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“Interesting Chinese”
Review of Royal Wok

Royal Wok
Ranked #638 of 859 Restaurants in Southampton
Cuisines: Chinese
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Dining options: Reservations
Description: A new Chinese restaurant where the City Bejing restaurant used to be.
Level 3 Contributor
11 reviews
5 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Interesting Chinese”
Reviewed December 11, 2012 via mobile

As other reviewers have noted interesting (and very good) Chinese food. Friendly manager and nice and relaxed good service at Saturday lunch. Far from standard takeaway (not that I mind one but this is different class). Overall will revisit again like my wife who sung it's praises a couple of weeks ago having enjoyed hot pot.

Helpful?
Thank Michael W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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68 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    28
    13
    5
    4
    18
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Southampton, United Kingdom
Level 4 Contributor
40 reviews
32 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
“Authentic Chinese Restaurant”
Reviewed December 9, 2012

The Royal Wok is just five minutes south of Southampton's Bargate, on the first floor and reached via stone steps. It's quite spacious and decor is typically Chinese with masks, flowers and so on. We've been many times for lunch, and Chinese diners are usually in the majority. The manager is charming and friendly, and soon remembers his regular customers. Service is reliable and quite quick. The atmosphere is very pleasant, although when the manager is not there, a young man and young woman are waiting at tables, and they seem very solemn and sometimes stand and watch diners continuously when not needed.

The food is plentiful and excellently cooked. The vegetarian spring roll starter, for example, consists of eight delicious small rolls - we often share this and staff do not mind. The delicious deep fried salty spicy beancurd comes in large portions, and staff readily pack up any uneaten in a plastic lidded dish. There is a separate, 'very Chinese' menu which is not usually given to Westerners! It contains such things as fried chicken feet and (I think) worse.

Excepting the special lunch menu, it's not cheap. A shared starter, two mains, one side of noodles, two wines and two beers came to close on £40 recently. But for a really enjoyable meal with a wide menu, The Royal Wok is highly recommended.

The reason for four rather than five stars is personal - the only vegetarian dish on the special lunch menu is stir-fried vegetables, which as so often is heavy on onion, carrot and cabbage. I once asked if I could have a few cashews in it, and was initially refused. Adding a little tofu or a few cashews would make this an excellent meal.

  • Visited December 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
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    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Jacqueline P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Southampton, United Kingdom
Level 3 Contributor
13 reviews
10 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“Absolutely awesome”
Reviewed December 9, 2012

I've been here a few times in the past and last night took my staff there as part of our Xmas night out. They do have the standard 'English Chinese' menu for those who want to play it safe but the real fun to be had is in the other menu. There were seven of us and we got quite a varied selection of dishes that we shared amongst us. Not only was it delicious but it was one of the most fun dining experiences I've ever had.

The staff are excellent and somehow our whole bill came to under £20 a head including drinks, despite us not being able to finish it all!

My girlfriend and I have been there and enjoyed it as a couple but a lot of the dishes in the decent menu are quite big and definitely designed for sharing so I would whole heartedly recommend getting a group of you together to enjoy it the most by having a selection of dishes to pass around.

Another great thing I like about the place is that it's quite standard practice for them to package up what you haven't finished for you to take home.

My only criticism is a constructive one, they could have sold us more drinks if they paid a bit more attention to that side of things but maybe it was just because it was so busy.

I can't wait to go back!

  • Visited December 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Stuart J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Southend-on-Sea, United Kingdom
Level 4 Contributor
28 reviews
27 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
“Ordering off the Chinese menu, if you know what I mean?”
Reviewed November 12, 2012

I liked the idea that most of the clientèle are Chinese themselves which always leads to an assumption that the food is authentic.

Though, going to a traditional Chinese restaurant is a double edged sword. The food can be very authentic and we know the Chinese are a big fan of eating the whole animal which is something that has started to take off in this country again but is something that will take time. Being a traditional menu there were some serious dishes on here, many contained tripe, intestines and feet.

Now, I am fairly open to most foods, I do however have limits. I can’t quite get my head around intestines or tripe. I have tried but not been able to get that image out of my head. The Chinese lap it up but I cannot. I have tried feet (chickens feet = gristle, pigs feet = quite tasty and fatty) but haven’t worked my way up to intestines yet.

Arriving at the restaurant we were greeted by the near famous owner/front of house chap, very funny and hospitable, sat down at our table and were given 3 menus, English, Chinese with hilarious translations (Fried village with vegetable) and a wine menu.

I had a quick flick through the English menu and put it to one side and got fully involved with the Chinese menu and we ordered their hot and sour soup and fried squid, both of these are obvious favourites from many menus and the squid was pretty standard but the soup was amazing, full of a flavour I wasn’t familiar with, almost aniseed. The soup contained bean sprouts and loads of tasty shrimp.

For the mains we went completely off piste and ordered sliced pigs ears (cold), beef poached in chilli, lamb in cumin and stir fried Chinese leaf.

The pigs ears were tasty as long as you didn’t get the slices which were made up of cartilage, those were hard to eat.

The Lamb with cumin was fried with lots of chilli and garlic and even more cumin seeds, this was quite tough but tasty all the same.

The fried Chinese leaf was nice, good for cutting through the heat..

The star for me and my dining parter was the beef poached in chilli oil, it was hot, real hot, hot like it was made of the most tender lava but packed with SO much flavour. I could have eaten a pound of it! if fact I almost did!

We didn’t have rice as we are both off the Carbs.

All in all the meal was great, good traditional food with humour from the staff and leaving as though we had experienced something, not just had another meal.

http://whatidideat.tumblr.com/

  • Visited November 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
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Helpful?
1 Thank Tony_McSpadden
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level 6 Contributor
101 reviews
25 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 165 helpful votes
“Overpriced”
Reviewed November 5, 2012

On comparing this to my local chineese (London) we found that the food was ok the portions smaller and the bill higher, service was good resturant was noisy

  • Visited November 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank Edward B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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