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Member Spotlight: Royal China

BakerStreetQ’s Helen Sundaram pops in on Eddy Ho, General Manager of Royal China Baker Street, to find out more about the group’s flagship restaurant.

With a restaurant as celebrated as Royal China Baker Street, you’d understandably race there to indulge your taste buds in its amazing cuisine. My somewhat ungainly sprint up Baker Street was, however, to avoid the torrential rain on what was the most filthy of days. But I was early, the restaurant wasn’t quite open and there was a queue. A good sign I felt as I took my place in line. Moments later the doors opened and we all hurried into the warmth, eager for a fine, dim sum experience in this highly acclaimed, award-winning restaurant.

There are six Royal Chinas in London (including Royal China Club a few doors down, which is their luxury restaurant specialising in seafood), one in The Raffles Hotel in Singapore, Dubai, Hong Kong and three in Shanghai so it’s no surprise that this is one of the busiest restaurants in the area, particularly at weekends when they don’t take reservations and it’s strictly first come, first served (sharpen your elbows!).

The restaurant quickly busies up as business professionals, families, tourists and weary shoppers fill the large dining area, made up of small and large 12-seater round tables with ‘lazy susans’, and my host, Eddy, enlightens me on this much loved restaurant and the magical morsels of divine dim sum that gather in front of us …

How would you describe Royal China Baker Street?
We opened 11 years ago and specialise in authentic, Cantonese dim sum. It’s known as the ‘dish of emperors’ and the food here is better than any you get in Hong Kong or indeed London – all our dim sum is made on-site daily by just three highly skilled, specialist chefs, each with over 20 years’ dim sum experience, having learned the art as teenagers. When Gordon Ramsay filmed the F Word here in 2008 he was astonished at the speed and skill of such a small team of chefs – he said he’d need 11! You can’t get fresher dim sum anywhere else in London and our dim sum is very authentic, tasting as it did in Hong Kong 200 years ago. Cantonese is the most popular cuisine because of its variety, with over 200 dishes. And we can do it in many different ways – we regularly make adjustments to dishes on special request from our customers and we have many vegetarian options so we cater to many tastes.

Tell us two facts about Royal China Baker Street that we might not know
We can do outside catering for businesses within the Quarter. Whether it’s for a large-scale conference or a small meeting we can tailor your meal to work around your event and provide something a little bit different for your clients and staff to enjoy.

You can hire out part or all of our restaurant for events. We have a private dining area for business lunches, dinners and cocktail parties, and we can also cater to large-scale celebrations, product launches, parties and the like – our restaurant seats up to 250 people for dinner parties and receptions.

How does Royal China Baker Street benefit from membership of BakerStreetQ?
Well the area is so much cleaner than it was and your Ambassadors are doing a great job. We’ve had some anti-social behaviour nearby and that’s been sorted out. We’ve also benefitted from your marketing support, having been promoted in your Christmas party round-up, in your newsletter, social media and so on.We’re also working on an offer for your app, Baker Street Regulars and you help us promote our forthcoming activities – like our Chinese New Year Guide To Dim Sum Etiquette which I believe will be in your newsletter in February.

What do you like about the Quarter?
I’ve been here 10 years and it’s changed so much in this time. As well as being cleaner, there are now so many shops and restaurants – there’s a lot of choice for customers and businesses, before it was quite dull.

What would you like to see here in the future?
We’re busy but we’re always happy to welcome more customers. I think that this work you’re doing to reduce traffic, improve the environment and build a community will bring more people here to enjoy our restaurant and everything that Marylebone has to offer.

Where’s your go-to local eatery and what’s your favourite dish?
When I get out I tend to head to Marylebone High Street and I particularly love the seafood at Fishworks on Marylebone High Street.

What’s the first thing you do when you get into work?
Check emails! And have a cup of tea!

How do you like to spend your free time?
I only have one day off a week so I like to spend time at home, relaxing. I also like going to the gym and I’m a member of Fitness First – I like it and it’s really handy being just over the road.

Having been royally treated and indulged to within an inch of my life (unbuckle the belt a couple of notches), my dim sum lunch at Royal China Baker Street left me spectacularly sated and hankering for more. Do make a point of going and don’t forget you can order in for meetings!

Royal China Baker Street is a member of BakerStreetQ

Royal China Baker Street
24-26 Baker Street

Tel: 020 7487 4688

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