Published on February 3, 2008
Royal Kitchen should be on the list of diners wishing to celebrate the upcoming Chinese New Year. With plenty of parking, plenty of seating and plenty of good food, the restaurant offers a fine opportunity to usher in the Year of the Rat.
The dining public might be a bit confused by the name. Originally, the restaurant had a Chinese name that translated loosely as "The Kitchen of the Emperor", which seemed a bit awkward to the owners, who then made an even looser translation into English - hence, "Royal Kitchen".
Starting out 23 years ago on Sathorn Road, Royal Kitchen has been in Soi Thong Lor for at least 10 years, having finally settled into its present location opposite Thong Lor Soi 25.
Bright and airy, with Chinese-style motifs placed alongside the almost minimalist decoration, Royal Kitchen provides a comfortable venue for almost any size of gathering. The place is huge, and even with 13 private rooms, each seating 10 to 12, plus a main dining area holding up to 100, diners don't feel crowded.
For the holiday, the restaurant isn't offering a Chinese New Year set menu since there are already several different set menus in place, all offered at special prices until the end of March.
For lunch, a group of 10 can order a set menu of seven courses (Bt3,800 down from Bt5,700). You don't have to have 10 in the group, but if your group is smaller, you're going to end up taking a lot home. This menu includes dim sum, braised shark's fin, a whole roast Peking duck, sauteed broccoli in oyster sauce, deep-fried sea bass, and fried rice Hokkiew-style, as well as sesame-seed buns in ginger soup for dessert.
For dinner, the set menus are either Bt9,200 or Bt13,000 for a group of 10. Actually, if you look at it another way, each menu is half the price: Included in the price is another set menu for ten, which you can enjoy at the same time (yes, we're talking about a group of 20) or save it for later. You can even, I'm told, come later to enjoy the free set meal, but if there's only five in your group, you can come yet again to "finish off" the set meal.
If you're not in the mood for a full set meal (or if your group is considerably small), Royal Kitchen offers two other menus, the a la carte and the "Special Menu".
The Special Menu offers very fine (and unusual) dishes. The king-sized Phuket lobster salad (Bt2,800) arrives in a very dramatic presentation of a lobster filled with chunks of meat and various fruits in a very light and tangy mayonnaise dressing.
Royal Kitchen has put barbecued suckling pig Hong Kong style (Bt350) on the menu as well. It's not the entire pig, but the slices come with the skin, all crispy on the outside and tender on the inside. Pork-lovers will enjoy this dish.
Among the most unusual dishes is the stewed goat in brown sauce (Bt350, Bt550, Bt1,000), which offers a very mild alternative to lamb.
The Royal Kitchen a la carte menu has been devised for those who enjoy reading menus. Clearly divided into sections based on the main ingredient, you can choose from seafood, fish, abalone, shark's fin, even conpoy.
Check out this restaurant. You'll find yourself dropping by even when it's not Chinese New Year.