Restaurant Reviews

Restaurant Reviews and Food Musings


Fed up with celebrity chefs drizzling sauces over undercooked pieces of meat? I am!

I regularly dine out and am happy to share my restaurant experiences, and musings on food with you.

Monday, March 01, 2004


The Royal Garden
Shirley Hills Road
Shirley Hills

Phone:- 0208 654 6491


Eva and I went to The Royal Garden Chinese restaurant, set in the beautiful wooded area of Shirley Hills, last Friday.


This is a welcoming restaurant; tucked away in a secluded drive on the edge of the wooded area of Shirley Hills. The restaurant was very busy and pleasantly lively.

The restaurant consists of a bar, with a good sized seating area, and a main dining area that can accommodate a large number of people. I would recommend that you make a reservation, as the place was packed.

The d├ęcor, in some respects, is reminiscent of the less garish aspects of the eighties TV series Miami Vice. The bar area, is functional and bright; and is a good place to peruse the variety of dishes offered on the menu.

The restaurant is light, bright and warm; the floor is white marble and there are a few gigantic Chinese vases placed at various corners of the room. The tables are laid with yellow linen cloths and napkins.

The restaurant, as it has very large windows, affords exceptional views of the surrounding woodland.


The menu offers an excellent selection of Peking, Szechuan and Cantonese cuisine; in my view there is something for everyone.


There was a large number of staff, all of whom were friendly and courteous. They were very accommodating when I asked if we could buy the teapot and cups at the end of the meal, and kindly wrapped them up for us.


Since this was a Chinese restaurant, we decided to share; and selected an array of dishes to sample and enjoy. Our feast included:

● Peking duck, which was crisp and succulent served with piping hot steamed pancakes and a rich sweet plum sauce. This came with a large carved carrot decoration, more phallic than carrot!

● Spring rolls, which were not greasy; but light, crispy and held a well proportioned balance of meat and vegetables.

● Pork dumplings, these were delicate and succulent; not at all stodgy.

● Deep fried scallops, a generous portion of scallops coated in a light crispy batter and deep fried. Salty and tasty!

● Deep fried chicken with water chestnuts, a delicate flavoursome dish.

● Chicken in a black bean sauce. This was fried chicken in black beans, with chilli and green peppers; a piquant and tender dish, that complimented the other chicken dish.

● Egg fried rice and plain boiled rice accompanied our meal.

We finished with tea and liqueurs. The toothpicks, that we used for contemplative chewing, had decorative carvings at one end; a nice touch.

The meal, which included a bottle of Chablis, pre dinner cocktails and post dinner liqueurs, came to £108 before service. The teapot and cups were an extra £12.

Overall Opinion

We had an excellent evening and meal, we will definitely be returning.