I went with two friends to dim sum at Royal China today. One of the friends had been there before, but I hadn't. Overall, not bad.
We arrived at 12:30 and the wait was very short - seemed more crowded by the time we left, but they have a good crowd-control system in place.
Dim sum ranged from okay to very good.
Highlights were the shumai and har gau, both nicely prepared, good flavor, properly cooked shrimp. The beef rice noodle rolls were also very good, as were the turnip cakes (these were freshly fried and had crispy crust and soft, hot insides.
Some of the other dumplings were oversteamed a bit (scallop dumpling, pork with coriander dumpling) or just plain bland (vegetarian steamed dumpling). We tried a special of dumplings in a spicy sauce - not bad, but not that great - I was hoping it would be like the wontons at Hong Kong Flower Lounge in SF (see link here: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/4535... ) - it was definitely the same idea, just not executed nearly as well.
Rice noodle roll with fried donut was disappointing, it was served a bit cold, and the donut wasn't very crispy. Sort of a let down.
Steamed glutinous rice was okay, and steamed custard buns were decent and quite sweet. We had a few other things as well, but I'm already forgetting.
Overall, I thought the dim sum here was good, but nothing extraordinary. And prices were a bit high (although granted this is my first time having dim sum in London).....total bill for a LOT of food for 3 people was £52. We ordered pu-erh tea, and while it was okay, my friend was disappointed in the quality.
I'd be curious to know how other branches compare, and also how other places on the street compare.
After our meal, we strolled along Queensway, and we came across some interesting finds:
1) Brazilian grocery store in the little mall on Queensway, and also a Brazilian restaurant/cafe. The cafe had a buffet going on - all you can eat for £8 - and it looked pretty good. Wasn't able to check if they were serving feijoada, but the place was crowded and people seemed to be enjoying the food. Very casual setting, and quite small.
2) Noodle Oodle - I think I've been to their other branch on Oxford St (which wasn't that good), but this place seemed more promising, especially for their hand-pulled noodles.
3) Taza - Persian (I think?) kebabs and sandwiches, and also fresh juices. Looked very good.
4) Magic Wok - My other friend had been here before, and said it was good - any reports on this place? I noticed that in addition to the relatively standard Cantonese menu in English, there was a large specials menu (also Cantonese) that was in English too - but had more unusual items.