There used to be a pretty good variety of Chinese restaurants in Peterborough but that has long since been the case. These days finding a good eat-in Chinese option is a pretty tough call.
One Saturday, Mum and I found ourselves pulling up outside her local Chinese restaurant.
The Royal China. What it lacks in kerb appeal – and it really does – it makes up for with it’s food and hospitality!
We were quickly seated and were offered a set menu which seemed like good value for money. The set menu is a 3 course option at £15 per head.
There is plenty of choice. We opted for mixed starters which consisted of 9 different dishes to try. The satay chicken was by far my favourite and probably the best I have ever tasted.
The spicy To-Ban Beef was a dish I hadn’t tried before but was lovely – nothing was overly spicy. Other dishes were 2 different styles of spare ribs, crispy seaweed, sesame chicken toast, prawn toast, spring rolls and chicken with chilli and garlic. It was brought out to us within 15 minutes of ordering and we were asked a couple of times if we would like any of the dishes topped up which was nice.
On to the duck!
Plenty of succulent duck meat and fresh chopped spring onion and cucumber with pancakes. I thought that the hoisin sauce was a little too salty but not enough to complain about. Mum didn’t notice it at all and we happily munched our way through all of it.
The main course
I feel like to get a good measure of how good the place is you need to try a Sweet and Sour dish at a chinese restaurant. With that in mind, I opted for the Sweet and Sour Pork. Mum went for the healthier Cantonese Pork. We both decided on noodles for our side dish.
My Sweet and Sour Pork was absolutely lovely. The balance was just right and the pork wasn’t too chewy and nice and crispy. Don’t be put off by the small portions, it was made really clear to us that we only had to ask if we wanted more and they were more than happy to oblige.
Mum’s Cantonese Pork was well received and the bit I tried was delicious. The noodles were lovely too. Nicely flavoured and not too oily which is something I have encountered at other establishments.
We honestly didn’t feel the need to order any more than was brought out to us but we were asked several times if we were sure. In the interests of a thorough investigation of the food on offer, I decided to leave room for dessert.
I was glad I did
The desserts are not included in the set menu but they are really reasonably priced. To add one to your meal, Royal China charge just 90p! I opted for the cheesecake but there was a pretty good choice on offer. Ice cream, toffee apple (when do you see that on a menu?!), profiteroles, banana fritters, or lychees.
As well as my cheesecake I also ordered coffee. The coffee here is really good. I don’t know about you but I hate it when I have had a nice meal and then a bitter coffee ruins it at the final hurdle!
A nice surprise
Along with our coffees we were presented with a little plate of complimentary pick & mix style sweets. I had thought that I was a sensible grown up of 37 years but it turns out that being presented with free sweets has much the same effect that it had on me as a child. It was a lovely touch.
The Set Menu
Would we go again?
So I guess that’s the most important question, isn’t it? Before we visited The Royal China I checked out Trip Advisor for reviews. I read that the staff were a bit rude, that the place was freezing cold and it wasn’t an entirely pleasant place to visit.
What we found was a welcoming, well set up Chinese restaurant that while it looks a little run down outside is a great choice for a meal. All of the members of staff who we encountered were very polite and professional. We were very well looked after during our meal without it feeling intrusive. The menu was incredibly good value and the food was utterly delicious! We will definitely be back for a return visit and I quite liked that there is a separate section which would be good for hosting larger party sizes making it a good option for family get togethers.
Looking for other restaurants to try in Peterborough? Why not check out our review of Turtle Bay