Royal China – Bayswater

Reviewed on December 4th, 2014 by Dina

Sundays are a great time to see friends over a spot of brunch. This time it was brunch with a difference – a dim sum one!

Royal China is a popular place and luckily as we had got there before noon, we didn’t have to queue. But by the time we left, there was a long line of people waiting for a table.

A dark interior with decorated marble walls, coloured soft lighting and many round tables made up the restaurant area. There was a bar adjacent to the waiting area at the front of the restaurant.

It was nice not to have to decide which dishes to order as friends placed the order for the food selection. Bamboo baskets of steamed dumplings, buns, noodle dishes and dipping sauces graced our table.

Royal China EntranceRoyal ChinaRoyal China InteriorRoyal China DumplingsRoyal China Cheung FunRoyal China Roast Pork BunsRoyal China Braised NoodlesRoyal China Turnip CakeRoyal China Egg Tarts

Fluffy white buns were filled with the sweet char sui roast pork. The fried dough cheung fun were topped with sesame seeds. The crispy interior of the fried dough was encased by the soft white outer layer. It was not until after the meal that we realised that the sauce that had come with it had not been tried.

Big flat black Chinese mushrooms topped the braised thin noodles. The sauce was flavoursome. The noodles came with some cooked greens on the side. Other dishes were turnip cake and also tasty prawn and chive dumplings.

The staff and service were wonderful at Royal China. They were professional and efficient, swiftly cleaning away empty plates throughout the meal.

It had to be tea to go with the dim sum brunch. It was served by the pot and was refilled when asked.

To end the meal on a sweet note, baked egg tarts were had. A creamy egg custard filling in a soft light pastry was delightful.

Royal China had a wonderful buzz about the place and a great atmosphere. The dim sum was absolutely perfect, all fresh and tasty. A good start to the Sunday with lovely chats amongst friends and all set for an afternoon at the park!

Royal China, 13 Queensway, London, W2 4QJ

Rating: ★★★★★

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Down To Earth – Kensington High Street

Reviewed on August 29th, 2013 by Dina

Away from the busy shopping end of High Street Kensington and just after Holland Park is where Down To Earth is located. Down To Earth is an organic vegan and vegetarian cafe serving organic food, fairtrade coffees, speciality teas and ice cream. There are a lot of cakes including cheesecakes in the counter fridge. The only thing is that the bread is on open display along the window wall. My preference is always for covered displays.

The main decor and theme of Down To Earth is black and white which extends to the artwork on the walls. There are high seats by the window. The seating area is surrounded by shelves and the open fridges of the shop section of Down To Earth.

Down To EarthDown To Earth AmericanoDown To Earth Interior

Down To Earth has a lot of drinks on offer including fresh juices and smoothies. But this time, I decided to have an Americano coffee with hot soy milk. The coffee was nice with the milk served in a small jug.

The staff were friendly and were mostly busy tidying and clearing up the cafe area. One thing to note is that if you have a baby or toddler, then Down To Earth offers complimentary freshly made baby food!

Down To Earth, 240-242 High Street Kensington, London, W8 6ND

Rating: ★★★★☆

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Recipease – Notting Hill

Reviewed on April 29th, 2013 by Dina

It seems like we all go through phases with certain things and that can happen when it comes to going out to eat! There are times when similar types of eateries are gone to.

Brunch was something that had not been done for quite a few months. So I was more than happy to try Jamie Oliver’s Recipease when my friend suggested that we go there on a Sunday.

Recipease do not have a reservation system so be prepared to wait for a table. The staff do not rush the diners even if there is a queue of people waiting. That is a good thing in my eyes as the last thing that you want when you have gone out to eat is to feel the time pressure. When we got there, we opted to wait slighter longer so that we could have the comfy seats instead of the wooden window seats.

The ground floor of Recipease has the shop area with lots of baked items, fresh sandwiches, cakes and gifts. Unfortunately there are all on open display. On both the ground floor and the upper level, there are big areas in the centre that are used for the cooking courses.

Recipease ShopRecipeaseRecipease Shop LevelRecipease The Veggie WorksRecipease TeaRecipease The WorksRecipease Cooking AreaRecipease DisplaysRecipease Cafe

While we were there, there were several courses that were going on including a children’s party and a pasta making course. There were good aromas from the fresh cooking and surprisingly it was not too noisy.

The seating area for the cafe on the upper level borders the big cooking area. Huge windows look out onto the streets below. There are displays of books and cooking equipment on the shelves. It all looked very colourful and created a bright and happy atmosphere.

Both my friend and I were considering the Bacon and Egg Sandwich but then we thought that we might as well go full out and have The Works. I had the veggie version and my friend had the normal meat one. The only difference was that the mushrooms replaced the sausages and bacon.

The Veggie Works consisted of oven roasted garlic field mushrooms, roasted tomatoes, egg, toast, Recipease baked beans, spinach and potato tortilla. It was supposed to be a poached egg but I asked for scrambled egg instead. It was a great delicious brunch with a good variety of items. The eggs were softly scrambled and the Recipease baked beans were so tasty and homemade. The wedge of potato tortilla was a big portion. All the food was of a high quality.

Brunch would not be complete without a cup of tea. The Earl Grey tea was served by the pot, with a small bottle of milk on the side. There was plenty of tea for a good few cups.

The staff were friendly and gave service with a smile. They seemed quite busy and once they served us our food, they left us to enjoy it!

Brunch at Recipease was delightful in all aspects including the food, service, dining arrangements, atmosphere and staff!

Recipease, 92-94 Notting Hill Gate, Notting Hill, London, W11 3QB

Rating: ★★★★★

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