Royal China Club

Bronze Award
7 Reviews
££££
Chinese, Dim Sum

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SquareMeal Review of Royal China Club

Bronze Award

This flagship branch of the Royal China chain might have doubled in size thanks to a four-month renovation in the summer of 2018 but compared to its huge siblings, it still feels intimate; instead of one large dining room, the restaurant is split into two, while five new private dining rooms benefit from natural light. The new look is slick without being intimidatingly stylish: gold leaf on the ceiling, red lacquer on the wall and enough black leather seating to make the restaurant smell like a luxury stand at the Beijing Motor Show. 


While rivals in this price bracket might concentrate on innovating regional Chinese cuisine, Royal China Club’s approach is to stick to the classics, but using premium ingredients: fresh abalone tossed with caviar, pan-fried scallop with foie gras, or a grilled Wagyu fillet in teriyaki sauce.


If the size of the bill isn’t a concern, you will eat very well here, although more budget-minded diners may not feel that the high prices are worth paying for dishes that are not dissimilar to the Baker Street Royal China a few doors down: £22.80 for a basket of eight seafood dim sum struck us as very steep, no matter how well made the contents.


Elsewhere, soft-shell crab with salt and peppercorn was well timed and well spiced, Szechuan king prawns had noticeably fresh seafood in a well-balanced sauce (though purists may wish for more chilli heat); while roasted crispy Iberian pork belly was a faultless version of a classic dish.


Staff are delightful, and even early in the week, there is a loyal market of regulars happy to pay Royal China Club’s prices for a comfortingly reassuring dining experience. If price is a concern, daytime dim sum offers a relatively more affordable way in.


Good to know about Royal China Club

Average Price
££££ - £50 - £79
Cuisines
Chinese, Dim Sum
Ambience
Buzzy, Traditional, Widely spaced tables
Food Occasions
Afternoon eating
Special Features
Wheelchair access
People
Child friendly, Group dining [8+], Special occasions

Location for Royal China Club

40-42 Baker Street, London, W1U 7AJ

020 7486 3898

Website

Opening Times of Royal China Club

Mon-Sun 12N-11pm (Sun -10.30pm)

Reviews of Royal China Club

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7 Reviews 
Food/Drink
Service
Atmosphere
Value

Mr. Roy F

Unacceptable in 2019
24 March 2019   

We returned to the revamped restaurant last night. This was a stalwart of good Chinese cooking in London for so many years.

The makeover has not worked as it’s like sitting in an hotel lobby waiting for a taxi, the menu is truncated and limited. The quality of the ingredients is not in question. The cooking is not in question. 

What is in question is the committee that put all this together, it lacks passion, skill, ingenuity, in short tear it up and start again.

Take yourselves down to Cleveland Street and just taste some of his food.

 

 

Food & Drink
Service
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Value

Anthony M

09 February 2013   
Special occasion for a group We went as a group of 17 people for a Chinese New Year Lunch recently. The regular Royal China branches do not take bookings at weekend lunchtimes the RC Club does. As it was the busiest time of the year, we took the private room to ensure the service went smoothly and it did. We ordered the set New Year banquet for simplicity. Food was excellent, definitely fresh and very tasty indeed. Service was swift, helpful and attentive and the GM passed by twice to see that all was well. The wine list is very high standard indeed and the wine prices not extortionate for the qualit .compared to many restaurants I have experienced. The three different French wines ( Champagne, Gewurtztraminer and Gigondas) we ordered were excellent ( I lived in France 16 years). This is a really good restaurant, comparable to many very good ones in Hong Kong and Guangzhou. Yes, indeed for 17 people, the bill was hefty (because of the private room and wine ) but then this is not an everyday drop in restaurant. The menu was available on line to consult for prices so we knew roughly what the total would be. and could budget for it. No complaints at all and only compliments on the food, wine and service for such a busy time of year. Pushchair and baby caused not difficulties at all. my only minor criticizm could be that dessert could have been a little more elaborate for the price but that was a minor niggle and did not bother my friends as by that time we were bursting at the seams. For a very special occasion with a big group (more than 12 people) it is definitely a recommendation. I recommend also to discuss your requirements in advance with the manager and consult the online menu to avoid sticker shock.
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Mr. Chris H

28 February 2012   
A group of 5 of us, including a small child, went for Dim Sum. The food was excellent and all of the dishes arrived hot and well presented. Service was attentive, and they could not do enough to make the small child feel welcome. All in all a very pleasant experience.
Food & Drink
Service
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Mr. Adam D

