THE ROYAL GARDEN CHINESE RESTAURANT
Although located in the basement, the restaurant feels like a Southern Chinese water garden in gorgeous calming greys, especially if you take the table right by the circular moon window. Seats are usually comfortably spaced but on a crowded evening, extra tables may be placed around the man-made pond or even across the “stream” at Dong Lai Shun, which serves northern Chinese with regular detours into Huaiyang and Sichuan. Over on this side of the pond, dishes are paeans to Cantonese minimalism, with gentle seasonings accentuating the fresh catch. Highlights include fragrant steamed crab with Huadiao wine and stir-fried garoupa rolls. We love their double-boiled almond pig lung soup, a labour intensive Guangdong classic that usually requires pre-order—but their deep, savoury, collagen-rich rendition is available any time of the day. Service is swift and eager but not too intrusive. While the wine selection is heavy on recognisable Bordeaux, the short tea list is top notch and pairs better with the clean flavours of Cantonese.