The Fresser

Golden Dragon: Colindale's taste of the Orient

I was invited to visit Royal China's newest restaurant beneath Bang Bang Oriental Food Hall

August 23, 2017 16:50

Remember when Chinese restaurants had a lazy susan (turntables that sat in the middle of a dining table) on large round tables? 

You could whisk your favourite dish from the clutches of whoever was sitting on the opposite side of the tables leaving them with chopsticks dangling. To keep your food warm, waiters would place it on metal trays inset with tea lights. Times have changed.

So I discovered on a recent visit to Golden Dragon, the vast 300-seater dining room opened by the Royal China Group at the start of July. I clearly don't get out enough, or at least not to Chinese restaurants, as I was inordinately excited over the modern replacement for susan and the tea lights. 

Each table top included an induction plate with controls on the side of the table. The induction panel on larger tables was set in a circular turntable. The new fight will be over who gets to turn on the induction panel. 

Golden Dragon sits beneath Bang Bang Oriental Food Hall, also owned by the Royal China Group, but made up of individual concessions at fast food windows, serving up nosh from across South East Asia.  I popped up to take a look. A plasma screen bigger than my kitchen was playing music videos and the majority of diners looked to be of Asian origin. A good sign. 

It was the same downstairs, where the menu is Cantonese. During the day they serve dim sum — the Royal China speciality — but by night the menu is a la carte. It's not kosher, so if you want to avoid meat and sea food, the vegetarian set menu was the way to go. Service was polite and efficient — a million miles from the hustle and bustle of Chinatown eateries. 

Stand out favourites for us were fresh, crunchy broccoli with ginger; honeyed bean curd with a solid enough texture to masquerade as meat and chilli dusted, batter-covered mushrooms. Vegetarian spring rolls and seaweed were fine but could have been warmer.      

Tech may have changed the table, but what's on the table has not changed over the years. Golden Dragon and Bang Bang Oriental Food Hall will be the NW London's destination for Chinese food.  The private dining room — in which you can tailor your menu — seating up to 30 makes a great room for a celebration. 

August 23, 2017 16:50

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