Saturday, July 16, 2011

Royal China Westferry: Down Down Down

There aren't many places to go to around the Canary Wharf area if you are looking for Chinese food. Royal China is the most prominent one that is located at Westferry Circus.

I came here for dinner a while ago before they had a refurbishment.

Pan fried stuffed eggplant with minced shrimp in black bean sauce £9.8

Eggplant cooked until it was soft and soaking in the black bean sauce. This had a slight spicy kick to it.

Mixed seafood stir fried with fresh milk £14.80

When I saw this on the menu, I Just HAD to order it. I mean stir fried fresh milk? The dish came out in a blanket of fluffy snow interspersed with seafood. The texture was like the filling in egg tarts with hints of sweet coconut if I'm not mistaken. I really enjoyed this.

Overall dinner was satisfying though the prices here are a little more on the £££ side.

On another occasion, I came back during the May long weekend for some dim sum with friends. Usually this wouldn't be my first pick but they were having a promotion for the month of May with 25% off.

With a large table, we got down to ordering and they have some new items introduced into the menu. Where do I begin? Having had dim sum here in the past, I always thought it was respectable if not ever a tad expensive for the quality.

Let's start with the newcomers.

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Minced fish dumplings £4.1
Homemade coriander and shredded taro cake £4.1
Green tea sponge cake £3.8

Underwhelmingly disappointing. The fish dumplings were over steamed and dry. The taro cake was slices of taro that were pressed together but doesn't gel as it should like a turnip cake and lacked any taste. The green tea sponge cake? There are no words.

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Turnip Paste £2.9, Broccoli with ginger £9.6, Milk & Egg Tart £3, Roast Pork Puff £3.1, Dry shrimp Cheung fun £3.3, Prawn & chive dumpling £3.5, Roast Pork Bun £3, Stuffed bean curd roll £3, Prawn Dumpling £3.5, Prawn Cheung fun £4.2, Black bean spare ribs £2.9

Back to the regulars, the quality and standard were inconsistent with some being good and others disappointing. Compared to my previous visits, there is a distinct drop in quality.

We finished the dim sum with dessert with one of the party ordering the sago cream with yam and the rest had the sweet dumplings.

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Sago cream with Yam £2.9

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Sweet dumplings with ginger and osmanthus £3.8

Desserts itself took over half an hour to arrive and having made these sweet dumplings before, it doesn't take half an hour. When it arrived, I was so disappointed that I couldn't bring myself to finish it. The dumpling had a crackling texture instead of being chewy and QQ; the soup did not even have any hint of ginger!

Having spent that long waiting for our dessert, it was another 20 minutes for our bill to arrive. With a young child in tow, you bet the little boy was pretty restless by this stage. We finally went to the counter to pay our bill and to our surprise, there was no discount. We queried with the lady who served us and the answer we got was the bill is generated via a machine that is maintained by head office and it seems that head office had excluded the discount from the machine and sales today. Lady, how difficult is it to whip out a calculator and manually write or deduct the discount if your machine is malfunctioning?

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I don't know about you but when I am greeted by this sign when walking through canary wharf after the dim sum with no discount, bad service and disappointing food, something is seriously wrong and disappointing here. Misleading advertising is what I will begin with.

Will I recommend: No
Will I come back: No
Have I had better: Definitely

Royal China, 30 Westferry Circus, Canary Wharf, London , E14 8RR
Royal China on Urbanspoon


  1. Oh dear. I can't help but feel that Royal China is living on past glories. I would have been tempted to ask to be put through to head office to get the discount sorted out!

  2. Mr Noodles - I think so too...and living on past glories is not a good way. I wonder if it;s because the chefs have changed?
    I was quite tempted but friends had kid in tow who was already extremely restless.


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