On Her Majesty's Menu: The Royal Piccadilly, Katipunan Avenue
Updated: Oct 8, 2022
Once upon a time, the Petron service station – beside the entrance to the La Vista exclusive subdivision – was home to a slice of England.
Amid the F&B establishments lining the station that focused on predominantly American, Filipino, and Japanese cuisines, one stood out. I was fortunate enough to immortalize The Royal Piccadilly Restaurant and Cakery before it closed its doors for good.
A sudden craving for fish and chips out of nowhere triggered my visit to this restaurant. Prior to this, I was supposed to try this restaurant out with a friend from cosplay. But things did not quite fall into place as it was closed for a private function during our visit. I later visited The Royal Piccadilly with a former partner during a holiday back in 2015 – and this time, we succeeded.
The Royal Piccadilly was reminiscent of an English country home with its décor – echoing the exclusive subdivision near it. Its predominantly white color gave the illusion of a large, clean space and made the different British-related knickknacks stand out. The restaurant serves proper British fare during the day, and turns into a pub when the sun goes down. It displayed different libations for this purpose, and even accommodated British expats near the area wanting a good pint whilst watching a soccer match between their favorite teams.
The Royal Piccadilly prides itself in having a substantial stock of Twinings teas. The brand has been around since the 1700s, establishing a long tradition in the tea trade. I chose Twinings' Apple, Cinnamon, and Raisin Tea – a combination of black tea and warm autumn produce.
Raisin and cinnamon dominated the tea at first sip. However, the addition of sugar allowed the apple flavor to emerge. The resulting cup turned into a warm mélange of autumn. One is transported to a forest of orange and red hues with every sip.
Of course, the traditional British tea would not be complete without scones. The Royal Piccadilly does not fall short of this requirement with its Sultana Scones, served with blueberry jam and clotted cream. This was served in a three-tiered tray: The scones on the first later, the spreads on the second, and the utensils at the bottom.
True to its name, the scones were filled with sultanas and paired well with the jam and cream. What it lacked in size compared to the ones from EDSA Shangri-La Hotel's Bakeshop and Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf, it made up in flavor. These crumbly scones would eventually join my most recommended scones for tea time, had The Royal Piccadilly remained open.
I also ordered The Royal Piccadilly's Fish and Chips, the exact reason why I visited this restaurant in the first place. A single order of this was rather large, and could satisfy two persons with average appetites. It came with potato wedges, a wedge of lemon, peas, and lettuce. Unfortunately, I left the lettuce untouched as I'm not a fan of the dressing on it.
The Royal Piccadilly used cream dory for the fish, which some may frown upon given its reputation for having a smell similar to ammonia or bleach. It cannot be denied, however, that cream dory would be a more economical option for this dish. I eschewed the traditional malt vinegar splashed on the fish – opting for the lemon wedge instead.
A planned second trip to the restaurant, unfortunately, did not come to fruition. The Royal Piccadilly closed some time after I first wrote this review. A Japanese restaurant, one of the long-time businesses at the service station, took over the space and turned it into an extension of its dining area. Nevertheless, I'm glad to have visited this restaurant – and immortalized it in writing.
Until the next review, bon appetit.