The Dragon Chamber – Chinese Speakeasy Restaurant With A Secret Entrance. Crocodile’s Paw Anyone?
You need to look at The Dragon Chamber at Plaza Singapura in all ways different from the other restaurants you have visited in Singapore.
This is probably the first speakeasy Chinese restaurant-bar in Singapore.
(Click PLAY for video highlights of The Dragon Chamber.)
Speakeasy? Used to be called “blind tiger” in the past, it represents a secret, hidden restaurant or bar, often retro style with a password.
There is no password at The Dragon Chamber. There is no signage outside either.
First, make your way to Lokkee at Plaza Singapura Level 3, tell the service staff you want to visit “The Dragon Chamber”, and you will be led through a not-so-hidden big Chinese style red door.
Sounds like an adventure already – wait till I talk about the food. You have to walk through a “disorienting tunnel”.
The distance is short, but some of the girls got startled at their own reflections and screamed. #serious #truestory
Then, you will be led through a den of gastronomic adventures, with artfully painted walls with graphics of Bruce Lee, dragons, and zodiac animals. Friday nights with your friends will never be the same again.
The food at Lokkee is already known to be creative, cheeky and adventurous. But The Dragon Chamber takes it 2 levels up the dare-to-try quotient.
Get the *secret menu* and pull it up.
You would find a couple of ‘safe’ choices – Curry Fries ($10), Fried Pork Belly Chips ($16), Mala Irsh Duck ($36 for half, $60 for whole), Lobster Crispy Noodles ($25 for regular, $48 for large), and Giant River Prawns and Spicy Butter Cream Sauce ($32).
I saw more ‘exotic’ uncommon dishes of Josper Grilled Pig’s Tail ($26), Rural-style Fried Frog’s Legs ($18) and Sichuan Boiled Brisket with Pig’s Skin Noodles ($26).
Then, I read till the last item of the menu column. Signature Dish – Dragon’s Claw. *gasp*
Dragon’s Claw ($60)
Get ready for this, Crocodile’s foot braised in herbal sauce. Probably not for the faint-hearted, I could imagine this dish to appear in Fear Factor and some visible reactions.
I have tried crocodile in soup before, but not this.
The Singapore farmed crocodile foot would be served on a bed of kale, then lit-up around with fire like it was an official before-eating ceremony.
There was an initial mental barrier. Took the first bite. Reminded me of pork trotters. Took the second, and I thought about tender chicken. The girls on the opposite end had no qualms finishing their portion. “Collagen”, they said.
Wagyu Truffle ‘Hor Fun’ ($50)
I move on to a more secure choice. The familiar ‘zhi char’ fare of beef horfun with a luxe twist – inclusion of premium A4 grade Wagyu Beef.
When I took bites, I wonder about the crunchy bits and thought that they resembled pork lard. They turned out to be rice noodle strips, deep-fried till crispy.
So you can call this horfun prepared two-ways.
‘Mala’ Irish Duck ($36 for half, $60 for whole)
Sometimes known as the “London Duck” in Singapore, these Irish ducks are considered prized birds – tender, succulent meal, no gamey taste commonly found in duck meat.
These ducks on the farm live in comfortable barns, are fed quality feed, kept in an environment which renders meat less tough.
I thought that the spicy, slight numbing Mala gives the duck characteristic flavours (not the typical Hoisin) with light and crispy skin – a result of a three-day drying process before roasting.
Lobster Crispy Noodles ($25 for regular, $48 for large)
A photogenic dish of juicy grilled lobster tail served on crispy ‘sheng mian’ further topped with house special gravy.
It was personal preference, but I would have preferred noodles of larger portion with fuller bite, rather than a thin circular layer.
X.O ‘Grub’ Chop Suey ($24)
Grub? Worms? Thankfully, these were not the real thing, but Chinese artichoke.
They had a mild flavour that resembled nutty artichokes, lovely crunchy texture which worked well with the saucy wok-fried of mushrooms, kale and zucchini.
Curry Fries ($10)
Thick-cut fries with a house-made curry blend that could remind you of a popular brand’s. I actually think this would be a perfect combination with pop-corn chicken or something.
‘Guo Tie’ Potstickers with Dancing Crab Signature Sauce and Baked Cheese ($18 for 6 pieces)
Guo Tie? Potstickers? What’s the difference?
“Potsticker” which in Chinese literally means “stuck to the wok” are prepared by a fry-steam-fry method, create dumplings that crisp up golden-brown on the outside, while still encasing the juicy fillings inside.
These Potstickers come with a mild-spicy Dancing Crab Signature Sauce, further backed with cheeses.
Fried Pork Belly Chips ($16)
Thinly-sliced marinated pork belly deep-fried in batter.
The Mermaid ($80, limited quantities)
Grilled whole fish popularised in the Chongqing region of Southwest China, has found its way to both Lokkee and The Dragon Chamber.
What most Singaporeans should be familiar with is the Sichuan ‘Mala’ version ($70), while The Dragon Chamber also offers a sweet and spicy Tomato Broth Grilled Fish ($70).
For a filling, collagen-rich meal, get The Mermaid ($80) which has grilled barramundi , further stew in a cloudy broth cooked from fish bone and skin. Good enough to go with a bowl of plain, fragrant rice.
‘Bakkwa’ Bacon Salad ($32)
My salads never looked this fanciful. The server staff served over a bowl of oriental green salad with lotus roots crouton.
On top was a wired bracket, then bacon strips grilled ‘bakkwa’ style would be suspended on it, which reminded me of drying my clothes on a hangar.
A sauce created by Chef Shermay Lee could be further poured over, in which it would drip, drip, drip from the bacon down to the greens. Ahhh.
The ‘bakkwa’ was great stuff, with sweet caramel-orange-like sweetness. (They should really package this alone and sell it during CNY next year.)
Green Tea Delight ($16)
For the green tea lovers, you get green tea sponge cake, topped with green-tea ice cream, drizzled with green tea sauce. Dry ice for dramatic effects, for Instagram (or boomerang).
The Dragon Chamber does provide adventures food-wise, with almost an entire menu dedicated to creative, seldom-seen-before dishes.
They dare to try, and I am glad they did it.
If you come with friends who want to go for the tried-and-tested, Lokkee’s menu is always ready for ordering.
Now is the time to walk through that secret red door.
The Dragon Chamber
Plaza Singapura #03-01, 68 Orchard Rd, Singapore 238839
Tel: +65 6884 4566
Opening Hours: 5:30pm – 10:00pm Daily, Last orders at 9.30pm
* This entry is brought to you in partnership with Tunglok Group.
July 22, 2017
July 19, 2017