The Royal China Club in Baker Street is their posh high-end restaurant in the well-known Royal China chain. The decor is more up market, the service excellent, the prices high.
My only problem – and this applies to all Asian and Indian cuisine – is that gastronomically I cannot tell the difference between the grub served up in the high-enders and the more basic Chinese or Tandoori house.
The sweet corn and crab meat soup was excellent; hearty fare with what seemed like fresh crab though difficult to know or appreciate in a thick soup. The Peking duck with pancakes was standard but wholesome tasty fare. Perhaps I should have ordered the £258 suckling pig!! Was this for ten?
My guest was once an international diplomat – very dishy and frightfully clever with a tendency to refer to global leaders by their first name.
I did catch him out with a Michael Caine ‘not-many-people-know-that’ moment. When he spoke of Shimon Peres – the former Israeli President – I was able to inform him that his first cousin was Lauren Bacall.
My friend ordered the same soup and a plate of scallops which looked succulent enough.
We each had glasses of wine – there was little on the wine menu for less than £35 a bottle. The final bill was £127. It’s a great place to chat as the tables are set apart and there is a real feeling of space. The wine was bought promptly and as with most Chinese Restaurant there always seems to be someone on hand.
You can probably enjoy the same food for less at the normal Royal China and have a more economic meal by ordering Dim Sum and China Tea but I see my friend every 6 months or so and it was great place to catch up. I certainly did not begrudge a big bill.