Saturday 16 April 2022

The Dragon Chamber – A Mystical Hidden Restaurant

The Dragon Chamber (‘TDC’) is located at the beginning of Circular Road, Boat Quay, closer to the Elgin bridge side. The restaurant is easy to find, however, the first thing you notice is an empty coffee shop instead of a restaurant. Of course, if you have visited TDC website or their social media page, you know that the “Real” restaurant is hidden behind the magical door.

The Dragon Chamber
LD and I arrived at TDC early. So, we have to wait for the rest of the group to arrive before we are ushered in. We decided to order some drinks while waiting, alas, it took them 15 minutes just to prepare the drink. By that time, we were ready to be seated.

The Outer Section / Waiting Area
Drink & Food Menu
To enter the mystical TDC, you need to go through the “magical door” aka the beer fridge. Luckily, there is no initiation ritual, you don’t need to crawl or finished a keg of beer, the door will just open and lead you to the main dining room.

The "Real" Entrance
The décor of the main dining room is inspired by different Asian cultures. The bar followed a Chinese medicine hall counter, with a lot of drawers behind, that are usually used to store dry herbs. Marble tables and old school teak dining chairs are the main furniture for the guests. It is the same version used for the outside coffee shop. Meanwhile, the wallpapers are plucked from my favourite comic book, The Dragon Ball. We were seated right beside the kitchen window, where we can see the actions happening in the kitchen. Although you can not hear anything, once in a while you can feel the heat, when the chef decided to flambe some dishes.

The Dining Area
The Dragon Cutleries with Yuzu Cooler
We started the meal with Szechuan Fries ($10). Steak cut fries, double-fried and tossed with house special Szechuan sauce. We like the fries’ texture, the double-fried created an extra crispy exterior followed by a soft and comforting mushy interior. The house special sauce is unique and tasted like the Szechuan pepper blended with toffee or salted caramel. The sauce is acceptable to most diners as it does not totally numb your tongue and lips.

Szechuan Fries
Roast Irish Duck ($42, half). It has a crispy skin and the fats in the Irish duck are rendered into the flesh, creating super juicy and succulent flesh. It is served with chilli sauce and plum sauce. Awesome!

Roast Irish Duck
Kale Stir Fry ($36, Large). Our first-time trying stir-fry kale. Usually, the kale that we tried is either in the form of salad or air-dried. The stem is crunchy, while the leaves have a lot of fibre. At first, it tasted bitter, almost like aged kai lan. However, once we add a squeeze of lemon, it removes the bitterness and induces a bit of sweetness into the vegetables.

Kale Stir Fry
Kale Stir Fry
Firecracker Chicken ($30, Large). TDC version of Chong Qing diced chicken with dried chilli. I will normally avoid this dish due to the crazy amount of chilli on this dish. This time around, I decided to give it a try. The popcorn chicken is super crispy and the chilli is mind-numbing. Totally put me off, having said that, I like the crunchy and sweet youtiao baked in maple syrup.

Firecracker Chicken
Double Boiled Almond Mushroom, Sea Whelk and Conpoy Soup ($16). The clear broth tasted clean, yet robust. The ingredients put in the soup are very generous, especially the conpoy. Although the soup is delicious, the timing of the soup served comes as a surprise to us. Usually, the soup should be served at the start of the meal, to open up your appetite instead in the middle of the meal or should I say almost to the end of the meal.

Double Boiled Almond Mushroom,
Sea Whelk and Conpoy Soup 
Wagyu Truffle Beef Hor Fun ($32, small). Not your regular hor fun. The initial bowl of hor fun comes in dual texture, the regular smooth and silky, plus the deep-fried crispy texture. Plated with premium US Wagyu short rib and poached egg. The finishing touch is the truffle gravy that is poured by the service staff at the table. The service staff also mixed all the ingredients together, to ensure everything is evenly distributed.

Wagyu Truffle Beef Hor Fun - Without Truffle Sauce 
It is a signature dish at TDC and I totally agree with it. The bold flavours in the dish are complemented by the multi-texture of the ingredients. The wagyu short ribs just melt with each bite, while the truffle gravy is just a flavour bomb. A must-order dish here. Yummy!!

Wagyu Truffle Beef Hor Fun - Mixed With Truffle Sauce 
Kinmedai Fish with Crispy Scales ($88). Kinmedai is also known as golden eye snapper in Japanese cuisine. The fish is deep-fried till crispy with the scales on the skin. It exterior of the fish is crispy and the scales added a nice crunchy bite to it. The flesh is crisp and flaky, while the fried ginger and spring onion, together with superior soy sauce just accentuate the flavour of the fish. Nicely done.

Kinmedai Fish with Crispy Scales 
Kinmedai Fish with Crispy Scales 
We finally reach the desserts. Red Bean Pancake with Salted Caramel Ice Cream ($19). TDC red bean pancake is a deconstructed version of red bean pancake. The pastry is deep-fried, sprinkle with icing sugar, topped with a few dollops of red beans and salted caramel ice cream. Although the pastry is a bit thick, I enjoyed the combination of red beans and salted caramel with the pastry. They are just “BUSSIN”

Red Bean Pancake with Salted Caramel Ice Cream
Red Bean Pancake with Salted Caramel Ice Cream
Salted Caramel Ice Cream and Fries ($12). The dessert version of Szechuan fries. Salted caramel ice cream and fries, served in a waffle bowl and topped with Szechuan sauce. On the menu, it says for the weirdos out there. I can deal with the ice cream and fries (I like this combo, especially in MacDonalds), but the Szechuan sauce just knocks my taste buds off balance. It does not work for me.

Salted Caramel Ice Cream and Fries 
Since we are celebrating someone’s birthday, TDC team generously put the candles on the top of each dessert and give us complimentary Salted Caramel Ice Cream and Fries.

Fortune Cookie
For the cocktails, you can try Dragon Punch ($24). TDC alcoholic version of a fruit punch. I tried the mocktail, Yuzu Cooler ($10), fizzy and refreshing.

Dragon Punch with Dragon Ball Wallpaper
The service team at the main dining area are good. Although they are swamped, they are very friendly and helpful once you get their attention. However, the receptionist was just unfriendly and disconnected from the service that night.

Overall, I find the food and dining experience at TDC memorable. I am unable to appreciate the Szechuan influence in some dishes, however, the rest of the dishes are great. The Wagyu Truffle Beef Hor Fun, Kinmedai Fish with Crispy Scales, Roast Irish Duck and Red Bean Pancake with Salted Caramel Ice Cream are a must-try. The overall experience comes at a price and a substantial dent in your pocket. Cheers!!

Note: As part of the “Dragon theme”, there are a few dishes inspired by dragon tales. TDC served a few dishes using crocodile meat and parts. We are unable to try it as the crocodile is too heaty for me and I will have a nose bleed. Those who do not have such problem should give it a try.

Food & Drink: 8/10
Value: 6.25/10
Service: 7.5/10
Ambiance: 8/10
Budget per Person: $51 - $80; $81 & Above

The Dragon Chamber
2 Circular Road
Singapore 049358

T: +65 6950 0015
Tue – Sun: 11.00 – 15.00; 17.00 – 22.30
Closed on Monday

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