Last weekend, guest food reviewer, SB and I hit DIFC for a round of oriental cuisine. The next weekend is still a few days away, but here;s something for you to plan well in advance! Here’s what SB had to say…
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The buzzing financial district of Dubai, has a fantastic culinary gem amongst its high profile offices and sophisticated art galleries. Even though Royal China sits bang in the middle of DIFC, a step into the swanky restaurant will instantly transport you to an oriental haven, for a zen-like ambiance. I found the restaurant to be have a very warm and inviting appeal while maintaining a sophisticated theme in its décor.
The staff struck a fine balance between being attentive and giving us space and privacy enough to feel completely at home. They also seemed very knowledgeable and were able to make some very good recommendations.
We started with their signature Assorted Dimsums platter, Quarter Duck and Sweet Corn Soup with Crab Meat. The crab meat soup was actually very good, creamy and cam in good quantity. The dimsums were steaming hot as they should be, and very delicious- we had 4 varieties to choose from too- Basic Prawn Dumplings, Spinach Crystal Prawn Dumpling (this one was nice as the dough itself was made with spinach puree), a Mince Chicken and Coriander( my favorite due to the intense savory flavor) and also a couple of Veggie Dumplings( pretty decent). Served fresh, in a steaming bamboo basket, the dumplings arrived within minutes of ordering.
Then came the Duck, my favorite dish from the meal- a nice, scrumptuos and crispy coating with tender brown meat through and through. The staff shredded it for us at the table and rolled into pancakes with some spring onions and Hoi Sin Sauce. Now I actually prefer lesser Hoi sin as I find it too sweet for my palate, but mixing the rolls with some of the Chilli Soya Red sauce, added the zing I was looking for. We Indians like our food spicy- guilty as charged!
For the main course, we went with the chef’s recommendation of ‘Steamed Chilean Sea Bass Fillet’. I really liked this one simply due to the ‘just right’ mild flavoring of ginger and spring onion on a perfectly steamed fillet, which literally melted in the mouth. There was also fried rice with chicken and salted fish, which had a typical savory taste and good mix of chicken, fish and some corn too. Mix mushrooms in Teriyaki sauce was interesting but not something I’d prefer, however my date enjoyed it as she loves mushrooms, and these wok fried ones were tender and juicy with teriyaki all around.
For drinks, we ordered the Royal China signature Red Dragon Mocktail, made of Raspberry puree, Passion fruit Puree, Cranberry Juice- very tangy and refreshing, with just the right amount of zing and zest in the mixture. And then, there was another hit for me… the Jasmine Flower tea, which came in a big cup of piping hot water with the Chinese Jasmine flower inside. It was really soothing and felt superlatively good after the heavy meal, which is why we opted for tea instead of dessert.
The total bill was approximately AED 650 with taxes and without alcoholic beverages. In all, I’d say it was an experience that definitely called for an encore!