Friday, August 12, 2011

Royal China: Dim Sum

This place is very renowned for it's dimsum and reviews so far are really good. Some say that one can get better value for money dim sum here at Raffles Hotel as compared to Yan Ting at St Regis. I don't think I have the chance to try the dim sum at Yan Ting but I'm quite certain that the dim sum here are not bad and some like the salted egg yolk custard bun really left a deep impression.


The design is in modern blue and hence does not evoke any traditional cantonese yum cha feel. The place was already brimming with people when we were there 15min after they opened for lunch and dimsum. The vibrant atmosphere there can match the noisy yum cha setting but much organized.

It serve ala carte dim sum and thus quite value for $$ for those who do not like to go for dimsum buffet and stuffed oneself to the brim. We went for the 1st seating that is from 11-12.30pm, but the waiting time for our first dish was rather long.

In the midst, they offer ala minute dishes-stewed beef and vegetarian goose spring roll. But I think it would be more dim sum like if they implement the push cart trolley for ala minute dishes. Since both appetizers are their daily specials, we went for one.


Between the two, we chose the vegetarian spring roll ($8). Drizzled with the Peking duck sweet sauce, this dish was really hot as it just had been made in the kitchen. It is mixed with crunchy turnips or water chestnuts, mushrooms and vegetarian goose. The medley of textures blend well together and is a refreshing change from the usual spring roll. Although it is vegetarian, the "meat" really tasted like real meat.

 The deep fried skin is very crunchy and not as oily as the usual spring roll skin although it does not really appear very golden brown.
Steamed black beans Spare Ribs 豆汁蒸排骨($3.60).
Finally, we were able to fill our stomach as more food were served together.

Steamed Chicken Feet 豆汁蒸凤爪($3.60)
This was a favorite amongst the adults. 非常的入味. These are larger than the usual ones according to those who like to eat chicken feet.

皇朝特制肠粉
Royal China Special Cheong Fun-with scallops prawns charsiew ($4.80)
Initially thought that it was a Cheong fun stuffed with 3 ingredients together but is actually 3 rolls of each type of filling in a bowl.

The skin is very soft and thin. And the fillings were generous and extremely fresh.The light soy sauce that is found at the bottom was not too oily or overly salted. Q-嫩鲜甜、馅料实在。

虾饺 Har Gao($4.80 for 1 tray of 4 : one has been grabbed before photo is taken)

I find the skin of this slightly thick but the prawns were very fresh and tender. Bouncy on every bite.

Around 2 prawns were found in each dumplings...There is no need for us to dip them in any sweet chilli sauce(anyway such chilli sauce was not served there) as the original flavour was already sweet.

Egg Tart ( 3 for $3.60)

The egg tart was disappointing. Each portion was rather small as compared to the other dimsum items. The pastry shell was not crispy or flaky, but soggy. I wonder if this was slightly underbaked......


BBQ Char Siew Puff 蜜汁叉烧酥($4.00 for 3)
This is my favourite and I will definitely order this if it is available. This is not the best puff pastry skin I've had but the fillings were not overly sweet or salty. The char Siew did not had any fats but were not too tough when you bite into it. 赞!

I had wanted to order char Siew bao because I like any kind of white fluffy buns but luckily I did not because the waitress brought forward another ala minute dish
The 西汁餐包($4.00 for 3) Only available on Sundays & PH

Upon hearing that it is not always available, how can i let this say goodbye to us even though we were already very full...and so I immediately agreed and placed it on the table(in the background, others were saying 吃不完就打包) in the end...no need to takeaway as I myself ate 2 out of the 3.One was shared amongst my family.

Although this is not your usual white fluffy bun, the bread was very soft and had a buttery fragrance. 表面金黄的光泽不禁让人食指大动、一口接一口的吃。The Char Siew is similar to the one in char Siew pastry but the bun has more chao tar black parts.一样赞!

Bean curd skin roll with prawns 腐皮炸海鲜卷($4.80)

Besides the earlier appetizer, this is the only other one that is deep fried. But this one is also not oily at all. Furthermore, there is the accompanying black vinegar dipping sauce that helps to curb any oily-ness and adds another contrasting taste to the plain beancurd skin. Again, the chefs were very generous with the fillings as there were 2 medium sized prawns in each fried beancurd parcel.


