RestaurantsLondonCanary WharfE14

survey result

Summary

£57
   ££
3
Good
1
Poor
2
Average
* Based on a three course dinner, half a bottle of wine, coffee, cover charge, service and VAT.

“Like Rick’s in Casablanca, everybody looking for dim sum in London comes to the Royal China” – whose well-established venues (decorated along the lines of an ’80s disco) in Baker Street, Canary Wharf, Fulham and Harrow deliver the proper Cantonese experience. They “never disappoint” (although “main dishes can be less successful”), but, “given the well-known robotic efficiency of their approach, if you want ambience, you have to bring your own”. One big loss this year, though – their most popular branch, on Queensway – has bitten the dust.

Summary

£52
   ££
3
Good
1
Poor
2
Average
* Based on a three course dinner, half a bottle of wine, coffee, cover charge, service and VAT.

“As far as dim sum goes – the go-to place” – these famous Cantonese fixtures are “not unlike ones you could find in Hong Kong”. “No-one comes for the cuddly service” (“don’t expect any smiles from the staff”), nor the ambience (“proper Chinese chaos”) of the group’s 1980s-tastic black-and-gold lacquered branches, but they “predictably deliver good food every time you visit” in the manner of an “industrial assembly-line”; and “kids love it”.

Summary

£52
   ££
3
Good
1
Poor
2
Average
* Based on a three course dinner, half a bottle of wine, coffee, cover charge, service and VAT.

“As far as dim sum goes – the go-to place” – these famous Cantonese fixtures are “not unlike ones you could find in Hong Kong”. “No-one comes for the cuddly service” (“don’t expect any smiles from the staff”), nor the ambience (“proper Chinese chaos”) of the group’s 1980s-tastic black-and-gold lacquered branches, but they “predictably deliver good food every time you visit” in the manner of an “industrial assembly-line”; and “kids love it”.

Summary

£56
   ££
3
Good
1
Poor
2
Average
* Based on a three course dinner, half a bottle of wine, coffee, cover charge, service and VAT.

“The only reason you would go is for the sooooo very yummy dim sum” nowadays, say loyal fans of this “super-busy and slightly chaotic” Cantonese chain, with its hallmark black-and-gold, lacquered decor. It “remains the benchmark” for many Londoners, but the “brisk (read brusque) service” seems increasingly “careless (my food arrived cold)” and the “very dated and fairly grotty environment” seems ever-more “tired”. The “cavernous” Bayswater branch is best – but “you can’t book at weekends, so it’s first-come-first-served chaos with families and buggies”.

For 31 years we've been curating reviews of the UK's most notable restaurant. In a typical year, diners submit over 50,000 reviews to create the most authoritative restaurant guide in the UK. Each year, the guide is re-written from scratch based on this survey (although for the 2021 edition, reviews are little changed from 2020 as no survey could run for that year).

Have you eaten at Royal China?

Restaurant details

Highchair
Yes
12, 12, 12
No dress code
Opening hours

Last orders: 11 pm, Fri & Sat 11.30 pm, Sun 10 pm

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