I love reviewing restaurants especially as I am located in London and there are so many hidden treasures waiting to be discovered. The next restaurant that I wanted to tell you all about is a Chinese restaurant in Bayswater. The streets of Bayswater are aligned with beautiful large houses which are nicely furnished too if you manage to get a peek inside. My friend and I decided that for this this little adventure we would drive. Be aware they have residents parking but the times are different depending on what side of the road you are parking on so we were lucky enough to find a great space nearby and walk to the restaurant.
From the outside the restaurant doesn’t appear to be very large – appearances can be deceiving. You walk in through the smallish shop front area up past the bar and voila a lovely large room with mirrored pillars and plenty of seating space. The clientele are mixed with a fair amount of Chinese people there as well as a mixture of other people who all seemed to be tucking into their meals happily and it sounded as if some of these were regulars as well, a great indicator of a good restaurant especially in such an affluent area. The Royal China group of restaurants are well known for their dim sum which are served daily from noon to 5pm.We took a while to look through the menu (I can be pretty indecisive at time) and during this time we were asked a few times if we we ready to order which was good as we knew we had not been forgotten. The menus were well presented with a good range of dishes and pictures which really do help you decided what you want the only problem is you might over order as so many of the dishes look delicious. The tables were clutter free just the essentials adorned, the environment was nice and relaxed. Over the course of the evening more people arrived for dinner and for a Monday night the restaurant was doing well. We were pleased that there was wifi available onsite and we made full use of this.
The pictures of the various foods in the menu really do get you salivating before you order and there is a good range of vegetarian, seafood, meat and poultry dishes to choose from. There were numerous members of staff and some seemed friendly enough where as some were preoccupied with getting all the work done quickly and efficiently. After studying the menu we finally decided on the Seafood Gourmet which was one of their set menus. This way we would get a nice selection of dishes and they all sounded yummy. This particular set menu costs £39.80 per person and includes some great dishes as you will see shortly.
We were pretty hungry when the food arrived and so at first we didn’t realise that we had been brought out the wrong starter selection, it was only once we had eaten a little that we realised we had been served the starters from the House Dinner set menu £33.80. This consisted of:
Sesame Prawn Toast
We have all tried these at some stage or at least those amongst us that have dined or ordered from a Chinese restaurant. These had a nice generous topping of prawn on the toast which you can identify as prawn. This is lovely and moist and the bread beneath is golden and crunchy not a burnt part in sight.
Smoked Shredded Chicken
This had a smokey taste to it and was seasoned nicely with salt and the chicken pieces were not too thin. You could see this was actual shredded chicken not an item from a questionable origin. The chicken had been fried with chilli and spring onion to add extra flavour to the dish which is different to what I am used to as it normally comes without these so it was a welcome surprise and added an extra kick to the dish. This was served with a sweet chilli dip which I do like and have my own bottle from my local Chinese cash and carry – I doubt any of you are surprised to hear that lol.
Vietnamese Pancake Rolls
These were served with fish sauce and were packed with vegetables as you can see in the picture and I also discovered some chunks of prawn in there too. The coating was nice and crunchy although a touch greasy on the outside but then you expect some grease from a dish that is deep fried.
Mandarin Pork Chops
I will admit I had specifically not ordered the The House Dinner set menu as I wasn’t sure about this particular dish and we did prefer the seafood options but this dish was actually really good, in fact I will hasten to add that this was the best of all the starters that we got to try apart from one which I will tell you about later. The meat had been removed from the bone and the actual pieces of meat had been cleared of any fat. This dish was full of flavour so it was actually good thing in a way that the wrong starters had been brought to us.
This is another starter that features on many Chinese restaurant menus. The seaweed was nice and crispy as expected and lightly seasoned with salt. I do like this although you need to be careful not to get it caught in your teeth. Not something I would advise to eat on a first date.
Spicy Baby Squid
We asked for a portion of this as it would have come with the original set menu that we ordered and we really wanted to try it. We did not regret the decision, the squid was nice and tender and the batter was crunchy and full of flavour. This also had spring onion and chilli and had a good kick to it which you can avoid if you don’t eat the chillies although they are very good for you and work fabulously in the dish.
All the dishes were fresh and there was no indication of stale oil for the fried foods or that various different items had been cooked in the same oil.
Next up was the lobster.
We had a choice of sauce as you can see in the picture above with the menu, we opted for ginger and spring onion. There were lovely large pieces of ginger found amongst the chunks of lobster which had been broken apart to make sure the flavours dispersed well when cooking in the sauce and also to make it easier for us to handle. You are provided with the necessary tools to prise the lobster pieces apart in order to get to the soft perfectly cooked and beautifully flavoured meat. I would highly recommend this, it’s delicious!
Between each course the staff were extremely fast in clearing the table and bringing out fresh plates for us to eat from. By this stage we were feeling pretty full as the food we had already feasted on was quite filling but there was still more to come!
Next arrived the following:
Mixed Seafood in Bird’s Nest
Not an actual birds nest thankfully having seen how these are made in various nature programmes, this dish was well presented as were all the others in this course. The colours of the vegetables were all vibrant and the texture crisp indicating a flash fry which was good as it kept them looking great and retaining their nutrients and flavour. The sauce was very tasty and did not take from the flavour of the vegetables or the seafood which was more than adequate in it’s quantity in the dish. The prawns and squid were plump and tender, the scallops perfectly cooked and lovely and soft.
Deep-Fried Fillet of Dove Sole with Spicy Salt
This was amazing!!! We both loved this dish although we struggled to eat it all as we were almost bursting by this stage. The thought of wasting such delicious food spurred us on as it wouldn’t be right and we would have felt awful doing so. The pieces of fish were large but not too big to fit in to your mouth with a couple of bites. The fish itself was tender and flaky, the coating was perfectly seasoned with salt and not too much spice for my taste or to prevent you enjoying the overall flavour.
Stir Fried Mixed Vegetables
Lovely fresh crunchy vegetables with a delicious light sauce, again the flavours of the vegetables could be enjoyed as the sauce was not overpowering. The dish looks simple yet pretty and was very good.
‘Royal China’ Lotus Leaf Rice
This specially prepared rice dish consists of prawns and duck wrapped in a lotus leaf and steamed allowing the flavour from the duck, prawn and lotus leaf (a light tea like flavour) to gently infuse with the rice. This is a lovely dish and as you dig through the rice you will find generous pieces of prawn and duck hidden within.
As luck would have it one of the other tables asked if they couple pack up what they couldn’t eat and take it home. Not having occurred to us to do this previously we decided it was a great idea and did the same. The food would have ended up being thrown away which we simply could not allow. Below you can see how much was packed away which demonstrates how good the portions are here and I would say that this set menu allows enough food for three people rather than two or alternatively a doggy bag for the next day.
But it’s not over yet!
The final course – dessert!
Mixed Fruit Platter
We thoroughly enjoyed our meal at The Royal China Bayswater These guys have a few more sites to look out for too. The food from the set menu as demonstrated is plentiful and we both agreed this is excellent value for money when you look at the quantity, quality and types to food included in the set meal. Apparently seven course tasting menus are also available for those with a very large appetite.
A must try if you are a fan of Chinese food and are in London.
Royal China Bayswater
020 7221 2535
I was invited to the restaurant for an honest review. As always all views are my own.