Monday, April 5, 2010

Food Bloggers Lunch: Royal City Thai (New Westminster, BC)

There's a growing email list amongst Vancouver food bloggers, and it is well used. One such use was when Karl of The Friday Lunch suggested a "new" restaurant in New Westminster, Royal City Thai. Kim, Sherman, and myself were glad to accept. Reasons? Royal City Thai, formerly Royal City Cafe, was serving All You Can Eat Thai food on the weekends! Curious bloggers we are, we showed up not knowing what to expect.

My apologies to Kim, Sherman and Karl as we underestimated the amount of time to get from our place to Royal City Thai that afternoon and arrived a little late!

A glance at their AYCE menu is promising. A variety of dishes that we'd order ourselves, all for the price of $12.95!

When the waitress came to take our order, we simply said, "everything". And so it began - we were brought individual portions of hot and sour chicken soup. The coconut broth was flavourful, but the chicken meat was not plentiful. It was a nice opener to the meal. The vegetable salad also arrived shortly, and while being colourful, it was dressed lightly.

A variety of fried appetizers were also brought to the table. The calamari rings were fried crispy yet not overdone, but lacked flavour aside from the sweet and sour dipping sauce.

The same went for the veggie spring rolls. Crispy, but it would have been nice to have more flavour or interesting filling. The chicken wings would be my pick out of the appetizers to order again. It came with a slightly watery sweet chili sauce and were slightly seasoned. That being said, I also thought it would have been nice had these been stuffed with a mixture of prawn and vermicelli (of course on an AYCE menu the boys told me to dream on. Yes I know... ;p).

It became sort of a blur after that. Green curry, red curry, yellow curry - noodles, rice, spicy, not spicy...

Above is the yellow curry pork, beef stirfry, and the veggie fried rice. The pork curry, in my opinion (along with a subsequent chicken curry) was the most flavourful dishes on the menu. While we had ordered a medium spicy, we found all the dishes to be lacking any real heat.

Above is chicken vegetable dish (black bean I'm told), but there was a lack of flavour as well. In the middle is a Green Curry Beef, followed by the Pad See Iw. If you click on the pad see iw photo and take a look, you may be able to see that the flat rice noodles used in the dish are a touch undercooked raw. I'm talking crunchy raw - the noodles could have been soaked a bit longer, or could have been stored properly instead of being left to dry in between cooking steps.

After the initial order of "everything", we decided to order some repeats in the "spicy" option. These were more pleasing and interesting to the palate than the previously ordered dishes. As a bonus, the noodles were cooked though in the Pad See Iw this time! :)

There is something M and I refer to with Asian cooking, especially spicy Asian cuisine (Malay, Singaporean, Indonesian, Thai, Szechuan, etc) - it is that "addictive" factor. Meaning - if we order a number of dishes amongst the two of us, can we stop eating it before we eat what we meant to pack away for lunch the next day? Sadly, the food at Royal City Thai did not have that "addictive" factor. It was decent, but not quite what we would be looking for when a Thai food craving hits

In all, for $12.95, an AYCE Thai meal of this caliber is decent for New Westminster. It is not a "destination" eat, although if you were in the area and hankering for some Thai curry, I might suggest it. The plus was that although our meal was AYCE, each dish was still prepared fresh (we could hear them!). The seating was comfortable and spacious, and there were some beautiful carved panels and dividers throughout the restaurant. Parking is generally metered on Columbia as well as the surrounding side streets.

Thank you to Karl for organizing the lunch - we would not have known that Royal City Thai existed.

Click through to see what Karl, Sherman, and Kim had to say!

Royal City Thai
634 Columbia Street
New Westminster BC
P: 604-522-1289
Royal City Thai on Urbanspoon


  1. One disadvantage of bloggers getting together and sharing a meal is that we (the readers) end up with posts on the same restaurant. :(

  2. Jonnek, while that is true, we also have different perspective of the food, not to mention, different pictures! :D

  3. @Jonnek I know, I've thought about that myself. Even with multiple perspectives it gets repetitive and the concensus is generally the same. What is interesting, however is when the parties differ... :) I believe there were some differences in opinion of East is East. At the same time, it gives the readers a chance to see where us bloggers stand too. And agree with Kim, a different photographs, for certain! :D

  4. I understand that completely. Who would be better dinner companions than like minded food bloggers. I also know that it is hard to go to a new place each time you dine out. I'm just happy that you guys keep up your blogs.

    I agree that sometimes you have differing opinions on the dishes you review. However, oftentimes I find myself just skipping the other similar reviews after thoroughly reading the first one. But that was just me.

    I dont think it would be fair to expect that you guys just have 1 person doing a group review. You may have different reader base. Some may follow one blog but not the others. Unfortunately for me I follow pretty much all Vancouver food blogs that I'm aware of.

  5. Plus with several bloggers at one venue, you can check out sooo many more dishes.

    Great write-up, Jessica. Thanks for capturing my ginormous noggin with such elegance.

  6. @Jonnek Points taken. Thank you for the comments and the response. And thank you for reading. :)Personally, I think it would interesting to read a food blog that you write. From what I gather, you are a big foodie.

    @KGB :D I like it! I'm starting to take more than food photos when I'm out dining. For one, it helps me remember more about the atmosphere of the restaurant (plus it jogs the memory, given that I rarely take photos of the exterior / awnings of the restaurant). Two, it adds to the "photo diary".

  7. As much as we get together to try new restaurants for the purposes of blogging, I find now, more than ever, I just like hanging around the fellow bloggers I'm with. They're more like "friends" rather than just fellow bloggers. Taking pictures and blogging about it is almost a by-product as a result. So as much as we do it for the readers, we also do it for ourselves since it's only natural you hang around people that have similar interests.


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