Royal China is a big player in the local dim sum scene and is definitely one of the more popular dim sum places in Singapore. Having read rave reviews about its Char Siew Sou and Custard Buns, I was glad to finally make a trip there for lunch a few Sundays back. I’ll be revisiting Royal China for their dim sum soon so I figured I’d better get this review up and going before the next!
Much has been said about their restaurant’s decor, and I must say it is indeed hard to resist falling in love with those magnificent Tiffany blue furniture and walls. Gorgeous and minimalistic. Upon arriving we were quickly led to our seats by the warm smiling waiting staff.
Odd to start off with this but I must say that their chilli sauce is really good. The minced shrimps gave it a nice fragrance and there was enough spice to add a little kick to each bite.
Baked BBQ Pork Puff aka Char Siew Sou ($4++)
My family doesn’t eat these kinda pastry stuff much, but I insisted on ordering them because of the reviews I read. We didn’t regret it a bit. If all Char Siew Sou tasted this good, I would become a CSS convert now. The pastry was soft, flaky, crumbling at each bite, but most importantly it was not oily nor overly buttery. The best part has to be the filling. Nailing the perfect balance between savoury and sweet, the char siew bits were extremely lean. Without a doubt Royal China’s Baked BBQ Pork Puff is a must order.
Steamed Prawn Dumplings ($4.80++)
What is dim sum without har gows? Royal China’s har gows are definitely among one of the best I’ve ever had. Plump, huge and sweet prawns encased in a delicate crystal skin – need I say more?
Steamed Bun with Salted Egg Yolk and Fresh Mango Juice ($4++)
These were the culprits behind me becoming a custard bao convert. It arrived steaming hot, yet none of us could hold in our excitement long enough for it to cool down. Tearing it open revealed the magnificent custard filling in the prettiest shade of orange. It wasn’t that flowy though and I suspect that might have something to do with the mango puree added. Royal’s China rendition of the custard bun belongs to those of the sweet category. Perhaps it was the mango puree, but the custard filling was just the right amount of sweet. You have to believe it’s that good when it got my entire family interested in custard buns ever since.
Steamed Barbequed Pork Bun ($3.60++)
The awesome char siew sou raised the bar and got us expecting much of this Steamed BBQ Pork Bun. And meet those expectations it did. Made with the same lean char siew fillings, the buns were extremely soft and hot. I’ll definitely order this the next time.
Another BBQ Pork Bun
And if that’s not enough char siew for you, Royal China dishes out this other Baked BBQ Pork Bun every Sunday noon. I absolutely adore these 3 bbq pork dishes of theirs. It’s a Sunday special so do order it if you get the chance to!
Steamed Minced Pork Dumplings with Wolfberry ($4.80++)
Some doggy-shaped bun that held a chinese sausage
That I forgot the name of the dish shows just how unimpressive this dish was. It is one of those look-good-more-than-taste-good dish. Cute, but not something I’d ever order again.
Top to bottom: Steamed Scallop Dumpling ($3.60++), Steamed Dumpling with Vegetable and Wild Mushroom ($4.60++), Steamed Prawn Dumpling with Chives
I love steamed dim sum dishes so I always make it a point to try as many as I can. To sum it up, Royal China is very generous with their ingredients. Every dumpling was bursting with fresh ingredients. With the skin being the right consistency and thickness, the steamed dumplings were nothing short of delicious.
Steamed Scallop Dumpling ($3.60++)
Scallop Cheong Fun ($4++)
The rice rolls was stellar with its silky smooth rice sheets layered with succulent sweet hugescallops. The accompanying soy sauce was light and did well to complement the fresh scallops. To get the best of both (well actually 3) worlds, go for the Royal China Special Cheong Fun that gives you a mixture of ingredients including char siew, prawn and scallop.
Fried Seafood Noodles
My dad wasn’t full though and he needed his carbs. “Cultural hunger” he says. The noodles were not oily, and with that much seafood in it, my dad was a very happy fat man.
Claypot Porridge with Handmade Meatballs
One of the specials of the day, the porridge reminded me of those we ate for breakfast at hawker centres when we were young. Steaming hot, simple, and absolutely delicious.
Reasonably priced at $4-$5.80 per serving of dim sum without compromising on quality, Royal China is definitely a must-go for all dim sum lovers. It is definitely one of my favourite dim sum places by far. Do note that they operate at 2 seatings for lunch on Sundays: 11-12.45pm and 1.30-3pm.
Royal China 1 Beach Road #03-09 Raffles Hotel Singapore 189673 6338 3363
Mondays to Saturdays: 12pm-3pm; 6pm-10.30pm
Sundays & Public Holidays: 11am-3pm