8 Upper Tachbrook Street,
020 7821 0105
The Dragon Inn Club on 16 – 18 Upper Tachbrook Street reports to be a “secret hideaway venue featuring ancient dark wood bamboo, authentic ornaments and decor recreating the voyage of the Silk Road …’ The clue is in the name Dragon Inn Club, as on entering the front door you wouldn’t be wrong in thinking you were in a local pub. Staff smoking outside the front door, sticky floors and a shabby interior. Yet, the smell of incense drawing the diner down to the lower levels suggests there is a little more in store. Go downstairs and the ‘authentic’ Eastern experience begins. The dining area is vast with floor to ceiling dark woods and bamboo, low lighting, numerous red lanterns, ceiling tiles, ornaments and ceramics. This seemingly ‘authentic’ oriental journey seems rather questionable as one could point out that ‘less is more.’ That said, in some ways the rather cheesy appearance adds to the atmosphere.
The Brazilian waiter could not be faulted. Attentive and eager to point out what the menu had to offer and which wines would go nicely with which dish. Jasmine tea to wash the palate clean was the first order of the day. To follow, 8 parcels of Dim Sum (£12.50) prawn, scallop, fish and spinach and saffron vegetables. Sadly, these had little taste and were over heavy for a starter. The Duck salad with yuzu dressing (£10.80) was much nicer although the waiter did have to go and ask the chef what yuzu sauce was, and for which one is still none the wiser. The wok grilled Kagoshima Wagyu rib-eye with barbeque sauce was tender, tasty but very over priced at £65.00. The Scallops, with wild mushroom, asparagus and goji berries at £14.80, was the better of the dishes, however on this occasion the goji berries, which would have added a little extra character and flavour, were missing from the plate. There are many qualities about this hidden London venue not least the helpful staff and quirky interior. However, while the menu was interesting the quality did not match up to expectations.