I've always been a fan of mystery shows, where one would need to find a secret door hidden behind a bookcase (or a secret wall) to enter an even more secret room. That's why speakeasy bars and restaurants are always my favourite to go to. I absolutely love and enjoy the thrill of discovering a whole new room behind an innocent facade.
This is the case with The Dragon Chamber, a brand new speakeasy that opened up at the end of boat quay (along Circular Road) - previously located inside Lokkee at Plaza Singapura. On the outside, you'd find a seemingly ordinary coffeeshop serving traditional breakfast and lunch favourites, such as aromatic coffee, kaya toast and wanton noodles.
But pull open the glass fridge door and enter into another otherworldly realm. The Dragon Chamber inside is nothing like the outside. Imagine being transferred into a world that is reminiscent of Chinatown gambling dens and secret society hangouts. The walls here are covered in cool oriental art, with a large dragon that spans throughout all the walls in the main room.
And beyond the main room, The Dragon Chamber even has a private dining area for a more intimate setting.
And if the sheer mystery of finding this place isn't enough to get you to make a trip down here, I think the food and drinks would definitely do it. But before I go on, I would like to say that the food here can get a little... eccentric. So, brace yourselves for some dishes that will push you past your comfort zone.
We started the night with some Firecracker Chicken and Maple Fritters ($16; serves 1-2/$28; serves 3-4). An interesting twist to the traditional Chinese Sichuan fried chicken bits. Here at The Dragon Chamber, diced chicken cubes are deep-fried till crispy and topped with chopped fried chillies, cashews, chives and Sichuan peppercorn. Then, crispy deep-fried youtiao fritters are drizzled with maple syrup and served on the side for some extra sweet crunch.
A must-try here is the Wagyu Truffle Beef Hor Fun ($68; serves 2-3) that comes in this huge bowl and is great for sharing. In this big bowl of awesomeness, you'd find wok fried hor fun that carries the "wok hei" flavour, served with premium A4, Kagoshima Wagyu, crispy deep-fried horfun strips, poached egg and finished with truffle gravy.
The Roasted Pig Tail ($28; serves 2-3) wasn't as odd as I thought it would be. And if you didn't know that it was tail, you'd just think it's some rather fatty pork cut. The fat-insulated meat here is encased with a charred skin, complete with lettuce wraps to help balance the meaty indulgence.
For something super insta-worthy, try the Flaming Pineapple Beef ($28; serves 2-3) that is literally on fire! The diced beef braised and stewed with a pineapple five spice gravy is nicely served inside a pineapple that's lit on fire when served.
Be daring and try The Dragon Claw ($45; serves 2-3), a showstopper fit for only the brave. This dish features the foot (or claw) of a Singapore-farmed CROCODILE that it soused in braised herbal sauce and perched on a bed of kale. That's it, you read right, a whole crocodile's foot. We dare you to try it!
And if that's no sweat for you, up the ante and try the D*** Soup ($30; serves 1-2) -- it's not "duck" if that's what you're thinking. This soup features CROCODILE PENIS in a chicken- and pork-based soup that has been double boiled for six hours. And yes, the penis penis of the crocodile will be in your soup. We hear that it's a great aphrodisiac!
For some greens, we like the Green Dragon Stir Fry ($16; serves 1-2). Don't worry no more crocodile business here, despite its interesting name. This is actually a rather simple and delicious dish of "Qing Long" Chinese chives stir fried with mushrooms, carrots and garlic.
For dessert, the Fried Durian ($12) is a must-try! Think: creamy durian meat inside a puff pastry that's deep fried to a crispy perfection then topped with fresh strawberries and popping candy. This is every durian lover's dream!
Apart from the amazing food here, The Dragon Chamber also prides itself on its creative blend of cocktails.
I tried the Garden Gimlet ($22), that looks rather funky with its neon green tinge under The Dragon Chamber's lighting. This aperitif, which is a blend of gin, elder flower liqueur, fresh lime and soda, was refreshing with a hint of sourness, making it the perfect drink to kick start your appetite for your dinner to come.
There is always some wisdom in old folks' sayings, such as consuming ginger after a meal helps with digestion. Hence, for an after meal digestif, I would suggest the Wisdom ($22), which is a blend of mezcal, homemade spice apple, lemon tea syrup and fresh ginger.
The Dragon Chamber is somewhere I'm definitely bringing my friends for an interesting night, be it to enjoy the exclusivity of the restaurant's location, the warm ambiance, the great food or the creative cocktails.
The Dragon Chamber (Enter from the fridge) 2 Circular Road
Monday to Friday - 10am-11pm
Saturday - 6pm
(serves Wanton Noodles and Coffee till 4pm, 4pm onwards serves bar snacks and beers)
Bar & Restaurant:
Monday to Friday - 12pm-2.30pm & 5pm–12am
Saturday - 6pm
Last Order for Food: 10.30pm & Last Order for Drinks: 11.30pm