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Cantonese Franchise Royal China Opens in Dubai

Another franchise restaurant knocks on Dubai’s door; Cantonese outfit Royal China with locations across London, Singapore and Shanghai. Infact I seem to recall befriending the Bayswater restaurant many moons ago in FooDiva‘s London days. Located in the financial hub that makes up DIFC, the décor screams Moulin Rouge, all boudoir chic; dark wood, rich red velvet and brocades, and the pièce de résistance a floor to ceiling wine display in unsurprisingly, the bar.

Menu choice is a-plenty; dim sum, as well as Cantonese à la carte, and an impressive tea selection. Our choice of jasmine and lily flower teas (the latter sweeter) served in tall clear glass mugs were constantly replenished. Royal China’s website mentions a Hong Kongese inspired menu, so I enlisted suggestions from a FooDiva fan based there. Now every single dish recommended wasn’t on this menu. Clearly a sign the menu had been tailored for an international audience and unfortunately often the norm with Far Eastern and Asian cuisine dished up outside their country of origin.

Anyway after much umming and aghing and a little help from the Chinese waiters, here’s what our lunchtime trio settled upon;

BBQ chicken buns
Glutinous rice in lotus leaves
Stir fried turnip cake in XO sauce

Steamed prawn chueng fun with chive
Steamed chilli prawn dumpling
Crispy aromatic duck (quarter)

Before we knew it, the dishes started to arrive all piping hot and eloquently presented in the usual Chinese style. Dim sum wise, the cubes of stir fried turnip marinated in XO sauce, chilli and spring onions plus the steamed chilli prawn dumplings were all round favourites. You’d be hard pushed to guess the turnip was indeed a turnip. FooDiva’s now more inclined to buy and cook it at home. The prawn dumplings were served in a light hot and sour soup sauce with a dash of chilli. All marvelously moreish.

Since a friend introduced FooDiva to BBQ chicken buns (pork is commonly used in China), I can’t get enough of them, and Royal China’s lived up to the mark. The steamed prawn chueng fun whilst full of flavour, lacked the panache of Hakkasan’s version, all be it a crispy prawn and bean curd chueng fun.

Unwrapping the lotus leaves, we uncovered what can only be described as a mash of glutinous rice. It doesn’t sound very appealing and neither was it; leaving a strong after taste – the only disappointment to our meal. But Royal China does offer 37 choices of dim sum; plenty more to appease FooDiva’s fussy palate.

And the crispy aromatic duck, not only carved and shredded at our table, but served up with sliced spring onions, cucumbers and hoi sin sauce all rolled up in pancakes. Am all for an easy life, especially with duck so tender yet crispy.

… continue reading on FooDiva

Royal China is located at DIFC (Dubai International Financial Centre)
The Balcony, Building 4.
T: +971 4 354 5543  E:
Open daily for lunch and dinner even during Ramadan. Licensed.

One Response to “Cantonese Franchise Royal China Opens in Dubai”

  1. Wendy says:

    Sounds yummy!! Will give it a try for sure.

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