21 November 2011   
Two of us went for a dim sum lunch on a Sunday, for a birthday treat and found it the best dim sum I have ever had. And I have eaten a lot of it. We didnt have any of the other Chinese food so cant comment, but the dim sum was outstanding. Thats' not just because of the quality of the food, but also beacuse it arrived at the table so piping hot, and fresh, that it almost burnt your mouth. Incredible flavours. Highly recommend the sea bass rolls, and the australian lobster puffs. The pastry was so delicate, and not greasy at all. I gave a high service rating more on staff efficiency, and again as the food clearly wasnt hanging around in the kitchen. It wasnt on the friendliness of the staff, which perhaps was a little brusque, though not unexpected. We will definitely be heading back. £105 for two, with a generous order of dim sum, two glasses of champers, two glasses of wine.
Food & Drink
Service
Atmosphere
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Mr. Niklas S

12 February 2011   
Enjoyed a night with some friends at Royal China. We used to go there a lot in the past and since they typically deliver good food and atmosphere, we were all looking forward to it. We had a great time and the service was very alert. We ordered a lot of food and were keen on some fish. I therefore asked the waitress what fish she recommends and she suggested the medium turbot and to have it steamed. Ok, I said sounds good. All dishes were very good, except unfortunately …the turbot, which was completely tasteless and served poorly (more as a sidedish to the other 5-6 mains). I asked for the bill and all items were fairly reasonably pricey for this relatively upmarket Chinese restaurant. However, I then realise they charged me £100 for the medium sized turbot. Very cheeky Royal China!! and we were very unhappy about that. At the very least, you could have told us when we ordered the steamed turbot you wanted to charge us £100, especially since the second most expensive fish on the menu was £35. I told the waitress that I felt it was pretty poor of them to not to tell us the price upfront, she couldn't care less and simply swiped my credit card and walked away. I then asked for the manager to just make him aware of the fact that I felt they treated us poorly and that it shouldn't go unnoticed. The manager then simply laughed and said that “Well, you shouldn't have the turbot steamed as it won't taste good when steamed”…!!! Hopefully some of you other eaters avoid the same trap – or maybe Royal China all together ?
Food & Drink
Service
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Ms/Mrs. Sajni M

10 July 2010   
My very recent dining experience at the Royal China Club was very disappointing. We were a fairly large group of friends celebrating a special event and the food was pre-ordered a few days in advance.Even though the food and the atmosphere were good , the service was poor. The manager in charge was extremely rude when we commented on one of the dishes being unsatisfactory as it was prepared very differently from how we had very clearly ordered it with him. Also when we asked him why we were being overcharged for one item on the bill, he insulted us by telling us that the restaurant was not a ‘marketplace’ where prices of items could be questioned or discussed. His arrogance and his attitude left a very poor impression for the restaurant in all of us and I doubt that any of the group will ever dine there again.
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Chris C

18 February 2010   
Chinese New Year and Appo’s 70th so we thought we’d try and go posh! Certainly the plush surrounds of the restaurant gave a good initial impression, which sadly didn’t last for long. We were led to the table and after a few minutes of standing with coat in my hand waiting for it to be taken to a cloakroom I gave up, which was maybe a good thing as to start with the restaurant was very cold inside. On our table for 10, it seemed a little hit and miss whether you got a plate and cutlery, amusing the Chinese on the table that the Gweilo was the only one without a folk! The food arrived promptly and whilst not bad, it didn’t match the quality that the prices would suggest. We decided against the sharks fin soup starting at £28 a bowl and had a lobster and spinach soup to start which was good and tasty. For 2nd starter (well it was new year!) we had crispy duck, which arrived and then was quickly whisked away by an annoyed looking waiter as he had to go and shred it, nice but nothing special. For 3rd starter, did I say it was a celebration?! We had soft shell crap, which was by far the highlight of the meal, deep fried with a hint of chilli, tasty and succulent. Then for mains we had Roasted Crispy Belly Pork, sweet an sour pork ribs, sautéed Dover Sole, stir fried king prawn, lobster in honey bean & xo sauce, sharks fin with crab roe, choy sam and rice. Again all rather ordinary and nothing to really distinguish it from what the local take away brings me on a Saturday night! To be fair the service was quite mixed, simple things like taking coats, cleaning the table between courses and missing plates and cutlery from the table were missed, wine and water were topped up regularly and food did arrive fairly promptly with no long pauses between courses. All in all the place was a little bit of a disappointment, we were expecting Chinese food taken to a fine dining level, as the name, décor and prices would suggest. What we got was mixed service, and very ordinary food. In hindsight we regretted not going local as we think we would have had better food at half the price. Our bill was about £500 for the food part (£50 a head), which puts it on a par with Min Jiang which in my opinion is a far better choice.
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