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Dragon King is a buffet restaurant located in Park Royal’s Leisure Park, just off the A40 within a 5 minute walk from Park Royal underground station and also reachable by 3 local bus routes. The restaurant can seat 300 people and has two separate function rooms. Dragon King offers 60 dishes for evening meals and 30 for lunch times. As the restaurant is within a Leisure Park there is ample parking available within easy reach of the restaurant.
I understand there is a Happy Hour menu available between 15:00 and 17:00 on week days which consists of a starter, main course and dessert.
I had passed Dragon King a few times whilst visiting other places within the Park Royal Leisure complex and thought it was about time we paid a visit as it seemed very popular. We looked up the website and saw that the restaurant only seemed to do buffet meals. This sounded good to us so off we popped down there one Sunday lunchtime.
We tried to call several times about an hour prior to leaving home as the opening times stated 12:00 on Sundays and we weren’t sure if we’d need a reservation. When we tried called from 10:45 there was no answer, as soon as it was 11:00 the phone was constantly engaged. We left home hoping to get there for midday and get a table without having to have made a reservation.
As we approached the restaurant on the way to park the car at 12:00 the doors seemed to have just opened as we saw a dozen or so people walking inside. The website said the capacity was 300 so we found a parking space nearby in the leisure park and meandered over to the restaurant thinking it couldn’t be THAT busy that we wouldn’t get a table. As we walked in, I was very impressed by the larger than life sized Buddha by the reception desk with a big cheery smile which made me feel like smiling back at him! We waited a few moments to be seated but to say we were greeted would be a lie; the woman who approached us can only be described as rude and aggressive. We greeted her with a smile and asked how she was saying we’d like a table for two; she did not respond, only snapped at us that she could seat us but we’d have to vacate our table by 13:30 for other diners. We were a bit stunned at this awful welcome but the young waitress who escorted us to our table was at least friendly and polite. I told my husband to go and start getting his food whilst I waited at the table to place our drinks order. It was a good 5 minutes before anyone came over to take the drinks order and I noted that there were quite a few waitresses standing around not exactly looking busy, at this stage there were probably about 10 tables of people in the restaurant, a few couples and a few groups of 4 or 5 people. The waitress who came over to me said I could go and help myself to food, I stated that I wanted to place our drinks order first which she then took. When my husband returned, I then went up to get my food.
For £6.90 for lunch there was a decent range of food on offer. I understand 30 dishes are available, but I wasn’t sad enough to stand around to count if this was, in fact, true. The items I remember seeing include: prawn crackers, chicken and sweet corn soup, mini veg samosas, egg fried rice, veg chow mein, plain rice, mini sausages, beef in black bean sauce, chicken in black bean sauce, chicken curry, sweet and sour chicken, crispy chilli chicken, stir fried mixed vegetables, bbq spare ribs, chicken wings, chips, cake, jelly. Of course, I didn’t try all of these dishes but the ones I did try were indeed authentic and very tasty although we did feel everything had too much salt added (and I’m someone who adds salt to everything) – no need to add salt to any dish here.
I was however a little disappointed that there weren’t more options available as starters, I really enjoy prawn toast and crispy seaweed but there were none of these available for the lunch buffet (although I understand from the website these are available in the evenings).
Service is really basic and they clearly indicate on the menu that a service charge is not included. There are no tablecloths on the tables and no cutlery/napkins on the table, you need to collect these all yourself when picking up your food. We ordered a pint of Fosters and a large Diet Coke which took some time before being served at our table and when my husband ordered another pint, he had to ask for it again more than 5 minutes later before it was brought over. We also found it to be very cold where we were seated in the corner and when we asked a waitress if one of the plug-in heaters located right next to our table could be plugged in, we were advised that they didn’t work. The central heating didn’t seem to be working as the radiators were cold to the touch. I wasn’t too bothered but my husband was pretty much frozen throughout his meal.
We watched the aggressive waitress as she marched around the restaurant barking at other members of staff and we felt somewhat intimidated by her attitude. We could only assume she was the manager or the owner but her attitude and overall demeanour was pretty awful.
When we requested the bill they were really slow to bring this over. Bearing in mind we had been told we needed to be out of there by 13:30 and when we had finished eating, various waitresses kept coming over to see if we’d finished our drinks; making us feel as if we should finish our drinks quickly and leave. We watched as the restaurant filled up really quickly with hardly any tables vacant by the time we were ready to leave (which was just after 13:00). The waitress who brought over the bill brought with her a card machine and made a point of saying “Service is not included” we smiled politely as my husband entered his card details making a point of not leaving a tip.
As we exited the restaurant, we saw dozens of people queued up waiting to be seated and we knew that “grumpy” hadn’t been lying but felt she could have advised us of how busy they get in a nicer way. We haven’t made any plans to return to Dragon King based on the way we felt overall that they want customers to eat and leave. Cheap and authentic buffet it might be but the whole time we were there we felt as if they were waiting for us to leave.
Disabled access is available (although the general layout looked more like tables were crammed in to maximise the number of diners they could cram in). We found the toilets to be clean and well stocked although I felt the doors in the ladies toilets were quite strangely housed. Of the two toilets available one of them had a door which swung open (and stayed open, I’ll add) in such a manner that it would hit someone using the sink to wash their hands. There were also some rather unsafe looking nails sticking out of the door panels which made me think it would be a big unsafe if a youngster were to use the toilets unsupervised.
I found the lighting in the restaurant to be rather darker than I would like for a lunchtime meal and the music playing in the background from a speaker right behind me was probably only audible to me. My husband sitting right in front of me couldn’t even hear the music. We thought the décor around the restaurant was quite pleasant which included Chinese lanterns and posters of Jackie Chan and Bruce Lee.
For the food we’d give the Dragon King 4 out of 5 stars and for the service 2 out of 5 so my overall rating is 3 out of 5. If you’re happy to eat quickly and run you’ll enjoy this! I don’t think I want to go back to try the evening buffet which has about 60 dishes available as I imagine they’ll be in even more of a rush to get us out of there!
Dragon King Unit 2 Kendal Avenue Royale Leisure Park London W3 0PA Telephone: 0208 993 3888 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Fax: 0208 993 3777 http://www.dragon-king.co.uk/
Dragon King is open from 12:00 to 15:00 lunchtimes and 17:30 to 23:00 evenings on Monday to Fridays and 12:00 to 16:45 lunchtimes and 17:30 to 23:30 on Saturdays and Sundays.
The buffet prices on Monday to Thursdays are as follows: Lunch for adults £6.50, for children £3.80 Dinner for adults £12.50, for children £6.00 Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Bank Holidays as follows: Lunch for adults £6.90, for children £4.30 Dinner for adults £12.90, for children £6.30 There is also a self-service buffet box which you can fill and takeaway for £4.10.