Phone: 044 66002827
Address: Taj Coromandel, 37, Mahatma Gandhi Road, Nungambakkam, Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India
Time: 12:30 PM – 2:45 PM, 7:00 PM – 11:45 PM
Meals for two: Rs. 2,800
Facilities: Wheelchair Accessible, Full Bar Available, Indoor Seating, 4/5 Star, Valet Parking Available, Wifi, Table reservation required
Golden Dragon: Taj Coromandel, Nungambakkam, Chennai – Decor
Golden Dragon is stately, without being in-yourface. It is elaborate without being overpowering. Spacious enough for your conversations to be private, the place has been a favorite in the city for a very long time… 45 years to be exact.
I love the entrance to the restaurant, and always stop for a few moments to admire the intricate needlework on a majestic garment that was once worn by a war lord from the Ming dynasty, some time during the 15th century.
Today, this fine-dining space has Master Chef Lian Yun Lei, who brings with him 20 years of experience of cooking his style of food in countries all over the world. Before actually launching his menu, he studied Chennai’s Chinese food offerings. He then, tentatively introduced his cooking style and sauces to this side of the world.
Golden Dragon: Taj Coromandel, Nungambakkam, Chennai – Food
I begin my meal with a tiny, bite-size amusebouche of asparagus and water chestnut. I cannot help the fleeting wish that there was more. But, the chef has plans that include North Atlantic Steamed Scallops with pickled chillies. I’m amazed at the deft timing the chef has with the scallops. In fact, every time someone says scallops, I send up a prayer to the almighty for protection from overcooked, rubbery lumps.This time, my prayers were answered and the scallops were soft, melting in my mouth. The chillies, pickled overnight with black bean and garlic, could be bland for those expecting sweaty hot pungency… I like it for the blend of flavors that shines through.
The skin of Duo of Asparagus Dumplings is skillfully thin. Even though asparagus is loaded with antioxidants and is healthy, it is not exactly loaded with taste.
These dumplings need the mustard and ginger julienne soaked in vinegar to make a statement to my taste buds.
The Aromatic Crispy Duck is a make-it-yourself affair. So, basically, all the sauces and condiments are brought to the table along with some whitish, pliant, paper-thin rotis made using maida and cornflour. They are enough to hold the filling of plum sauce, salad and duck together without imposing on the filling personality. Duck is generally meatier than, say, chicken. And also tougher. But this meat is cooked to a tender texture without losing a dot of flavor. If I ever go to Sichuan or Canton, I will certainly seek out Duck Rolls.
Then, finally, there’s the dessert: Sticky Toffee Pudding with Salted Caramel and Basil Seed Ice Cream. It is everything a dream dessert could be…
Plus & Minus:
This is Chef Lian’s first stint in Chennai, and Golden Dragon is a formidable legacy to carry forward. While I understand the chef’s trepidation, I want to tell him is that he is doing a good job. He needs to showcase his food traditions without worrying about what the others in the city are doing. Chennai is a welcoming city.