Frog Leg Porridge in a claypot沙煲田鸡粥 ( Serves up to 7 rice bowls in picture)
with condiments like crispy crackers

Hmm...my family happily ordered the Frog Leg Porridge and Stir Fried noodles with Char Siew ($48 as a set together) as recommended by the waitress that this set was their daily special. But I wondered why the two items could not be ordered separately. Having two starchy dishes can really take up quite alot of the stomach space.

But that said....the porridge was cooked like the Cantonese style so you can no longer find any grains of rice inside. It was well seasoned and the frog legs were really tender and had lots lots of meat. It tastes lighter and healthier without any gravy as compared to the Geylang frog Leg porridge. The coriander leaves, ginger and crispy fried batter were also served along to accompany the porridge. Overall, I really like Royal China way of cooking congee as it is less salty and more 绵密 than Crystal Jade's version.


Though by the time I try the noodles they had already turned cold, the noodles were still chewy and not too oily. Stir fried with dark soy sauce, this had a mild sweetness and the taste and texture is further enhanced by the sprinkles of white sesame seeds and taugeh.

How could we say that we have gone for dimsum without trying their signature custard bun?

Highly rated by many magazines and food bloggers, the custard ($4.00 for 3) was indeed very very good. My favorite of the day. The shape is not the usual round ones but like a mushroom with a bigger top and smaller base.

爆浆!
The salted egg yolk lava just simply oozes out slowly....not too fast that it goes dripping onto your plate and you are left with nothing...and not too thick like just stuck in the bun like a blob of hardened custard. Sweet and salty...just dive in straightaway and you will fall in love with this dish. One unique thing is that Royal China's salty egg yolk is mixed with mango and so you can really get a hint of this tropical flavour in the bun. 这个。。。秒杀!!
And yes....another was the Salty Egg Yolk Layer Cake 奶黄千层糕($4.00)

This one is not as soft or fluffy as the bun. Even though it was warm, the white bun layer had slig
htly hardened. But nonetheless, I still enjoy anything that has salted egg yolk cream. This one has no mango flavour. So if you just have space for one type, perhaps it might be better to go for just their signature custard bun instead of this.

Black Pepper Seafood Pastry 黑胡椒海鲜酥皮 ($4.80)

Another baked pastry besides the char Siew puff, this one is served really hot but I could not really taste much seafood inside. The ingredients are all in small cubes and mixed again with some crunchy chestnuts. But the black pepper taste was evident and not too overwhelming.

Each pastry is littered with sesame seeds that adds some fragrance to the dish. Although this was labeled chef's creation, it tastes very much like a mini sized,much flakier 北京烧饼 and I think this can be given a miss.

Besides dimsum, desserts were available and no one afford to give it a miss despite being really bloated by then.
chilled herbal pudding ($5)

The shaped is a heart if you take a closer look at the photo. Very funny to see such a presentation. But the pudding was very qq and soft.

Chilled apple jelly with aloe Vera, cashew nuts, grass jelly($8)

My companion who had this commented that this used green apples and is a very refreshing not too sweet ending to a hearty dim sum meal.清凉的口感,吃得无负担

Glutinous rice dumpling with cashew nuts and sesame paste filling
芝麻汤圆沾腰果粉($4.50 for 3)

This consists of 3 mini sized dumplings. Won't find it too small as there was not much stomach space left anyway.
Piping hot sesame sauce simply oozes out upon a bite. However, the skin was too thick and the filling can be more generous.

Pumpkin purée with vanilla ice cream and pulao hitam金瓜露与雪糕和黑糯米($8)
with mango chunks and cashew bits

This was the sweetest of all due to the ice cream. The pumpkin purée was less thick than the usual ones I've had and they added fresh mangoes even though it was not stated in the menu. Hence, the mangoes further added on the sweetness of this dessert. Perhaps a much simplified version might be preferred.

In all, I suddenly realized we've ordered quite a lot of dishes. But nonetheless, according to those who usually goes to YumCha or 红星( a traditional dimsum place that uses trolley) for dimsum, the prices here are really comparable to those. So even though this is found in a hotel, the quality and the price is reasonable. Hence,I think it is very worth to visit this at least once to try the custard bun or any of your favorite dimsum items.

Royal China
(daily dim sum available during lunch)
Raffles Hotel Level 3 (near Cityhall MRT)


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