jewell in the crown of a 6 restaurant conglomerate – all of which London based. After 12 years trading, they have recently gone through an overhaul too which means they have taken over next door and now have a 180 cover restaurant – considering the size of their crabs and lobsters in the tank I think this is a wise move! They probably need a car forecourt for them to be honest and don’t be me started on those elephant trunk sized geoducks! I have come here for the dim sum though and visited twice, for a reason. Check out why…
Char siu pork puffs £5.20 (3 per portion) are more akin to curry puffs in exterior, but don’t let appearances fool you as these little gems arrive piping hot and flakey with the most intensely flavourful filling.
Sesame paper prawn with mango sauce £5.60 (3 per portion) were a wonderful play on textures. Crispy on the outside with a pang of sweet drool-worthy prawns on the inside. The mango sauce was a spare wheel though and not needed IMHO.
Vietnamese spring rolls with prawns & soft shell crab £5.80 (3 per portion) are palate pleasers – all the ingredients are clearly identifiable through the high quality ingredients. They come with a grease-cutting fish sauce/vinegar and lettuce cups too.
Steamed seabass roles Szechuan style £8.60: I was dubious about this dish as I thought the hot oil and numbing spices would overpower the integrity of the delicate fish, how wrong was I and everyone was fighting over it too!
Glutinous rice wrapped in lotus leaves £9.60 is a generous lump of goodness that would stop you in your tracks – it says “mini glutinous rice wrap” on the menu. But there’s nothing mini about it, the filling is sweet as a nut and comes with whole fresh prawns vs the usual dried shrimps, which is a welcome change!
The roast BBQ pork Royal China style £18 was a piece of meat that someone really lavished some time on, making sure the fat was rendered down, the meat spiced and the skin coarse like sandpaper that makes a mellifluous crunch when you bite into it!
When did I go? Oct 2016 + Apr 2017
The damage: Expect to pay £50-£70 per head
The good: What immediately stood out from RCC was the quality of ingredients and the care they put into their dim sum. From what I gather their USP is refined Cantonese cuisine and you can really tell. I say this with a heavy heart, but it’s great to get out of Chinatown, removing oneself from the tourists traps, avoiding the downward spiral in the quality of food, in the name of eating deluxe dim sum! They have a great play on how to add what is traditionally European (caviar, truffle et al) ingredients to their dishes to elevate things to a memorable level.
The bad: The obvious is the price, which is probably why I don’t come here too often, the dishes are probably 50% more than the average. Is it worth it though? Probably not, but come here when you’re feeling flush.
Would I go again? Yes
Address: 40-42 Baker St, Marylebone, London W1U 7AJ
Phone: 020 7486 3898