It's a Chinese influenced place and is really nicely fitted out with light wood accents and beautiful stoneware.
The cocktails were bright, fresh and in different hues of pink and red so right up my berry street.
Our first course was seafood and egg white soup which had that slightly gummy consistency of Chinese Westernised soup but the flavours were clear and bright and it had a very tummy warming kick of white pepper which was pleasant on a cold and rainy evening and warmed things up.
I can;t recall the exact order other courses came in and I probably didn't take photos of each course *bad food blogger*. Having said that whilst service was always smiley it wasn't always the most efficient or helpful as plenty of courses were placed with no explanation so it was a bit of a guessing game as to what it was. We requested a copy of the menu to help but it kept being taken away as the table filled up with more plates of food so we gave up!
We had the chicken,watercress,bamboo shoots lettuce cup which was fine. The detail in using pinking shears to obtain the zig zag effect on the edge of the lettuce was noted and appreciated although it added nothing to the eating. And that comment actually covers a lot of the meal. Dishes are well presented and attention paid to the detail but the eating struggles to keep up with how it looks.
We were each presented with a huge plate of eggplant chips, deep fried and covered in a spicy sweet sauce. Not unpleasant and I like eggplant but a lot of it. I think half the amount would have been sufficient.
Dumplings wise we had the pork and crab shao long bao and the handmade wontons in chilli sauce. Both were well flavoured and the fillings made of good produce with think silky wrappers. I wouldn't say they surpassed the famed dumplings out there but they are a good version and if I were to return it would be for these little delights.
Our main courses were the Kong Bao Chicken (chicken fillet, peanuts, chilli) and the Wagyu beef, mixed mushrooms,truffle paste, asparagus. Again both dishes looked appetising, The sauce on the chicken was very similar to the eggplant dish - sweet, sticky, slightly spicy. The Wagyu beef was also sweet and there was a floury covering to it and I think it's probably the attempted "velveting" technique often used in Chinese cooking but unfortunately not executed too successfully as the meat had a slimy / cornfloury coating that wasn't pleasant.
RuYi is where you would take a novice Chinese food eater as the setting is inviting and pretty cool. There's no scary plastic seating, melamine tables, laminate menus that are peeling or scowling wait staff. The food is non offensive except for the velveting disaster so those that have not eaten true Chinese food will not be too taken aback. The drinks are strong and flow quickly - we were often asked if we wanted top ups and drink can make a bad meal memory to a fun meal memory. I'd return only for dumplings I think because everything else seemed too sweet, sugary and sticky.
Oh we also had dessert - well I didn't so the waitress gave my hubby his beer for free instead! I didn't have dessert as I felt I'd had enough sweetness already. The others had there's and it was all fine too. Nothing too memorable.