Review of 'Royal China (Baker Street)'

With the closure of our “local” Royal China at Queensway (see my somewhat brief review here) we have been a bit at a loss. Puzzling is that the Queensway location was always so busy particularly on Saturdays and Sundays where it was common to wait up to an hour for a table for dim sum. Thankfully, this old favourite is still around in other locations across the city so we took the opportunity to visit their “Baker Street” branch which is not to be confused with the slightly, it seems, more up market “Royal China Club” located just a few doors north.

Visiting on a Friday it was a bit confusing figuring out whether they even served dim sum from their web site but this is indeed on offer at lunch between 12:00 pm and 5:00 pm Monday to Saturday and 11:00 am and 5:00 pm Sunday (bookings are only accepted for Monday through Friday, Saturday and Sunday are first come, first served). We arrived shortly after they opened and were immediately shown to a table right at the front of the restaurant beside a rather draughty window but with a great view of the large interior which I am told seats 250.


We were given three menus: Dim sum, Specials and their normal dining menu. We ignored all but the dim sum menu which was helpfully full of pictures and simple to understand descriptions. Being an old hand at this we agreed to tea for the table (£1.50 each), and ordered a selection of dim sum. The table came with rather nice pottery (white) pepper, salt and (Kikoman) soy sauce dispensers. After ordering, as we would expect, different dips arrived at the table for use through our meal (two hot sauces, and two quite pungent dipping sauces).

Tea and Dips

The first thing delivered to our table was the “Fried Squid Paste” (£5.10 for 3) dumplings which were piping hot and suitably spongy though, as we would expect, did not have a lot of flavour. We were off to a good start.


Next to arrive was a small turrine of hot and sour soup (£6.50) which was quite tasty with none of the musty flavour you sometimes have. There are two versions of the soup on offer, a vegetarian and a chicken/prawn version. We chose the later. It was very tasty indeed with the ingredients perfectly cooked and delicious.

Hot and Sour Soup

The “Roast Pork Bun” (“Char Siu Bau”; £4.50 for 3) consisted of three steamed buns that had a good amount of filling that was not overly flavoured. The buns were perfectly steamed, easily pulled apart.

Char Siu Bau

The steamed “Prawn Dumplings” (“Har Gau”; £5.10 for 4) were really tasty which is a bit of a trick with the simple prawn mixture. Again, the prawn was not overcooked and absolutely delicious. The “Shanghai Pork Dumpling” (£4.80 for 3) were quite large and had a large amount of (delicious) broth inside that I promptly spilt onto the table though since there was so much I still got a good mouthful. The dumpling wrappers were thin but thick enough to keep everything in (if you were careful). Unlike other versions we have had, the pork here had a lot of flavour.

Har Gau and Shanghai Dumplings

Next up is something we don't often see, unfortunately, “Yam Paste” (deep fried yam dumplings filled with mixed meat; £4.50 for 3). These were beautiful on the plate with light wisps of yam batter rising above the large dumplings. They were absolutely delicious with just the right ratio of yam and flavourful meat mixture.


We had to have some noodles so chose the “Fried Dough Cheung Fun” (£4.80 for 2 rolls cut into pieces) which is a good test of the kitchen's talents in keeping the fried dough crisp while wrapping it in a soggy, sloppy noodle. Here they pulled it off beautifully and added just the right amount of soy sauce to impart flavour to, let's face it, two rather flavourless ingredients.

Cheung Fun

At this point we were pretty full and on our third pot of tea but we were tempted to try something from the dessert section of the menu which was returned to us. We settled on the “Peanut Crumbs” (£4.80 for 3) and we are very glad we did. It did take a few minutes to arrive on the table but when it did we found the three small globes of heaven to be piping hot - fresh from the steamer with the thick glutinous wrapper coated with a thin layer of peanuts but stuffed with black sesame paste (something the two of us have always enjoyed). Extremely rich and in no way sweet, the delicious dumplings quickly disappeared from the plate.

Peanut Buns

At £48.70 for the two of us including a 13% gratuity automatically added to the bill this was surprisingly good value (some might think it expensive but then perhaps they have not had dim sum recently?). The service was exceptional - They were there when we needed it but never hovered. The staff were very friendly, helpful, and professional at all times. The food was very tasty with good portion sizes and all extremely fresh. During our visit we were never pressured to leave and the restaurant never got too loud. We were just able to relax and enjoy the delicious food.

If you are in London get away from the busy and overpriced dim sum in Soho and experience the quiet, delicious delights of Royal China.

Rating: “I have absolutely no complaints”

Review Date: 2021-11-05

Cuisine: Chinese

Address: 24-26 Baker St, London W1U 3BZ ENGLAND

Public Transport: TUBE Marble Arch TUBE Baker Street

Location: London (England) - Marylebone



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Telephone: +44 (0) 20 7487 4688