Yesterday we went out for dinner to celebrate Caitriona getting a job. (Yay!) We went to a Chinese restaurant in Southampton, called The Dragon Palace.
It looks a bit cheap on the way in as you have to go up two flights of fairly basic stairs that look like a fire escape. Once you get to the top, though, the restaurant itself is fairly well decked out. Most of the customers were Chinese, which is always a good sign.
The best thing about it, I think, was that it felt like it was a social hub for the Chinese community in Southampton, with a fair amount of coming and going and happy chatter. There was some kind of party going on in a small room off the main restaurant, near where we were sat. This was fun except for the occasional wail of karaoke that made it as far as our table!
The Dragon Palace does an evening eat-as-much-as-you-like buffet. We intended to order from the menu, as buffets aren't always that great, but it turned out to be a really good deal; it wasn't a buffet in the all-laid-out-and-help-yourself way. Instead, you simply ordered whatever you liked (basically a choice of the entire menu) and paid for anything you didn't eat. You could keep ordering little and often, if you liked. We just had starters and a main.
We had one of my favourite foods of all time: crispy aromatic duck pancakes with hoisin sauce. Mmmmm... And one of my other Chinese favourites, crispy seaweed. Not sure exactly what they do to the seaweed (fry it sugar?) but it's very tasty! The hot and sour soup was also very good. All-in-all, well worth a visit if you're ever in Southampton looking for Chinese food. Another time, we'll have to go for dim sum!