The award-winning Royal China group currently has six restaurants across London as well as four more internationally in Singapore, Hong Kong, Bangkok and Dubai. And although not lucky enough to travel overseas, we did get to go check out one of their London locations.
Situated in the heart of Canary Wharf, beside the ferry pier, sits their Canary Riverside restaurant. It’s certainly a picturesque setting for a dinner date; looking out across the river at the capital’s iconic skyline and the terraced seating would be perfect for a warm summer’s evening. However the current, somewhat temperamental, weather meant we were glad to take a seat in the cosy interior, amongst the City workers schmoozing clients or simply grabbing a bite to eat.
Although I was denied my request for either a Mojito or a Strawberry Daiquiri due them having run out of mint and/or strawberries; I made the most of a bad (I use this term very loosely, I’m not mental) situation and ordered a glass of white wine. We then chose the Crispy Aromatic Duck, because well what’s a Chinese without some crispy duck pancakes? Making sure we sampled all the classics; we also ordered some Vegetarian Spring Rolls, Sweet and Sour Chicken with Pineapple, Egg Fried Rice and the Singapore Rice Vermicelli.
All the dishes were excellent; the Sweet and Sour chicken didn’t come swimming in a gloopy, glue-your-mouth-together sauce, the noodles were nicely flavoured and fluffy and the crispy duck, was just that, crispy. For dessert we had a platter of fresh fruit, which was really fresh and juicy, as well as their delightful mango pudding, which I’ll admit I had my reservations about, but reminiscent of a kind of mango flan I’d retract my misgivings and say it’s definitely worth a try.
The place was bustling, even on a weeknight, drawing crowds of City workers, schmoozing clients or simply taking a break but that doesn’t make it any less viable as an option for a good-quality meal. It is the exact antithesis to your greasy Chinese takeaway and they even do Dim Sum at lunchtime.
Royal China's Canary Riverside location is open daily 12-11pm.