For maybe 15 years now our regular haunt for Chinese food has been Royal Treasure Restaurant on Somerset. What draws us there each time is their hot and sour soup. For us, it rates as the best around.
Many have claimed that Royal Treasure is one of the most authentic Chinese food restaurants in Ottawa. I am absolutely not an expert on Cantonese and Szechuan cuisine so won't be able to verify this claim. What I do know is that we love the flavours and the variety of dishes. And when it comes to Szechuan, they deliver a nice bite.
We usually get to the Treasure each season. Oddly it is most consistently around this time of year when the days are darkly long and the weather too carries quite the bite. I make sure to dress warmly because the door to outside is constantly swinging with customers coming in for their orders. We prefer to go with a crowd to enjoy a good selection of dishes. It is hard to cover the favourites with just the two of us.
Tonight we mustered up a gang of five. Although our dining buddies live right around the corner, they tend to frequent Jadeland or So Good Restaurant. It seems the Treasure satisfied though, as there was barely a grain of rice left behind. I find the dishes amply portioned and keep that in mind when ordering.
Prices have gone up since we were last there. For most dishes it was by $1. Some dishes even more. There are new menus to pay for and a fresh coat of paint on the place. Surprisingly, it wasn't as drafty and cold as I have come to expect. Perhaps there have been other changes going on too. The place is small and it always feel like a gamble to get one of the bigger tables. Karma was on our side tonight.
The restaurant is fully licensed but we settled for the tea. It is family run and friendly. Although they move very efficiently and like to turn the tables quickly for this tiny place, we rarely have felt rushed.
|The medium bowl of Hot and Sour Soup yielded 8 servings. It carries a good balance of tang and heat. It is full of bamboo shoots, tofu, mushrooms, egg and green onions. $12.95|
|Spring rolls come 2 to an order. They are quite large and well stuffed. $3 an order.|
|The General Tao Chicken is the darling son's favourite. Well sauced, not greasy and very crispy. $11.95|
|Yang Chow Fried Rice is full of shrimp. This dish had been well spooned by the time I had a chance to take a picture. We sometimes call it Royal Treasure Fried Rice. $9.75|
|The sizzling seafood delight comes with scallops, shrimp and squid. $15.95|
|Spicy Assorted Mixed Vegetables $10.25|
As far as my fortune cookie went, I didn't warm to it. With the new year just days away, I was hoping for an optimistic proclamation of good things to come. That would have suited more than advice free from Dear Abby. Alas, none of my dining partners were willing to trade. When it came time to leave, we shared the bill with our friends.
774 Somerset St. W.
Tues to Thurs: 11 am - 2 pm; 4 pm - 9:30 pm
Fri to Sun: 11 am - 2:30 pm; 4 pm - 9:30 pm