792 Main St, Cambridge, MA | Directions 0213942.363234 -71.096961
Sun 11:30am-11pm; Mon 11am-9:30pm; Tue 11am-9:30pm; Wed 11am-9:30pm; Thu 11am-9:30pm; Fri 11am-9:30pm; Sat 11:30am-11pm
Neighborhoods: Area IV
I took five people for dinner at Royal East and was greatly disappointed by the attitude of the hostess and the waitress. We ordered a lobster cooked in butter and garlic sauce. It was dry and flavorless. We also ordered a fish dish for our American friend who preferred to have his own dish. Despite extensive explanation to the hostess who was fluent in English, she recommended a whole grey sole which cost $34 and was way too big for one person.
Over all, we feel the service was geared to getting the guests to spend more, not to enjoy the food.
I don't think I will take my guests to Royal East any more.
Royal East Restaurant – The food was well cooked (not over done) and presentation was good.
The service was excellent. Our waiter was attentive and polite.
Appetisers were served first and time was given between courses (unlike most places that bring everything at once).
There was no bad odours. Decor was alright, but the place looked clean.
In-the-know gourmands and expat families head to Cambridge to enjoy the area's most authentic Cantonese cuisine. – The Scene
A favorite of local chefs and fussy foodies in search of fiery Szechuan and Cantonese specialties, Royal East sits quietly on Cambridge's Main St., between Central and Kendall Squares. After being greeted at the door by tanks full of live fish, crabs and lobsters, patrons head into the large, simply appointed dining room. Huge circular tables, complete with a giant Lazy Susan, are ideal for groups, and dutiful servers keep water glasses filled despite an occasional language barrier.
The kitchen's exceptionally lengthy menu allows room for Western favorites (sweet and sour pork, shrimp lo mein), but most patrons wisely opt for hard-to-find regional specialties like suan la chow show (hot and sour wonton soup) and Cantonese-style fried chicken. Aficionados of Chinese cuisine swear by house specialties like salt-and-pepper pork chops and intricately prepared Peking duck. Dessert options usually begin and end with fresh fruit like plump lychees.
A Great Restaurant – I have to disagree with the previous reviewer. I have been going to the Royal East ever since it opened (and even before when it was Colleen's Peking Duck.) I eat there on average once or twice a week. I have NEVER seen a dead fish in the fish tanks. Occasionally I see a fish that is not actively swimming around, but to give the impression that there are dead fish in the tanks is absurd.
This restaurant has phenomenal seafood dishes ranging from salt and pepper cooked live shrimp (when available) to traditionally prepared Alaskan King Crab. They get these items when in season and available, along with live scallops, live giant clam and more. They almost always have Dungeness Crab (delicious in the salt and ppper combination) and steamed sole with ginger and scallions, two tremenous dishes. Even their chicken wings are the best I have ever had.
and, by the way, I have never experienced an unpleaant odor in the restaurant other than that time when one of my friends joined me after two hour of basketball practice.
Clean? Compassionate? – Went there but did not make it all the way through the inner door to eat - there were dead and merserably dying fish in the tanks and the smell was outrageous. Can't comment on the food or service but I wouldn't order the fish!
Excellent Chinese food with a comfortable ambience. – I have been going to Royal East for several years now and have never been disappointed. It has some of the most authentic and freshest Chinese food I've had around Boston. Try the specials for some of the best choices on the menu. Between two of us we often share two appetizers and one entree and eat wonderfully for under twenty bucks!
Best Cantonese Chinese Restaurant in Cambridge – Royal East is really two different restaurants - Cantonese and American Chinese. The American Chinese food is inexpensive, the proportions large. If you like fried rice, egg rolls and stir fry join the throngs of MIT students and city workers for lunch. Good value, but nothing special.
However, the Cantonese food is excellent, the best in Cambridge, and for some dishes, the best in Boston. The seafood is very fresh, lightly flavored and healthy. Recommended: Salt and pepper scallops, steamed fish with ginger and scallion, Dungeness crab with rice noodles, Chinese wine and egg whites. There are usually several seasonal vegetables. Call a day ahead and order barbecued squab, chef's special lamb chops or chef special flounder with Chinese ham.
The perfect meal for two is salt and pepper scallops followed by a roast squab (ask for medium rare) and finished with steamed rice, vegetables and a bean curd dish.
Most of the waiters have limited English, but they can recommend dishes and unlisted specials. If possible ask for suggestions from the owner, Otto Chan. He is a gastronome and tea man. Royal East is a favorite entertainment venue for a number of departments at MIT and Harvard. It has a short but well chosen wine list with many excellent values. This is a good place for banquets.
And, by the way, the restaurant is very clean, quieter than Chinatown and has good background music.
The best Chinese restaurant in Cambridge! – It took me a few years to know the good food in Royal East. Really!!! Some food I like cannot be found there. Or they are done differently. I don't recommend eating fish there. Way too expensive compared to Chinatown. There are many delicious orders. Ask the waiter for recommendation. I had my wedding there. The food and service are the best.
Waste of time and Money – The food here is FAR from great. The food is FAR from a great value. I would rather pay a few extra dollars to have great food than be skimpy and eat horrible food at Royal East. THe food has little flavor and the decor looks tacky. Everything is also dirty, and cleanliness is one of the most important aspects of a restaurant. Royal East is a great place to waste your money. Spend the few extra bucks and go to a restaurant where you can actually enjoy a good meal.
ehhhhh – not so good. little flavor beyond a pervading fishiness.
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