Dim sum is always a lot of fun to eat. Optimal crowd size is 3-4, since most dishes are served with 3 or 4 pieces. But whatever it is, I will not reject an invite for dim sum. Perhaps its the familiarity – growing up on these tiny morsels of goodness, how it reminds me of Hong Kong, the only time where I get to practise my Cantonese – but there’s also the satisfaction from having a great and good variety.
The last time I went to Royal China was eons ago, way before they renovated to have a Tiffany blue colour scheme. Staying relevant hahaha. Down to the food and let’s start with the best!
When you come to Royal China, you must order the char siew sou ($4.80)!! My dad compares it to the best char siew sou he tasted in London, and he swears that the version here is one of the best available. The pastry is incredibly buttery and flaky. It crumbles in your mouth to reveal some piping hot and sweet bits of char siew. Non-fatty, mind you. So good!! We had 2 helpings of this.
Custard buns ($4.80) YO! Royal China’s version has the addition of fresh mango juice, which explains the very orange tinge below.
My best custard bun/ liu sha bao experiences have been at Swee Choon and Taste Paradise – creamy, fragrant custard bursting out of the bun when you bite into it. This one was not too bad, but not particularly memorable either.
Egg tarts ($4.80) – decent. But considering how you can get this at Imperial Treasure/ Crystal Jade for about $3.50, nayyy wouldn’t be here for this.
Beancurd skin prawn roll ($5.60). A little too salty for my liking, but the beancurd skin was very thin and very crisp! Contained a huge juicy prawn in each piece too, so thumbs up on that.
Prawn and mango roll ($5.40). The first thing that struck me when I bit into it was OIL OIL! But the prawn and mango were both bursting out and I always love such surprises, so yum yum.
Shrimp dumplings/ har kau ($5.60).
Royal China chee cheong fun($5.60) – essentially one BBQ pork, one prawn and one scallop roll. I like their BBQ pork here (well their char siew sou is very good!) and their scallops are fresh too, so I’d pick either the prawn/ scallop.
Taro puffs ($5.60). I remember I used to love this as a kid and I’d bug my mummy to order ‘wu kok’ (yam puff in Cantonese) every time we’re eating dim sum. And she was never a fan of fried dim sum, so on days when I got to eat this, she was in a really good mood! Anyway. These puffs manage to be light, fluffy and crispy on the outside at the same time, and once you’re past that, you get this delicious paste of taro and pork… yum. I like how each is topped with a scallop!
Steamed pork dumpling with prawns/ siew mai ($5.60).
Disappointing dessert! I was looking forward to the pumpkin puree with black glutinous rice and coconut ice cream – doesn’t it make you salivate already??? So we had to settle for the Avocado Puree and Chocolate Ice-cream in Young Coconut ($9.00). Puree was creamy and tasty, but the chocolate ice-cream tasted like store-bought icecream. Like Marigold or something. I expected more from this place, but oh well!!
Swanky decor. High ceilings. That’s the great thing about these old colonial buildings – they may be low, but each floor is so so grand.
Overall a nice place to have dim sum, and please eat the pumpkin puree!! Friend just went there and declared his love for it to me, making me very jealous ahahah. Make your reservations! Dim sum is very popular at this place.
1 Beach Road, #03-09 Raffles Hotel
Mon – Sat: 12pm – 3pm
Sun, public holidays: 11am – 3pm
Mon – Sun: 6pm – 10.30pm