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Hong Kong Chinese in London at Royal China:
I remember being told that Chinese food was healthy. There’s no dairy, very little gluten, a lot of vegetables and a lot of steamed dishes. Dim Sum, those tiny parcels of deliciousness that you perhaps associate, as I do, with a lazy Sunday lunch with friends, makes a perfect mid-week meal too. The last time I visited one of the Royal China branches, it was to Queensway, where I was joined by a Chinese Malaysian friend, who happily ordered her way through the entire menu in Cantonese. This time, we decided to pick a few dishes and perhaps order more as we went along. A bit like tapas, it’s far too easy to over-order. Though since most of the dishes are less than £5 for three or four, it’s hard to blow the budget.
These are steamed buns filled with Iberica pork and wind dried chinese sausag and served with dipping sauces. Very delicious with a great filling, I dipped once, then ate the rest without any ‘extras’ – it was far too good to need the hot chilli sauce.
Next up, a couple of seafood dim sum dishes – first prawn dumplings which were nice, but actually did need the addition of a little soy.
While scallop dumplings with chives were delicate and succulent. Steaming scallops in a dim sum wrapper seems to me to be a perfect way to avoid over cooking the tender flesh.
These rather curious looking dim sum are Shanghai pork dumplings. I suspect they are the invention of a naughty Hong Kong chef, designed to test the chopsticks skills of Westerners. Each parcel is full of pork and a hot sweet soup. If you make a hole in the wrapper, you end up with not much more than the wrapper as the entire content will fall out. We lost one out of four, not bad for beginners. And, that one was partly down to a rather full steamer – two of the dumplings got stuck together so that the only way to retrieve them was to sacrifice one.
Friedaubergine and pange fish tempura rolls were crisp and crunchy on the outside and deliciously tender inside. I don’t know what was in the sticky sweet sauce, but it made a perfect accompaniment for me.
The star dish was this Sichuan style hot and spicy steamed chicken sui mai
Overall, we thoroughly enjoyed the food – and with dim sum prices around a pound a piece it’s easy to eat lunch on a budget. It’s also food that doesn’t leave you feeling bloated. The perfect lunch to share with friends perhaps?
24-26 Baker St,
London W1U 3BZ