Welcome back, all. I hope you enjoyed the wall of sushi from last week. This week, we’re still in Asia, food-wise. Also, I’m going to try something a little different: post a gallery of photos and then list out and describe each item we ate.
The first time I tried Royal China, which was three or four years ago, I knew it was my favorite Chinese restaurant in Sonoma County. Dynasty in Rohnert Park is pretty decent, and Gary Chu’s Chinese is way up there. However, I prefer the food at Royal China. I am no Chinese food expert by any stretch of the imagination. I know about as much as the average American. To me, Chinese food is still orange chicken, chow mein, hot and sour soup, and egg rolls. All that said, I know I like good food made with love, and that is exactly what you can find at Royal China.
Last Thursday night, Dana, George, and I ventured on over to Santa Rosa to return to Royal China for the first time in three years. I was excited! And for the most part, I was not let down.
Unfortunately, the lighting inside Royal China was very dark, and all I use is my phone to take images. I did what I could quickly to edit them, but they are still a little grainy.
- Calamari Tempura – What? Tempura? Tempura isn’t Chinese! Well, one doesn’t always eat at an ethnic restaurant strictly for the authenticity. Sometimes, you’ve gotta try something that sounds good, no matter what that means. George and I looked at the menu item, looked at each other, and thought, yup, that’s the one… that’s our appetizer. (Dana didn’t really have a preference). And what a great choice it was to order it. This calamari was incredibly tender, which is unlike any other squid I’ve ever had anywhere. I think I really prefer the tempura batter to the traditional, heavy breading that is used on most fried calamari. Dipped in the sauce provided (I believe it to be plum sauce and mustard), it was perfect. This ended up being my second favorite item of the night.
- Fried Rice – The three of us agreed to share a plate of fried rice. I know what you’re probably thinking. How is she going to sell me on fried rice? It’s yummy, but fried rice is the same almost anywhere! Well, that’s what I thought, too, and that night I was proven wrong. I almost always enjoy fried rice, but this was particularly good. Most fried rice is pretty greasy, and I think that is what make’s Royal China’s fried rice stand out. It was not greasy at all and incredibly flavorful. If you like fried rice, definitely try Royal China’s!
- Glazed Walnut Prawns – George ordered the glazed walnut prawns, and I forced him to let me taste. I mean, he was nice enough to let me taste. Yes, that’s it. Anyway, this was easily the best dish I tasted all night. First of all, you can’t really go wrong with deep fried anything, but what made this such a delight to eat were all of the bold flavors. The glaze and the shrimp and the walnuts all mixed together were just the perfect blend. I wanted to eat more! Next time I visit Royal China, this will probably be what I order!
- Curry Vegetables with Tofu – Dana ordered this item, which was supposed to be a lot like a Thai coconut curry. I wish he had ordered something else… and so did he! This was some of the blandest curry I’ve ever tasted, aside from the fact that it was too salty! My recommendation: eat Thai curry at a Thai restaurant.
- Mu Shu Pork: This was my entree. While it was definitely tasty, I don’t know if I’m a diehard fan of mu shu. I’ve had it before and I don’t remember ever being in love. I would eat it again as it was delicious, but I would much rather have the walnut prawns!
No dessert this week! Well, except of course the staple fortune cookies!
If you like Chinese food, definitely try Royal China. It’s really good and reasonably-priced.
Decor: 5 stars
Food: 4.5 stars
Service: 2 stars (they were slow!)