This off-track restaurant in Elephant and Castle does some very nice dim sum. Not the best but noteworthy for what you pay for. There are two stone lions at the front door and a small pond. A good vibe from the spacious, period dining room populated by locals; waitresses are in traditional mandarin-collared dresses. The service is not Chinatown-rude but not conversationalist either.
Dishes in Detail:
First Round: (1) Egg Custard Tarts (2) Char Siu Puffs (3) Seafood Dumpling and (4) Fried Dough Cheng Fun
The egg tarts were very traditional. Nice sweetness came through but there was too much of fat and butter for my liking, which cancelled out the eggy flavours. The char siu puffs were better executed. Sweet roasted pork and gravy in these puffy parcels. Their flavour alone was much better than the better-looking ones above at Royal China Club. The seafood dumpling was equally nice. Mild and subtly seasoned soup enhanced the flavours of seafood packed in the dumpling. The bok choi was nicely poached, too. The fried dough cheng fun was good but not a must. Crispy dough with a light remaining touch of oil. The sweet soy dressing was mild and I could do with some more.
Second Round: (5) Deep Fried Dumplings with Salad Dressing and (6) Thai Octopus
The dumplings of whatever fillings couldn’t make me care less as they were overcooked and oozed this burnt smell. The octopus, served chilled, was sweet, sour and a hint of chilli. Quite nice.
Last Round: (7) Prawn Shu Mai with XO Sauce (8) Sponge cake (9) Custard Buns and (10) Char Siu Buns
The Shu Mai, if it wasn’t over-steamed, did not have enough fat inside to make the pieces moist and glue the prawn and the pork together. The XO sauce added a nice spiciy touch and a rough texture to the tongue. Overall, it was good. The sponge cake – the square one on the top – was spongy but also quite heavy. I came across the featheryly light one on a previous occasion at Lotus Floating Restaurant and this one at Dragon Castle didn’t quite do it. The custard buns were decent. All you need in a good custard bun, while the char siu buns were adequately sweet and adequately meaty.
My head rating says, “7 out of 10″.
My heart rating says, “6 out of 10″.
100 Walworth Road
Elephant & Castle
Tel. 020 7277 3388