This is just starting off the thread. I was the last to arrive, so must start this off. Attending a chowdown with a toddler is probably not the best way of appraising the menu of a restaurant. I must say I was a bit distracted most of the time, by my anxiety that toddler might not behave properly, and by being excited about meeting fellow-chowhounds. This is my first time reporting like this and I should have been taking notes or something.
I was late - very very late. By the time I got to Royal Palace with my hubby and toddler, it was quarter past one and Limster had specified 12:30pm as the meeting time. Others at the chowdown were kristainlondon, Limster, and JFores and his girlfriend.
Starters: They had already been ordered. Braised beef slices, cold pigs’ ears, cucumber salad, flat noodles and something else I can’t remember. I enjoyed the beef and the cucumber. They were both quite salty. The beef from soy sauce, which was the predominant flavour. The cucumber was very vinegary but refreshing.
Mains: Handmade noodles with a tangy sauce, handmade dumplings (with pork and chives), eel, tofu with seafood in a light broth, pea shoots with ? very thin noodles in a savoury sauce, noodles in a spicy broth with egg.
The dumplings were definitely homemade: chewy skins, just the right size (about 2 bites) and nice filling. I haven’t had handmade noodles before, so really can’t comment on their authenticity, but they were good as well. The eel was fine, in a slighty sweet red sauce with dried chillies, small mushrooms and slices on baby corn. The dishes that I particularly liked were the pea shoots and the tofu with seafood. The pea shoots were cooked just the right amount so they were tender but retaining a crunch. The broth of the tofu/seafood dish was very light but with some heat from what I guess was white pepper. It was laden with tiny chunks of tofu, prawn, and I think squid and dried scallops.
We didn’t have any dessert. The bill came to 16 pounds a head for 6 of us. Overall, I think the meal was good but not excellent. Seeing as it is not too far from where I live, I would probably come back to try some different dishes, maybe the hotpot before the weather gets too warm.
I hope the others there will chip in because this report looks woefully inadequate to me!
1B Rotherhithe Old Road (near Surrey Quays)
London SE16 2PP