Golden Dragon, an ornate restaurant as majestic as its name, was our first choice of fine dining as and when this round of RWI commenced. Taj Coromandel, exemplary for their hospitality, hosts this grand Chinese restaurant which boasts of being the best one in town and YES, it definitely is! Right from the carefully designed decor on their walls, ceiling and shelves, premium wooden chopsticks to the Chinese instrumental music that’s played, the whole experience is like a brief trip to China. Golden dragons on the doors, their plate, staff’s uniforms, red and gold hues at every turn, they made sure we were imbibed in their theme constantly.
Service was nothing short of perfect. Extremely careful, prompt and courteous, all those who attended to us were just as professional as they could be. The menu was explained twice and they were well versed with it and every course of the meal was served at perfect intervals. It was quite pleasant and contenting.
The RWI menu for Golden Dragon had an edge over the other places as they had 4 courses, not just 3; appetisers, soup, main course (with staples) and dessert. The menu was clearly split into vegetarian and non-vegetarian (including the desserts). The options were quite extensive, gave a good glimpse into their even more widespread a la carte menu. The tea menu (not a part of the RWI menu) had a range of green, white and red teas, a good selection of some regional Chinese teas.
Being in the sultry place that is Chennai, the refreshing towels were extremely soothing!
After this, we were given their amuse bouche, a little piece of crunchy water chestnut covered in some delicious garlic sauce. Refreshment squared!
Then came their Chinese sides; pickled cucumbers & Kimchi in glass jars and a few sauces. The pickled cucumbers were so light & refreshing! The Kimchi was super authentic too.
They had two kinds of soup, one vegetarian and one non-vegetarian, which I felt personally was a great inclusion for the RWI as I have always found Chinese soups to be soul-stirrers! No surprises here, this was amazingly so.
- Chinese Parsley and Minced Water Chestnut Soup
A thin, flavour-packed soup, the parsley was a major part of its taste with the occasional water chestnuts giving it a good crunch. It was a light and punchy start to the meal.
- Chef Ho’s Spicy Lung Fung Soup
This soup was simply yum! Lightly thick, superbly spicy and meaty with generous shreds of chicken, it was authentic and flavoursome.
For appetisers from the RWI menu, we had:
- Har Gao
These Dim Sums were so delicate and pretty to look at! The succulent prawns were made the spotlight in this appetiser. Subtle other flavours, like ginger, made it really pleasant and palatable.
- Chicken and Chive Pot Stickers
This was probably one of the less ‘wow’ dishes we had that afternoon. It was light, meaty and appetising and that’s about it. Again, in this Dim Sum, the ingredients were the highlight and it was a subtle appetiser.
The Dim Sums came with two accompaniments, a mustard paste and shredded sweet & salt ginger. Both of these were quite strong in flavour.
- Crispy Corn Kernels with Five Spices
A great crunchy appetiser, the flavours were blended beautifully, silently strong and was a total wake up call for our taste buds.
We had two options for the staples; Singapore Rice Vermicelli and Stir Fried Vegetable Rice with Golden Garlic. The portions were quite generous in both. The Vermicelli was light, fragrant and filled with vegetables. I felt it to be a bit too oily though. The Fried Rice was, however, perfect and way more delicious owing largely to the delicious golden garlic in it!
For the mains, we had:
- Matai Kai Ko
Frankly, the name was a larger factor for us to try it than anything else. This was another one of the less ‘wow’ dishes that day. It was a thick gravy with Chicken & Mushrooms and was as Chinese as it’s name!
- Stir Fried Sliced Lamb with Crushed Pepper
Juicy, tender chunks of lamb in a peppery gravy, it was a great accompaniment for the vermicelli! The lamb chunks were quite generous in the gravy with chunky bits of pepper that was adequately glazing them.
- Sweet & Sour Pork
Lip smacking deliciousness this sticky gravy was. The pork was slightly crisp yet well flavoured with the bang on gravy that was stuck on it. There were huge chunks of capsicum in it as well, but the pork totally stole the show! The gravy was slightly sweet yet sour and it was a great mix of such tastes.
Chinese desserts aren’t exactly well known except perhaps Fried Ice Cream. But here there were a lotta varieties and best of all (for the vegetarians) quite a few eggless desserts! From the RWI menu we had:
- Cantonese Dates and Almond Fritters
This was a sugar-free dessert that was quite unique. The date and almond combo was quite interesting and the sweetness in it was just perfect. Only the outer layer was a kinda turn-off for us as it was a bit chewy. But the crispy bits with it’s yummy filling was extremely satisfying
- Malai Gao Red Bean Roll
The pineapple sauce blended brilliantly with the lightly bland dessert with a red bean paste in between. Didn’t enjoy this as much as the others.
- Chocolate Terrine
Definitely, our pick off the three desserts as it was in the ‘familiar’ desserts territory. A bit heavier than a mousse, this dessert was silky smooth and was as chocolatey as could get. The few slices of green apple were a fresh hit between all that chocolate. The layers were super attractive as much in looks as in taste.
We also tried a digestive tea from their special menu for teas; Pu-erh. It was in the ‘Red Tea’ category and had a strong taste with woody undertones to it.
Listed as a digestive, after-meal tea, it was really soothing to the heavy stomach and as time went by, it got even more concentrated. Thin and light, the warmth and concentration of it were something we really enjoyed. The teapot lasted for about 10 cups and for that quantity, the price was more than valid!
TL;DR Golden Dragon is THE restaurant to head to for those who absolutely relish the Chinese cuisine. It’s quite an ideal spot for formal lunches & dinners. Their varieties of tea are also a great stimulant for such formal meetings. Enjoy an authentic Chinese experience here.
WTF Meter for Golden Dragon, Taj Coromandel (RWI):
Ambience – 9/10
Service – 10/10
Quality – 10/10
Quantity – 10/10
Taste – 9/10
Presentation – 9/10
VFM – 9/10
Wifi – No
Valet – Yes
Reservation – Recommended
Overall – 9/10