The Shortlist

Royal China, DIFC
Nominated for Best Chinese
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A visit to Royal China is one of managing expectations. The renowned brand with branches around the world is famous for dim sum, and we’ve never been disappointed with Royal China’s selection or the quality of the daytime dining pastime. However, for evening dining, we fear there’s room for improvement. While we don’t object to a menu stacked in favour of Westerner favourites (sweet and sour, kung pao et al), equally compromised tastes do irk us somewhat: in general the sauces here can be both bland and too sweet. Less exacting diners might be less irked if the restaurant itself lived up to the pomp of the name, but while the service is faultless, the room itself is small, undemanding and too brightly lit for any real atmosphere. The dim sum alone makes it well worth a visit, but anyone familiar with the weight of the brand is invited to keep those expectations carefully in check.
Open daily 11.30am-11.30pm (bar open until 2am). DIFC, (04 354 5543).

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