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24-26 Baker Street
Despite the burnished golden walls, black and gold seat covers and opulent swooshes all over the menu, we reckon that the 200-seater flagship of the Royal China group is starting to look a bit tired – although it still has more personality that some outlying branches of the chain. Expect queues for daytime dim sum at the weekends, when the seasonal menu encompasses deep-fried minced squid balls, prawn dumplings with coriander, chicken’s feet in Chinese rice wine, stuffed beancurd rolls and best-selling roast pork buns. In the evening (from 6pm), a hefty carte focuses on signature barbecued meats and crispy duck alongside competently rendered Cantonese standards including lemon chicken, stir-fried Dover sole with spicy salt, sautéed beer with oyster sauce and peasant-style hotpots (stewed pork belly with preserved cabbage, for example). A favourite for big parties.
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Best Private Rooms: >30
24-26 Baker Street
Baker Street Tube Station 541m
Bond Street Tube Station 557m
The Wallace Collection 155m
Dorset Street 199m
Mon-Sat 12N-11pm (Fri-Sat -11.30pm) Sun 11am-10pm
Food & Drink:
Rate & Review
Food + drink: 4
I haven’t eaten in here (or any Chinese restaurant) for a long time, it used to be a firm favourite, however, the influx of great Japanese and Pan Asian restaurants in London over the past few years lured me away.
There is still always a queue around the block for dim sum on the weekends.
The food here is still good, service steady and all in all we had a thoroughly enjoyable meal eating all of our old favourites - crispy aromatic duck, smoked chicken, crispy chilli beef (that wonderful sticky sweet, you know it’s not good for you, sauce), noodles and beansprouts, egg fried rice, a bottle of very reasonably priced Albarino and a few beers. The bill for 3 of us came to £117 including service.
I used to think of Royal China as one of the more expensive restaurants that we used to frequent, but most restaurants that we eat at now easily come to this amount (and more) for 2 people, so we were very pleasantly surprised.
The décor though is very tired, there was rather too much gaffer tape holding down pieces of carpet and it really could do with a bit of a facelift, but then, so could I, maybe it’s best to remember the good old days!
Amidst the quest for all things new and trendy, it is often quite refreshing to return to the traditional. Ask most hip Londoners what they think of Chinese food and the typical response would probably be to rate high-end Hakkasan or its more affordable peer Yautcha. However, if you want a more authentic experience – and one that does not necessitate a visit to the too-tacky Chinatown district – then take a trip to Royal China. Now a mini-chain spanning some half dozen restaurants in a variety of London outposts, its flagship venue stands on Baker Street and has been here for some 20 years. Cool it is not, perhaps most reminiscent of a large canteen, albeit one with Oriental furnishings, but based on how busy it was on a recent weekday lunchtime, clearly Royal China is doing something right. It ain’t the service: I was, for example, asked by three different people what drink I wanted within minutes of arriving and before my comrade had joined and, in general, none of the staff seemed to be aware what others were doing. But, in terms of food, the restaurant is hard to fault. In itself, having a menu spanning 100+ dishes across both Dim Sum and more conventional mains is an impressive feat; being able to prepare them all to a high standard even more so. On this occasion, we chose a la carte and enjoyed a fine spectrum ranging from succulent fried chicken with a chilli sauce, to sizzling beef via subtly flavoured greens. Elsewhere, we spotted few dissatisfied customers and mostly empty dishes. At c£80 for two all-in (including beers and service), Royal China isn’t obviously cheap, although through more careful selection, and tea rather than alcohol, the price would obviously come down. What you get though is very good and probably more authentic than many other Chinese places in central London.
Food + drink: 5
We were a group of 28 on Saturday 6th August at the Royal China. We had excellent service, delicious food and a really excellent eveing. We will certainly return! Would highly reccomend it.
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