I'm very glad to have had the opportunity to meet Loraine (aka HungryTrotters), who has since left Singapore for the Netherlands. We had planned to meet at City Hall MRT before heading to the restaurant, Royal China, but somehow we ended up in a cat-and-mouse chase because we didn't have each other's contact numbers haha. Fortunately, I finally managed to connect to the weak WiFi signal from Starbucks using my phone, and found her phone number in the email she had just sent.
Boy, we were sure relieved when we finally managed to find each other!
Located within the colonial Raffles Hotel, you'll find yourself in a sea of soothing light blue once you enter the restaurant. Sititng at the rectangular tables along the centre aisle, we noted that the mirror next to the last table did a great job of making the dining hall appear longer than in reality.
It's always a refreshing experience to meet someone who shares the same passion as you. Loraine and I definitely had an enjoyable time getting to know more about each other, chatting about food (naturally), and of course, taking our time to photograph the food- an activity I normally won't be able to take my time doing when dining with non-food-bloggers ;)
The food arrived quickly after we placed our orders with the polite waitresses. On to the what we ordered!
Baked Barbecued Pork Puff ($4.0++ for three)
We had trouble picking the char siew sou up with out chopsticks because their flaky skin was so delicate, it kept crumbling away! The juiciness of the sweet and exceptionally moist char siew filling made a great complement to the light and tender pastry.
Steamed Prawn Dumpling ($4.0++ for four)
A must in any dim sum order, Royal China's har gao didn't disappoint. The plump prawns were fresh and crunchy; and while the translucent rice flour skin was a wee bit thick, it was slightly chewy and sticky like it should be.
Steamed Bun with Fresh Mango and Salted Egg Yolk ($4.0++ for three)
The superbly soft and fluffy pau skin tore apart to reveal a golden, molten filling. Not only was the oozy custard of the perfect consistency, it had a wonderful balance of sweet and salty. Easily my favorite item of the meal, I'll definitely be coming back to Royal China to have more of this salted yolk pau.
Eating rice dumplings usually leaves me bloated, but Royal China's steamed glutinous rice surprisingly didn't. The rice was moist and soft, and came chockful with well-cooked meat and mushrooms. While not lacking in flavor, I felt that the dish could have done with more oomph.
I liked the fact that these egg tartlets came in a petite size, so that I'll have more stomach space to sample more of the menu. The light and crisp pastry base which paired the smooth egg custard will please those who adore flaky pastry. While Royal China's rendition was decent, Tong Heng's egg tarts undoubtedly remain as my firm favorite.
Crispy Taro Roll with Scallop ($4.80++ for three)
Fried to perfection, the crisp yam threads crumbled away into a smooth mushy mass... what a delight! There was a small piece of scallop hidden inside for some textural contrast, but the tasty yam was clearly the star here. Without doubt, these lovely taro rolls are a must-order at Royal China.
Having ordered six different items, Loraine and I were both full by the end of the meal. Surprisingly, the bill added up to less than what you'll expect of an establishment in a grand institution like Raffles- our meal worked out to cost about $17 per person, including taxes. I'll definitely recommend the dishes featured in this post to anyone craving dimsum!
Our meal was a very enjoyable one, not only because of the good food, but Loraine's lovely company as well. Thanks again, Loraine, for taking time out of your last few days in Singapore to meet me :D I hope that you're adapting well to life in NL, and that reading this post will bring back delicious memories!
1 Beach Road
#03-09 Raffles Hotel
Lunch: 12pm-3pm (Mon-Sat), 11am-3pm (Sun & PH)
Dinner: 6pm-10.30pm daily