Dragon Inn Club – Award Winning Sichuan Cuisine!
May 22, 2018
If you love Chinese food and want to eat it in a super stylish setting, look no further than the Dragon Inn Club.
Hidden away in an unassuming south London street between Victoria and Pimlico, this Sichuan restaurant – which won this year’s Best Newcomer at The Golden Chopsticks Awards – is an unexpected surprise.
From the outside, much like a member’s club, it doesn’t look much – but once you step in off the street, you’re in for a treat.
Upstairs is a casual dining area where you can sample noodles, dim sum and street food style dishes.. But as we were led downstairs to our table, we were amazed at the size of the restaurant.
The theme is 8th century China, and its dark wood, bamboo and red lighting décor are meant to recreate the journey of the Silk Road – the ancient trade route linking China with the West.
There is a choice of restaurant or private booth seating, and as we walked through the ‘Temple Room’ we saw guests enjoying hot-pots – a Dragon Inn Club speciality of cooking ingredients in a pot of stock at the table, which are £35 each for a minimum of two people.
As well as the A La Carte menu, there are also set menu options priced at £35, £45 or £55 a head for three courses.
Greeted with a glass of fizz – said to go very well with Chinese food – we were eager to try the Sichuan dishes on the menu, which can be very spicy as the heat comes from dried chillies. Feeling daring and having never tried them before, I opted for the frogs legs as a starter which turned out to be delicious – and it’s true they do taste like chicken.
This was followed by prawn ravioli, which was so yummy we ended up using our fingers as we couldn’t pick them up with our chopsticks quick enough.
We tried the tofu starter, which is served with ‘century egg’ – an egg which is popular in China – dark inside as it has been preserved for months. I preferred the egg to the tofu as it kept breaking up as I tried to pick it up – but that could just be down to my chopstick skills!
Battling on without a knife and fork, the signature French corn-fed chicken slices in Sichuan oil was next. It’s served cold which I was unsure about at first, but I was pleasantly surprised.
The Sichuan style dried chilli chicken, which reminded me of popcorn chicken but much more upmarket, was our last starter – and this is where things began to get spicy.
Our mouths were cooled down with a Cha-cha melon salad, before going on to the main course – a whole grilled sea bass pot (£45) served as a sharing dish with a side of noodles. I’d never eaten anything quite like it before, and despite having to have the odd break as I’d eaten too much chilli, it melted in your mouth.
I wouldn’t normally order dessert in a Chinese restaurant – and I was pretty full by this point – but when the waiter started to flambé bananas at the table, which he then served with a huge dollop of chocolate ice cream, it would have been rude not to eat it!
My friend and I left the restaurant happy, having received exceptional service and both of us in agreement we would definitely be coming back.
Written by Luxuria Lifestyle UK’s Katie Wilson