Dinner at Royale Fine Dining & Banquet 皇家御宴 (Toronto)

Chinese set dinners promises tons of food and a meal filled with the land and sea. Various proteins will be incorporated into the menu and if something makes you squeamish, you don’t have to feel bad taking a time out, given there’s plenty of other items to come.

Having been to Royale Fine Dining for dim sum, we decided to return for dinner, when the restaurant wouldn’t be as hectic and cramped. As part of their set menus, there was one fit for 10 people for $688, inclusive of taxes and gratuities.  

Half a suckling pig started the meal, the thin crispy well rendered skin the traditional first bite of most banquets. The pork was well flavoured and the accompanying cold crunchy jelly fish and sweet seaweed salad a nice compliment to the warm pork.

The plump prawns were cooked well, just oddly presented with a limp vegetable skewered through it. I enjoyed the crisp broccoli florets and sweet straw mushrooms piled in the middle, with a light hint of ginger permeating throughout.

After two good starters, the following dishes started to take a downhill plunge. The shark fin soup with shredded crab and preserved ham was decent, but needed more seasoning as the broth wasn’t nearly flavourful enough.

The braised duck feet with sea cucumbers could have been delicious, but I can’t get into the slippery soft texture of the two ingredients. So, I really only sampled the pea shoots, which were leafy and satisfactory.  

Rather than stir frying the lobster, Royale chose to steam theirs with green onions. Unfortunately, it spent too much time in the heat so arrived shrunken and overdone. Such a shame that the fresh lobsters were robbed on their natural succulent sweetness.

On the other hand, the fish wasn’t steamed, instead presented two ways: juicy deep fried filets and stir-fried with mushrooms and snap peas. Both were quite delicious, but it was disappointing that the showcased deep fried bone was too hard to break apart and when you could get a piece it left an unpleasant fishy essence.

Normally, I love the final noodle and rice dishes – something about the comforting carbs is a must for ending the meal right. Although I appreciate Royale’s attempt to change up the dishes, the variations just didn’t work. Firstly, the noodles presentation left much to be desire – sitting limply in a thick sauce of slice mushrooms and sea cucumber. Indeed, the sauce was well seasoned but the noodles were much too soft.

When fried rice is steamed in lotus leaves, it’s a great combination – the flavourful rice infused with a great essence and becoming moister. However, the large pieces of eel on top made it much too difficult to eat given the spine with all its tiny bones were not removed.

Luckily, the petite fours escorting the sweet red bean soup were better – the mango jello hearts richly flavoured and the almond cookies light and crispy.

Certainly, the dinner incorporated many options and we were presented with large portions of food. But, many of the dishes simply weren’t executed well. In the end, it seems I will just stick with their dim sum. 

Overall mark - 6 out of 10

How To Find Them
 Location: Toronto, Canada
 Address: 648 Silverstar Boulevard

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Gastro World's Grading System

  • Anything under 5 - I really disliked and will never go back
  • 6 - decent restaurant but I likely won't return
  • 7 - decent restaurant and I will likely return
  • 8 - great restaurant that I'd be happy to recommend
  • 9 - fantastic restaurant that I would love to visit regularly and highly recommend
  • 10 - absolute perfection!

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