Royal China at the Raffles Hotel


The Dimsumdolly is leaving because she got a great gig in the dim sum paradise that is Hong Kong. Naturally, didiot that I am, I suggested dim sum for lunch to catch up.

And this being my 3rd dim sum lunch for 2009, I was glad that the DSD choose Royal China at the Raffles Hotel because it’s my favorite place for dim sum.

Of course, there’s an ulterior motive involved: I love dim sum (and eating in general) but it’s very difficult to find someone craz like-minded enough to go gallivanting all over, so I tend to seize every opportunity, with an almost sociopathic intensity which has, on occasion, given rise to misunderstanding.

A makankaki, as Isildur would put it, “it is… precious to me…”


We were early and there was no one to greet us at the door, but the intrepid DSD pushed ahead and soon we found ourselves in a surrealistic vision of someone who’s spent a little too much time looking at Tiffany boxes or smoking Gitanes or both. It was disconcerting.

The DSD did all the ordering because she’s more experienced with this Dim Sum thing and my Cantonese is marginally better than my Fijian. My only contribution to the ordering process was the request for the Peking Duck with Caviar and the Steamed Bun with Roasted Pork (Chaxiubao).

The dumplings were delicious. The Scallop and Prawn dumplings were tight little bundles that were designed to be chomped down in one sweet juicy bite. Likewise, the slightly bigger Prawn and Chives Dumpling were explosively juicy and full of that sweet grassy flavor that helped to attenuate the flavor of the crunchy nuggets of prawn.


The steamed buns were, in a word, excellent. The steamed bun with roasted pork (Chaxiubao) is one of the best I’ve eaten in a long while. The soft, fluffy almost bouncy steamed bun belied the full-flavored pork in a sticky sauce. This is my benchmark for Chaxiubao. It’s not about size, it’s about flavor and delicacy.

Likewise, the Mango Salted Egg Steamed Bun was taste explosion. While it read strange on the menu, the combination of salty sweet worked really well. Just a caution: while the bun is small enough to fit into your mouth, the filling is very hot. But it’s fun to see the filling oozing out.

Mmmmm... Salted Egg Custard...

Dim sum is something that should be savored over a long period at a leisurely pace with a good friend. I have to say that the DSD is the ideal person to have lunch with because of her hearty appetite and chattiness over topics ranging from surviving and recovering from a riptide to Gertrude Stein (with an aside on Pride and Prejudice and Zombies). Our lunch was almost 3 hours but even then, we felt rushed.

So. Royal China for seriously good dim sum. Service is of a decidedly higher caliber. The Roast Pork is lean but juicy; disregard the badly butchered Peking Duck with its pretentious caviar but do have the Chaxiubao.

Royal China is at 1 Beach Road, #03-09, Raffles Hotel, Tel: 6338 3363. Lunch: 12pm – 3pm (Mon – Sat), 11am – 3pm (Sun & public holidays), Dinner: 6pm – 10.30pm (daily). Reservations, especially for lunch is recommended.


Posted on 4th Aug 2009 in Cantonese, Makankaki


There Are 7 Comments


My Caddy commented on August 4, 2009 at 4:26 pm

wwaaaahh … I’ve never had good food at Raffles Hotel, seriously. Of course I didn’t know they had this dimsum place, wow, better not be just your pictures lying because the food sure looks good. Mango salted egg … ooooohhhh


ivan commented on August 4, 2009 at 4:33 pm

Hmmm… Well, I’ve always enjoyed Raffles Grill and the Fried Chicken at Seah St Deli is pretty good too.


ladyironchef commented on August 4, 2009 at 11:32 pm

now u make me feel like going back to Royal China again. haha one of my fav place for dim sum too 🙂


ivan commented on August 5, 2009 at 10:30 am

Maybe you should organize a luncheon there and let everyone know what good chaxiubao is like. 😛


ladyironchef commented on August 9, 2009 at 10:46 pm

yayness! i don’t mind man, lets get a group of 10 just nice for a table and feast on all the dim sum!


ivan commented on August 13, 2009 at 7:04 pm

10 is a little unwieldy for dim sum. I think the ideal group size would be in multiples of 3 and not more than 9 pax.

Let me know.


[…] blog was happy with dinner at Incontro and managed to catch up with the Dim Sum Dolly at Royal China before her move to Hong Kong. Twitter was hacked and shut down forcing its users to make do with […]

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