Royal China Queensway
Having first opened its doors to the public 20 years ago, Royal China Queensway is the oldest restaurant in the prestigious Royal China Group. We spoke to Mr Lok, Royal China Group Manager, to find out more about the restaurant’s authentic Hong Kong cuisine and recent refurbishment.
As one of the capital’s most renowned Chinese restaurants with a reputation for serving classic Hong Kong cuisine with Dim Sum as its speciality, Royal China Queensway needs little introduction to gastronomes. Indeed, on our recent lunch the restaurant was heaving with a mix of regulars, tourists and foodies all enjoying an authentic slice of exquisitely executed Dim Sum.
A modern twist
Just a hop, skip and a jump away from Kensington Gardens, Royal China Queensway is located on a busy street full of restaurants and fast-food chains vying for attention. However, despite this fierce competition, Royal China Queensway has remained at the forefront of the area’s dining map for over 20 years. Standing as a true affirmation of authentic, superbly executed Hong Kong cuisine and Dim Sum, the restaurant has recently cemented its position thanks to its recent interior refurbishment, as Lok begins by telling us.
“The restaurant was closed for a three month refurbishment which encompassed taking the restaurant back to its bare bones,” he explains. “We wanted to maintain Royal China’s renowned wave motif as the focal point of the venue’s decor, but the image was given a modern twist. The new Royal China motif panels have been hand painted by the son of Royal China’s original artist, which were created in Hong Kong.
“Indeed, the restaurant’s layout was altered so the ceiling was made higher, allowing for a stunning gold leaf ceiling to be created,” Lok notes. “The reception was moved to the front of the restaurant and the bar was repositioned to the middle of the venue. In the same breath, we didn’t just want to improve the decor, so the kitchen has been totally redesigned and installed with high-tech equipment, which makes service even more seamless”.
Unsurprisingly for such a prestigious group, the interior designs of the Royal China venues are closely overseen by the Owner, as Martyn confirms. “We do have a preferred interior in the UK named Mann & Mann, but some of the designs have also been influenced by what has been created in our overseas branches, such as Royal China in Singapore’s world-renowned Raffles Hotel”.
Building on success
Already a firm favourite in the capital’s dining scene, the recent design improvements has created a real buzz and covers are already up on the previous three months, as Lok continues. “The initial reception to the renovation was fantastic as we had maintained and updated Royal China’s signature look which pleased our regulars and journalists who are fans.
“The restaurant has built a superb customer base over the last two decades and it was important to us that they felt we had enhanced and improved their dining experience, while keeping the restaurant they knew and loved intact,” he asserts. “Indeed, Royal China Queensway has always been positioned as a traditional Chinese restaurant serving the best of Hong Kong’s delicacies – Dim Sum.
“We have never changed this strategy and the fact the restaurant has on average a 45 minute queue for Dim Sum at the weekend shows our robust position in the market. To this end, I would say that our three major strengths are that a high percentage of our guests are Chinese, which is obviously a real affirmation of our food and the overall authentic experience,” Lok affirms.
“Secondly, our menu is full of an internationally renowned selection of Dim Sum dishes and thirdly that we serve traditional Hong Kong cuisine and all of our dishes are made from scratch every day, using only fresh produce”.
Pulsating with choice
As soon as one flicks through the prodigious menu at Royal China Queensway it is clear that choosing one’s lunch or dinner will be a delight. From classic Hong Kong fare, such as sweet and sour pork and beef and black bean, to special dishes, such as pan-friend sea bass and sautéed veal, diners have an almost endless choice of authentic dishes to whet their appetites.
As we decided to share our dishes, we opted for a carefully considered balance of authentic and unique. In the first category, sautéed beef with chilli and black bean sauce; scallop steamed dumplings; and fried prawn dumplings with coriander were perfectly cooked and exquisitely presented. While diced veal with teriyaki sauce and a side of Chinese broccoli and mushrooms in the second, more adventurous category, did not disappoint.
Indeed, it is not unreasonable to say that Royal China’s menu has something for everyone, and by the same token, something for every budget. Furthermore, the service was exceptional with a bevy of waiters and waitresses eager to assist with our questions and serving suggestions – a feature that should not be underestimated given the potentially intimating size of the menu.
With six venues spread over the capital, including Harrow, Baker Street, Fulham and Canary Riverside, the Royal China Group is unsurprisingly gearing up for a particularly busy Olympics, as Lok is quick to confirm. “We will be working closely with the Chinese market during the Games, looking to capitalise on the influx of Chinese tourists visiting London for the Olympics. As a Group, we have become synonymous with serving high quality dishes at affordable prices, complete with great service, which will hopefully be a major selling point to potential diners over this period”.
Having recently enjoyed lunch at Royal China Queensway and sampled just a tease of the myriad of selections on offer, the restaurant has the ability to cater to almost any taste, preference or budget; all of this executed with exceptional service in a beautifully renovated space. And with the Olympics just about to start, we’re predicting a wealth of gold medals for this Chinese institution.
Royal China Queensway
13 Queensway, London
T: 020 7221 2535