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Royal China at Raffles Hotel is one of the dim-sum places I've always wanted to go and saving it up for a good occasion. My family and I had Sunday brunch here for father's birthday and my advanced birthday celebration (two weeks apart) much to my delight. Other than being set in the gorgeous colonial Raffles Hotel, Royal China itself is dripped in a pretty shade of tiffany blue all around, and the playlist is filled with covers of original contemporary mandopop songs from Jay Chou and Voice of
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Royal China at Raffles Hotel is one of the dim-sum places I've always wanted to go and saving it up for a good occasion. My family and I had Sunday brunch here for father's birthday and my advanced birthday celebration (two weeks apart) much to my delight. Other than being set in the gorgeous colonial Raffles Hotel, Royal China itself is dripped in a pretty shade of tiffany blue all around, and the playlist is filled with covers of original contemporary mandopop songs from Jay Chou and Voice of China. Can I say it completely fits my taste?
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Some visuals on what the place looks like.
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The dimsum came one after another soon enough, with the Phoenix claws (SGD4.80) setting a very memorable start with its juicy and fat tender meat of braised chicken feet in sweet sauce. Usually this is difficult to manage and you don't get much to eat, but Royal China has got really substantial stuff to enjoy, especially the soft cartilage and and delicious skin all around. Prawn dumplings, or hargow, (SGD5.80/ 3pc), mushroom dumplings (SGD5.60/ 3pc) and Siew mai (SGD5.80/ 3pc) were up next, dim sum staples they are, but done to a standard that pales many other dimsum establishments in comparison. For one, their siew mai spares no effort in stuffing mushrooms in there, giving it an oomph and umami taste, with the freshest pork and wonton skin used.
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One of the service staff of Royal China came around introducing their weekend specials - Baked buns (SGD5.60/ 3pc), delicious sweet bbq pork (char siew) buns with a crusty and flaking exterior.
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Some other items we had were the XO carrot cake (SGD8.80) which was a tad too spicy for comfort, though it is true that the spiciness kick made it especially appetizing. The carrot cake was soft and fragrant to have, and so was the chee cheong fun (SGD5.80) of three flavours - scallop, prawn and char siew which I found to be a more enjoyable way of presenting it as everyone can try whichever they would like. The yam puffs (SGD5.60) were topped with a juicy scallop that nobody can resist and filled with soft sweet yam filling and a crunchy exterior like the classic fried yam rings.
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Similar to phoenix claws, the spare ribs (SGD4.80) were quite impressive in that they were picked to have very little bone, so all you have to do is to pop the whole thing into your mouth and feel the juicy and chewy burst of succulent pork. I was nearly conceding by the time the salted egg buns (SGD4.80/ 3pcs) because I was so so so full, but I can't resist going for it and trying these golden treasures. Their salted egg is not overly buttery which I liked, and of a very rich consistency (I had to give up half of it sadly to my second brother-in-law because I was at my limit...)

Not only is the great majority of the dishes served wonderful, the bill for 7 pax came up to $130 ($18.60/pax). It's not cheap either but I always imagined Royal China to be exceedingly expensive than other places. Gosh, what have I been doing elsewhere? This is about the same price as most average dimsum places out there - I usually spend an average of $15/pax, but the quality here is way better, not to mention their service and ambience. Reservations are necessary to ensure you have a table.

There have been plenty of bad reviews on their service, but I don't think there's any issue with it when I went. They weren't especially warm and welcoming considering the weekend crowd, but they weren't rude either. Serving of the dishes were prompt and well-timed, and we weren't chased out even though we exceeded our allocated time slot. Tea was refilled by ourselves most of the time.
A little gripe was that for a birthday celebration, they didn't present the cake with lit candles but instead took out the candles before us. As usual, Chinese restaurants are quite poor at doing 'surprise' birthday celebrations. But at least they didn't simply plop the cake with the original bag on the table like how Asia Grand did and already placed it on a platter.
(The above review is the personal opinion of a user which does not represent OpenRice's point of view.)
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DETAILED RATING
Taste
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Value
Date of Visit
2016-04-10
Waiting Time
10 Minutes (Dine In)
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