An oriental-style tea house sits at the entrance. Then the voice of a Chinese woman, singing a traditional tune sets the mood. Stepping into the Golden Dragon at the Taj Coromandel, everything feels familiar now. So when it is announced that the restaurant is celebrating its third anniversary, its difficult to imagine because the memories go back as far as one’s school days. “The restaurant itself goes back over 30 years, but our renovation took place three years ago, “ Chef Ho Chun Kee (William) clarifies, “So for our anniversary celebration, a lot of the dishes that we serve will be signature delicacies from over three decades ago.”
Exotic dimsums, Golden Fried Prawns, Fried Cantonese Apple with Cinnamon...reminiscing the Dragon is a palette feast fit for a king.
We start with an array of appetisers. Sour and Peppery potato shreds with a strong kick of garlic. It’s a simple looking dish. But as all the dishes on this specially crafted menu, this too has a history. Sous chef Radiprakash reveals, “When this was introduced, it took a while for people in the South to accept it because they were used to either a potato fry or mash. For this potato preparation, we soaked the vegetable in chilled water for an entire day, so that the starch is drained completely. Then it’s tossed in a wok and ready to serve.” Paired with sips of warm Peach and Camomile tea, the appetizer does exactly what its supposed to do: make one salivate further. Also interesting, is the Sweetish chicken tossed in Oyster sauce with Cracker Spinach on the side and a Beijing Onion Cake made of puff pastry. Unfortunately the veggie filling inside the pastry isn’t impressive as the pastry itself.
The main course goes by with a whiff of different signature favourites. Our top picks were the deliciously flavoursome Pork Noodles with the occasional bite of red pepper for crunch, a novel combination of Bitter Gourd and Black Bean sauce and the Crispy Phuket fish – wonderful.
There was one other endearing dish that deserves a special: Egg plant fried in Sweet Chilli Bean Sauce. This last one, you just had to keep going back to for a nibble, it was almost addictive. But we finally stop when the final course of sweet treats arrive. Samosa-shaped date pancakes (not too sweet) with a dash of honey make their way to the table. Soft on the inside, crispy on the outside these are fun desserts. But the coconut caramel custard is even better. History may be boring in class. However, rewinding the clock with the Golden Dragon makes for a delectable journey of flavour and adequate shots of trivia along the way.
(This special menu at the Golden Dragon is open for lunch and dinner up to November 4. For details, contact 66002827)