Good value Chinese on a budget
It was Chinese New Year week and I been asked to search for a decent Chinese restaurant at a reasonable price for my friends. It was actually a lot harder than I expected, after some extended search and noticed Dragon Palace just outside Earl's Court station. Price wise is decent and they got some very interesting local Cantonese dishes in their menu, something that is rare even in China Town. I actually don't have much love for China Town, most of the restaurants down there produce average cooking and some dishes aren't even Chinese these days...
Anyway off we went to Dragon Palace, the décor is rather modern and almost in style of a western coffee house, you wouldn't be able to tell if it is a Chinese restaurant. We ordered bit of everything on the menu and the first arrived was lobster with ginger and spring onion, accompanied with crispy noodle base. The ginger and spring onion sauce was cooked well, the, really delivered the soft spices of the ginger and went well with the crispy noodle. However I found the lobster was a little over cooked. It got just a tiny bit on the chewy side, this dish would have been really good otherwise, and at £26 sharing by 4 it is value for money given the portion was pretty big. (The lobster was much bigger than the one I had at Burger and Lobster)
|lobster with ginger and spring onion|
The next dish, chicken steamed in lotus leaf was outstanding. Chicken and shitake mushroom: a classic Chinese combo. All warped up in lotus leaf with red dates, ginger and berries. The result was a very flavoursome dish with all the juice and flavours sealed inside the lotus leaf while steaming. And the chicken was still tender, delicious.
|chicken steamed in lotus leaf|
Pork belly with sweet pickled vegetable came next. This is a true classic from Hong Kong and I was keen to see what it will be like at here, the pickled vegetable tasted good but it was a bit water down in the sauce, while the flavour remained it just doesn't seem right as the sauces should be a lot thicker with much more portion of vegetable and less water in the pot. As a result I enjoyed the taste but wasn't so sure about the texture.
|Pork belly with sweet pickled vegetable|
Up next was a whole sea bass steamed with ginger and spring onion. Always enjoy a whole cooked fish, you get a lot of flavours from the bone and head this way and Chinese really captured it. The bone and head was removed in front of us on its arrive, soya sauce infused with ginger and spring onion was served on top of this fish, a light and fresh dish of fish.
|sea bass steamed with ginger and spring onion|
Finished the meal with steamed special fired rice wrapped with lotus leaf. Loved it. Good portion of prawns, scallops, duck and mushroom were fired with the rice, before wrapped with lotus leaf and steamed to increase the flavours releasing into the rice from both the leaf and ingredients. This double cooking technique really worked and the end result was a beautiful rice dish, in fact properly the best fried rice dish I had In London.
|steamed special fired rice wrapped with lotus leaf|
Overall a pretty good meal, by no mean it is not faultless but I think you are getting a very good deal in term of what you are paying for, it is easy to get to as well as it is just outside a tube station, this place offer much better food than most of the average Chinese around London, worth a try if you live nearby.
£25 per head
207 Earl's Court Rd, London