July 24, 2016 Istanbul Turkey Middle East

Dragon: A Chinese Restaurant to Avoid in Istanbul!


Welcoming: 3/5

Food Temperature: 7/10

Ambiance / Music: 1/10

Menu Choice: 4/5

Food Taste: 15/30

Architecture / Interior: 1/10

Food presentation: 5/10

Service: 1/10

Value for money: 1/10

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We chose to dine at Dragon after reading positive reviews about it around the Internet. Many even placed Dragon on the top of the list as Istanbul's sole Chinese restaurant. Very pricey, I expected a luxurious decor, but unfortunately the first impression was not the finest.


We arrived at the Hilton, went down the long dirty stairs where Dragon is to find the door closed. Signs say enjoy the garden but none mark clearly where the garden is located and that the place has moved. Walking to the garden we were welcomed by a private function haunting the area with high lousy and loud oriental music. A hostess welcomed us while taking in Turkish with her supervisor, boxes thrown along the road, insects and flies... Tension was building up.

The restaurant is a terrace covered with wood. Round and square tables fill the space under several white tents set next to the bar where sushi is prepared a la minute. We were first seated on a round table next to a customer who was smoking heavily and impolitely. Moving to another square one was immediately arranged. Sparkling water please, two glasses, half a meter away from my plate... No finesse whatsoever, surely not a fine dining restaurant... I hope the food is better.

Unacceptable; the soy sauce bottles are refilled and have the "Best before Sept. 2015" tag on them. That deserves a "LOL". Unacceptable.


The menu:

Set meals, soups, starters, dumplings, duck, vegetables, beef dishes, chicken dishes, prawn dishes, squid dishes, fish dishes, rice, noodle, desserts and sushi. The sushi menu is a one page nylon wrapped paper, street food restaurants stopped using.

While Turkish music played in the hotel, another kind of music was playing within the restaurant creating additional noise in the restaurant. We ordered and waited... And waited more...


We ordered:

Spring rolls and prawn toast. Three kinds of makis, sweet and sour chicken, beef green pepper, fried noodles with vegetables and egg fried rice. With that we had a San Pellegrino.

Let's eat:

  • Maki rolls are fine. One series is warm, one cold and one normal. The salmon skin are mini crisps like chips sticking to the teeth and leaving a salty after note. The sea bass has a childish taste and the warm sesame is a complicated mix of ingredients with dry rice "trying" to create something Japanese. Good fast food casual sushi. Not what I expected here for the price paid.
  • And we waited... So long for our main dishes to arrive. Sushi arrived before the appetizers, an empty plate left in front of us and still no food was served. Then the head waiter arrived with a plate, left one spring roll in my dirty plate without asking of changing it, continued with the shrimp toast which he posed on some remaining carrots. I was left speechless!
  • The spring roll is a chewy envelop of bread wrapped around chewy vegetables. Dip it in the sweet&sour and feel the unpleasant excess of vinegar. I've rarely had spring rolls as bad as these ones. The shrimp toasts have nothing to write home about. I ate them only because I was hungry. And then I heard the cap of my bottle roll on the floor which was reused as if nothing had happened. Oh my Goodness; what a night! A disastrous experience I won't recommend to anyone.
  • Thirty minutes after we received the sweet&sour chicken. A tiny portion with a plate half empty sent without the noodles or the rice. They probably serve rice and noodles for dessert. Chunks of zesty chicken with a soft crunchy envelop and lacking sweetness.
  • A bit of meat, lots of bell pepper, onion chunks and garlic! Garlic in a black pepper beef plate?
  • The meat soft like potato puree. It lacked texture and body. Where is the black pepper? Tasteless!
  • Noodles were good. I ended up having noodles for dinner.



  • The slowest service ever.
  • Unprofessional staff that lacks savoir faire and know how.
  • Below average food.
  • Unpleasant and boring ambiance with a disturbing music.
  • Stingy portions.

It is logical to pay $55/person at La Petite Maison for fine dining quality and $70/person at Dragon to eat low quality food?

Bad, very bad, not worth it and surely not recommended. A restaurant to avoid.





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