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|Address:||24-26 Baker Street, London W1U 7AJ|
|Tel:||020 7487 4688|
|Price: £41.00||Wine: £20.00||Champagne: £33.00|
|Opening Hours:||Mon-Sat 12N-11pm (Fri-Sat -11.30pm) Sun 11am-10pm|
1 of 2 people found this review helpful.
If you want to be treated like an ignorant tourist and ripped off then I thoroughly recommend Royal China.
We dined there a couple of weeks ago and had a great meal with excellent service. All was good.
We returned this evening and had another enjoyable meal and thought that Royal China's reputation as a good local Chinese restaurant was confirmed. Then the bill came.
I handed over my credit card and the waitress printed out a receipt that I had to sign. The ‘tip’ line was left blank. I told the waitress that the ‘recommended’ service charge had already been added to the bill. I asked why she had asked us to sign a separate bill with a blank space for the ‘tip’. She flustered and said that an additional confirmation was required by the bank. Yeah, right! I told her that we had dined here two weeks ago and the waitress had not required us to sign a separate bill for a bank confirmation. Like almost every other restaurant in London, all I had to do was enter my PIN. I could even see that the wireless credit card terminal had an ‘Enter PIN’ message on the screen. Presumably the scam was to ask the customer to add a ‘second’ tip on the paper receipt at which point the waitress would cancel the original transaction and re-enter the higher amount (the original bill with the second ‘tip’ added).
Anyone who has lived in London for a while knows that this practice was all but outlawed about five years ago. The main newspapers, most notably the Independent, mounted a campaign to eradicate the intentional double-charging of ‘tips’.
I asked to speak to manager. He came to the table and also repeated the line that the bank required an additional confirmation. When pressed harder, he told me that a ‘service charge’ was different to a ‘tip’ and that he wanted to give his customers the opportunity of adding a ‘tip’ if they liked the meal. I'll leave you to be the judge as to whether this is credible. If you think that a service charge is different to a tip then by all means dine hear and I do hope that you enjoy the experience.
If, however, you do not want to encourage rip-off restaurants that adopt a proactive policy of fleecing gullible tourists (or those that look like tourists) then I would advise you to steer well clear.
This is a great shame as the restaurant is good enough to know better.