RestaurantsLondonMaryleboneW1

survey result

Summary

£70
  £££
4
Very Good
3
Good
3
Good
* Based on a three course dinner, half a bottle of wine, coffee, cover charge, service and VAT.

Some of the “best Chinese food in London” is on the menu at the Marylebone flagship of the Royal China group, including “fine quality” Cantonese classics and dim sum. It’s certainly “not cheap”, but a four-month refurb last year seems to have addressed the concerns expressed by reporters in previous years: marks for service and ambience are both up in the latest survey.

Summary

£70
  £££
4
Very Good
3
Good
3
Good
* Based on a three course dinner, half a bottle of wine, coffee, cover charge, service and VAT.

Some of the “best Chinese food in London” is on the menu at the Marylebone flagship of the Royal China group, including “fine quality” Cantonese classics and dim sum. It’s certainly “not cheap”, but a four-month refurb last year seems to have addressed the concerns expressed by reporters in previous years: marks for service and ambience are both up in the latest survey.

Summary

£68
  £££
4
Very Good
2
Average
2
Average
* Based on a three course dinner, half a bottle of wine, coffee, cover charge, service and VAT.

The flagship of what many consider “the best Chinese restaurant group in London” – the China Club HQ offers “luxury twists on traditional dishes”, results in “superb food, whether it’s dim sum for brunch or seafood and classic Cantonese in the evening”. It reopened in early August 2018 after a four-month refurb and expansion into the adjacent corner site – hopefully this will please reporters who had recommended “a facelift” (the rating above is for the former decor).

Summary

£68
  £££
4
Very Good
2
Average
2
Average
* Based on a three course dinner, half a bottle of wine, coffee, cover charge, service and VAT.

“Delectable dim sum” that’s “comparable to the best in HK” ensures the accomplished Marylebone flagship of the China Club group is “always packed”. Especially given “an interior that could be improved” however, even fans can find it “overpriced”.

For 30 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 Club?

Restaurant details

11, 24
No dress code
180

Prices

Tapas / Dim Sum

Main Pudding
£12.00 £4.30
Drinks  
Filter Coffee £2.50
Extras  
Service 15.00%

Harden's says...

Royal China Club W1

The Royal China group's first venture on this Marylebone site was a luxuriously minimalist Japanese restaurant called Michiaki. It didn't last.


Now they've turned it - essentially unchanged - into a sort of club-class Royal China. Many readers will know that Royal China is widely regarded as the capital's leading Chinese chain, so you might have thought this would be a winning formula: superior cooking served, for once, minus the group's love-it-or-hate-it '70s-disco decor. Which all goes to show that, as Bernard Shaw put it: You Never Can Tell.


What a disaster! How can you screw up seaweed? Admittedly a cliched choice it is, however, usually a pretty safe one. Not here. The cloying sweetness with which that dish was prepared, was to be a Leitmotif of the entire meal. We sampled extensively from both the dim sum menu and from the a la carte. Results from the former seemed marginally superior, with seafood dishes (we ate next to a fair sized tank of lobsters) turning out to be the best bets. But, without subjecting you to a blow-by-blow account, suffice is to say that what followed was, in large part, pretty ghastly. In the end, we just gave up, and picked at a few bits before the dishes were taken away uneaten.


On the plus side, the setting is comfortable, and the friendly service was in many respects exemplary (although, lacking a pad, the waiter inevitably got part of our order wrong). In the time-honoured tradition of disastrous Chinese meals, we couldn't help wondering if results might have been better if we spoke the lingo: the large tables full of oriental folk seemed to be having a much better time than we were.


See the Review
38-42 Baker St, London, W1U 7AJ
Opening hours
Monday9 am‑9 pm
Tuesday9 am‑9 pm
Wednesday9 am‑9 pm
Thursday9 am‑9 pm
Friday9 am‑9 pm
Saturday9 am‑9 pm
Sunday9 am‑9 pm

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