25 Tory Street, Te Aro
A name synonymous with yum cha in Wellington, Dragons is an institution in the capital’s Asian dining scene.
Few others match Dragons in terms of sheer presence and popularity. With a strong focus on bringing families - especially across generations - together through food, the place is abuzz most days of the week. It’s the weekends in particular when Dragons shines in all its glory though, as families from all walks of life pack the restaurant out for a hearty yum cha.
And there are few better places in town for a food-based gathering. The cavernous space seats 200, with speedy, efficient service keeping groups flowing through the doors. From the golden dragon ornament at the entrance through to the quirky artwork, culminating in a giant mural plastered across the rear wall, Dragons offers a bold proposition: that it's possible to stay true to your roots while having a bit of fun.
It's an approach reflected in its menu, which in true Chinese fashion, is as extensive as it is tantalising. You’ll find all the yum cha staples here - the pork and shrimp dim sum and barbecue pork buns are among the perennial favourites. The black truffle and prawn dumplings, a Dragons specialty, are another crowd-pleaser, fusing Chinese and Kiwi flavours.
Come for dinner and you’re treated to a whole other dining experience, detailed page after page in the glossy menu. Signature dishes include the five-spiced slow-cooked duck with sweet soy sauce and a homemade casserole filled with homemade fish patties, vermicelli and Chinese cabbage.
With its diverse menu, handy central city location, and invariable service with a smile, Dragons is an ideal spot for both Chinese aficionados and those newer to the cuisine.
Words by John Son & Photography by Anna Briggs
25 Tory Street, Te Aro
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