back to top

We've Found The Best Dim Sum Place In London

In a functional building in the unlovely end of the Walworth Road stands Dragon Castle, dim sum divas and saviour of many a South London hangover.

Posted on

OK, so, Dragon Castle isn't pretty.

Instagram: @restylena

It's a restaurant whose entrance makes you long for the aesthetic charms of Centrepoint or, well, the Strata, just around the corner. But nobody ever came to Elephant & Castle to take in the views. You come here to eat.

Inside is big, brash and noisy.

Instagram: @dragoncastle100

Inside takes a bit of getting used to, as well. Like all authentic dim sum joints from here to Hong Kong, Dragon Castle is big, brash, and noisy. Service, whilst not quite at Chinatown levels of rudeness, still occasionally views the customer as an inconvenience, and despite booking you can still end up waiting for quite a bit for your table to be ready.

But the food makes it worth it.

Instagram: @foodstories

A tricky one this, because there are a huge number of dim sum items and at Dragon Castle, much of it is excellent. But at least try the fried doughstick cheung fun, which not everywhere does, silky floppy casings with crunchy insides. I have yet to find a way of eating these with chopsticks without looking a complete idiot, but you might have more luck.

Advertisement

Bring your friends.

Instagram: @andreahenar7

To make the most of the vast selection of dim sum you need to bring your friends – and the more the merrier. 10-12 can fit round one of the huge circular tables and mean you get to try as much of the menu as possible. It also helps, just for sympathy reasons, if everyone is hungover. You don't want one smug 6am yoga addict spoiling the vibe.

The delicious dumplings are amazing.

Instagram: @elenalaughs

There's also har gau (bottom), translucent steamed dumplings containing fresh prawn, siu mai (top right), pork and shrimp dumplings with a little dot of fish roe on each, and occasionally you'll come across something like top right, dumplings with spinach-infused dough for a bit of extra colour. It's all fresh, and vibrant, and great fun to eat.

Be experimental with your order.

Instagram: @justwils

I also always find room for cha siu sou (bottom left), flaky pastries stuffed with roast pork, and wu gok (bottom right), crunchy taro casings holding a filling of more sweet pork. But remember these are just the highlights – part of the joy of dim sum is just ordering what sounds interesting and seeing what arrives. You may discover you're a fan of silky chicken feet, or duck tongues.

What's the damage?

Instagram: @danielagatta

If you push the boat out and add in a couple of the large seafood dishes (I particularly recommend the chilli crab) then your bill could be more, but with more dim sum than I can eat and with a couple of beers I've never paid over £15. And with the amount of painstaking work that goes into these delicate morsels of Chinese food art, that's a real steal. Dim sum is one of London's genuine dining bargains, and Dragon Castle is one of its finest ambassadors.

Every week we’ll recommend a new place to eat in London. Let us know in the comments where you think we should feature next!

Rebecca Hendin/BuzzFeed

Previously featured:

Quality Chop House, Clerkenwell

Brasserie Zedel, Piccadilly

Apollo Banana Leaf, Tooting

Silk Road, Camberwell

MeatLiquor, Soho

Tayyabs, Whitechapel

Looking for more recommendations? I've just released an app, Where To Eat In London 2016.

Every. Tasty. Video. EVER. The new Tasty app is here!

Dismiss