Royal experience at Royal China, Pune 4.5/5

When one of the best Chinese restaurants invites you for a food review, you cannot help but say yes! Pens and writing pads, cameras and lenses of different kinds, iPads, iPhones and of course loads of appetite. The stage was set for a perfect food review session as the team, Moi Palate, went down to review the fine dine Cantonese restaurant on a rain kissed afternoon.
Located in the premises of the plush Westin restaurant, the entrance was sheer class. The artistic mirrors in the lobby, the high ceiling, the modern ambience, the entrance  definitely provided a good back drop to a great review session ahead of us.
We were courteously welcomed by the staff who showed us a table for 4. Neatly laid out on the table were Wine glasses, the silver and gold cutlery resting on a dragon stand,  the crisp white napkins, chopsticks and were we impressed? !! A definite YES! The cutlery is delicate and the warm lights made the restaurant feel homely and cozy. The huge glass windows by the table  and the chinaware on the table screamed luxury and elegance all the way.

We started with the French wine-Merlot from French roots and the Cranberry Kiss. While the wine was smooth, medium bodied and did not have a bitter after taste, the cranberry kiss was refreshing and had apple and mint flavours well balanced.

cranberry kiss
For the entrée, we had the Salt and Pepper Prawns which completely bowled us over by their size and flavour. The prawns were sautéed with  capsicum and spring onions making it flavourfully fantastic. Simple in presentation but bold in flavor, this definitely was a great start to the ambitious looking Cantonese spread.

Next we tried the Chicken and Asparagus Cheung Fun which was served with plum sauce. The dish had a sweetish taste and was so tender that it melted in our mouth. The presentation was stellar and so was taste.

chicken and asparagus cheung fun
An interesting addition to the starters was the vegetable lettuce wrap that had crisp fresh leaves of lettuce served with tossed vegetables. The waiter helped us with preparing the wraps as he served the vegetables on the lettuce and drizzled it with plum sauce . This was a powerful mix that tickled our taste buds.

vegetable lettuce wrap
The restaurant is currently running a dimsum festival. So we got to partake in a variety of dimsums. Some were round, some oval, some shaped like a boat while the others like a vessel. We had never seen such a variety of dimsums before!

dimsum platter

The crystal dimsums actually looked like a crystal with their thin transparent covering that revealed the green asparagus, orange carrots within. As great as it looked, the taste was not as impressive. However, we marvelled at the preparation for it had to be a masterchef to master at a thin covering like this one!
The chicken and prawn sui mai dumpling were yellowish in colour. The best part about this was that neither of the two meats overpowered each other. Both were distinct and moreishly delectable.

chicken and prawn sui mui dumpling
The shell shaped prawn dumpling was soft, velvetty and the prawns almost fell apart in our mouth the minute we bit into the dumpling. This was our favourite and it brought out unique oceanic flavours.

We partook in some orange coloured asparagus dumplings and green coloured seafood dumplings! However, being a sea food lover, i preferred the seafood dumplings.

asparagus and seafood dumpling
Delving more into their Cantonese menu, we tried the Crispy Aromatic Duck served with pancakes, spring onions and cucumber. As interesting as it sounded, it tasted just as delicious.  After cooing at the presentation, the shredded duck decorated with a freshly cut beetroot , we rolled up our pancakes with the confection of shredded duck, spring onions and cucumber. For those who love duck, will definitely fall for this one. As for us, we were just happy with a bite or two.

shredded duck

For the mains:
We ordered for Egg fried rice with their signature dish- flaming chicken in superior sauce.
Though we were soon going to run into a food coma, we couldnt stop at this one. A beautiful presentation of chicken going up in flames preceded the serving of the dish. The egg fried rice was served in a bowl that added an extra dash of China. We dug in with gusto one bite after another as the powerful flavours of the dish ran riot in our mouth.

chicken with superior sauce

Being seafood lovers, we ordered for a pomfret! Garnished with spring onions and marinated in  ginger sauce, the fish was cooked al dente. Though the flavours were understated, we still enjoyed the kick of the ginger and spring onions. The sauce was runny and the fish tender. The fish fell apart in our mouths and the combination of flavours was outstanding.

From the vegetarian menu; we tried the mopu tofu and the sauteed greens with black mushrooms. The mushrooms packed a punch with their interesting flavours. However, the tofu with the tossed vegetables is best avoided.

greens and mushroom

As much as we enjoyed the mains and the starters, the desserts were just as delectable.
The waiter got us steamed custard buns in a dimsum basket which made them look like mini ostrich eggs. However, it was only after we had a bite, the sweet flavours of the custard exploded in our mouth and left us craving for more. Though a little dry on the inside, this was definitely something we had never tried before.

custard bun

custard bun open
This grand feast did not end here! Our gastronomical journey ended on a sweet chocolatey note as the waiter got us the ‘oh so sinful- Mud Cake’ with vanilla ice cream.
The cake was moist, soft and interspersed with layers of chocolate. The cake and the ice cream were a high voltage pairing and it smacked us in the face with its powerful flavours. We certainly couldnt stop  at just one bite.

mud cake

Royal China has a  delicious and an unpretentious fare of authentic Chinese Food and every corner of the restaurant screams elegance.

Recommendation: If you are looking for a sophisticated evening out coupled with a delectable Chinese fare, then there is no better place than to experience the royal flavours of Royal China! Though a little expensive, we believe special occasions call for special places and Royal China is one of them!

This restaurant is reverred amongst others as the best Cantonese restaurant. It definitely moved up in our list of must visit restaurants after this food review session.

Ambience: 4.5/5

Food: 4.5/5

Service: 4.5/5

Overall Rating 4.5/5

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