As I was squashed up on the tube in between bellowing Chelsea fans I wondered if I'd made a mistake, but after one bite of the har gao (shrimp dumpling) eased my fears. It was deliciously juicy; coarsely chopped prawns packed into a bulging dumpling wrapper. Scallop and prawn dumplings (above, foreground) contained a good amount of discernible seafood and the large chunks of sweet scallop were just cooked. Village dumplings, filled with cubed fish had a seriously gloopy wrapper and lacked a bit of seasoning. Siu long bao (below), that Taiwanese soup-filled dumpling weren't the most refined but they held their broth and had decent flavour.
Special cheung fun, each filled with prawns, minced beef and roast pork surprised me. I'm not usually a fan of minced beef cheung fun, but this version was filled with the meat they use to make the beef dumplings. Bouncy and punctuated with water chestnuts, the texture was more cake-like than grainy and minced.
Fried items were similarly pleasing. Paper prawns were fresh from the fryer and greaseless with the intense flavour of sesame from the seeds that lined the bottoms of their cigar-like shape.
Squid cakes had an excellent bounce, wrapped in tofu skin before deep frying to give it extra crunch. Flavoured with a hint of coriander, we all burnt our mouths hastily munching in to them.
Pan fried cheung fun were pretty exciting especially as I've never seen it served in a London restaurant before - one side of each rice dough roll was crispy, flavoured with dried shrimp to which you'd bite into soft innards.
Turnip cake was an exemplary version with chunks of Chinese sausage flavouring each slice, and a crisp exterior giving way to soft turnipy innards. We weren't quite finished here though and we flagged down the waitress to order more. She, rather exasperated perhaps by how busy the restaurant was, exclaimed that it would be a big wait for more dishes. Given that the dishes had arrived in a leisurely fashion anyway, we weren't that fussed and we got a serving of Singapore fried silver needle noodles. I've never tried these before, but the noodles are worm-like in appearance and slightly transparent. The mild curry flavour with scrambled egg, chicken and prawns was great and we kept going back for seconds.
Dragon Palace has jumped to the top of my dim sum restaurants in London; I haven't tried a great deal (for example, I haven't tied Pearl Liang's dim sum efforts yet) but their steamed dishes were so good I'd go back for them, let alone the pan fried cheung fun and the noodles. At a bargainous £12 a head for the 3 of us including tea, it certainly won't be long before I make the trek west again.
207 Earl's Court Road
London SW5 9AN
Tel: 020 7370 1461