Food Review: The Dragon Chamber at Circular Road | Speakeasy Restaurant and Bar hidden within a Kopitiam
The Place There are not many speakeasy restaurant and bar concept in Singapore. The Dragon Chamber at Boat Quay’s Circular Road is a new partnership concept between Ebb and Flow Group (also behind the One Michelin Starred Bacchanalia by Vianney Massot) and Tunglok Group, disguised in a Kopitiam facade. If you find the name familiar, it used to be housed within Lokkee in Plaza Singapura. The Kopitiam sells Wanton Noodles in the day, and once you push past the secret chamber, it transforms to another world of secret society inspired ambience.
Expect a dim dining and bar ambience at the restaurant proper, which is casual yet fun at the same time.
There is also an oriental inspired private room section, which is more suited for bigger groups.
The Food The dishes go by global Chinese cuisine, where you can expect modern twists to Chinese food. Another noteworthy mention is the bold feature of exotic dishes on the menu such as herbal soup with crocodile penis, and roasted pig tail. Up for a fear factor challenge?
I started with some interesting and safe sounding bar snacks like the addictive Mala Fries (S$8). The chunky fries are coated with mala sauce, a flavour which is tasty yet quite mild in terms of mala aspect.
The other snack I had was the Cheeseburger Eggrolls (S$14), which comes in crispy eggroll skin wrapped with beef and melted cheese. The overall flavour works well, and I enjoy the crunchiness of the roll along with the fillings.
One dish I highly recommend is the Wagyu Truffle Beef Hor Fun (S$68). The huge bowl (to share with 2-3 persons) comes with a jar of truffle sauce, poured over the A4 Kagoshima Wagyu Beef Don with egg. The best bits for us is not the beef, but the crispy fried hor fun strips which is oh-so-addictive and offers that nice crunchiness to the dish. As for the beef itself, it is very tender and I would say moderately marbled.
The other dish which surprised me is the Firecracker Chicken and Maple Fritters (S$16/small). This dish is a twist on ‘La Zi Ji’, where the fried chicken with Sichuan peppercorns here is served along with crunchy ‘you tiao’ fritters topped with maple syrup. The maple syrup works ingeniously well with the fried fritters, and I wish the portions are bigger. The fritters also offer a good balance to the spicy chicken in terms of flavour.
The Flaming Pineapple Beef (S$28), on the other hand, feels more gimmicky to me in terms of presentation. It is visually interesting to watch the dish served in flames, but the flavour of the beef braised and stewed in a pineapple five spice gravy did not leave an impression on me.
Other carb dishes to share include the Yangchow Fried Rice (S$22) and the Chicken Chow Mein (S$16). Go for the former which is more tasty for me.
In terms of drinks, there is a good range of cocktails and beers, such as the Crazy for Coconut (S$22), an Irish whisky base infused with coconut cold brew and pandan tincture.
Rants As a restaurant being branded as a speakeasy concept, we spotted “exit” on its secret barrel-like door and enthusiastic staff to welcome potential diners in. An identity lost much? Or maybe it is just me who thinks that speakeasy concepts need no walk-in diners, which is the fun of it all!
Will I Return Again? In general, the menu at The Dragon Chamber is interesting for me to return. I do have some favourites from the bar snacks to the Truffle Beef Hor Fun, which is good reason enough to gather some friends to head back.
This was an invited tasting, though all opinions expressed are our own.
Make your reservation instantly at The Dragon Chamber here.
Taste bud: 4/5
Hole in the pocket: 4/5
Overall Experience: 4/5
The Dragon Chamber
2 Circular Road
Tel: +65 6805 8181
Kopitiam: 10am to 11pm (serves Wanton Noodles and Coffee till 4pm, 4pm onwards serves bar snacks and beers)
Bar & Restaurant: 12pmto 2.30pm & 5pm to 12am
Last Order for Food: 10.30pm & Last Order for Drinks: 11.30pm
Ranted by The Ranter