Dim sum at Royal Restaurant

I love going out for dim sum, it’s a particular favourite pass time of mine and lucky for me, Richmond has a lot of dim sum restaurants. One that I have not tried before is Royal Restaurant.

So why did I pick Royal? Well because they have free tea and 20% off dim sum! Plus, if you arrive early (9:30am), you can partake in a free line dance class but instructions are in Chinese. From watching the class and the chatter of ladies at the other tables, it is obvious that the instructor is really good. It’s a great choice for getting some exercise before eating. If you just want the dance classes without the dim sum, it’s a $3 charge.

So what does it look like inside? Well… very empty and very dark. I took the picture after the dance class was over. The area in the back to the right is where the dance floor is, most of the ladies and a few of the gentlemen who were dancing are now quickly ordering and eating. The décor definitely feels tired with the multitude of dusty artificial flowers and minimal lighting.

However, when I went to the washroom, I noticed that the fish tanks with crab in them are quite clean! Maybe that’s a good sign? :)

The service was quite prompt and they really try to sell the dance classes. There are also some classes for different ballroom dances during the evening and this includes dinner. Also there is a Filipino night, but I already forgot which night that is on.

So then onto the tea! We got Jasmine tea but it was just ok, nothing special, and the jasmine flavour was very faint. Slightly disappointed but hey it was free! So I guess I shouldn’t be complaining too much.

Now time for food! We ordered a fish and lettuce congee. The congee was quite watery and really disappointing. The fish was not warm, and there was a lot of lettuce. It was not good congee unfortunately.

Also ordered was egg custard buns and BBQ pork buns (char siu buns). The egg custard wasn’t very good. 2 of the 3 buns had really thick skin and so the filling to bread ratio was not good. Also the bread was quite dry and hard to swallow. The BBQ pork buns were much better, but pretty much standard compared to other BBQ pork buns I had.

After the buns came the pork spare ribs. These were cooked with squash, and the squash was quite mushy. It was cooked to the point of disintegration. The serving looks small, but the pork pieces are quite large and the mouth feel and taste really felt more like a home-made dish, rather than what I would have expected at a dim sum restaurant.

The last 3 orders were the red bean pancake, Chiu Chow dumplings and chicken feet.

The red bean pancake tasted ok, quite oily and the pancake itself tastes like nothing, just fried dough. When there was the red bean paste, it tasted sweet, but the other half didn’t have too much red bean paste and so I mixed it with chilli sauce. The pancake actually worked well with the chilli sauce.

The Chiu Chow dumplings don’t look pretty. They look like home-made dumplings and tasted like that too. There were bones in some of my pork bits in the dumpling which I didn’t appreciate at all.

The chicken feet were just ok, again they seemed like home-made rather than what you would expect at a dim sum restaurant.

Overall, the food was ok, slightly disappointing because it wasn’t anything special. They didn’t look all that appealing and the taste was just ordinary. The preparation was more like doing it at home because of the bones in the dumpling, thick skin/bread layer in the buns and the chunky spare ribs.

The service is quick and I am very curious with the dance lesson idea. I think my mom and her friends may enjoy it a lot. The price luckily was not too bad as you can see from the bill. I think the 20% off is for both dim sum and dinner, and really they should just price everything down by 20% because I don’t think the discount changes if you come in to eat later for example. I may come back but probably not as there are much more better dim sum places in Richmond.

Royal Dinner and Dance 麗華歌舞酒家 on Urbanspoon

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