Retiral after golden years at The Dragon

The Golden Dragon on Castle Street.
The Golden Dragon on Castle Street.

A beloved and successful Forfar institution has changed hands after more than 25 years at the centre of the town’s culinary scene.

The Golden Dragon Chinese restaurant on Castle Street is now under new ownership due to the retiral of Tony Ip who, with his wife Kim, has run the premises since opening it in 1988.

The scene of many a birthday, anniversary - and office - celebration, the restaurant has been at the heart of the town in more ways than one.

Tony said: “I’m going to miss the staff, who are amazing, and the customers who have been more like friends.”

Originally from Hong Kong, he began his career at the city’s prestigious jockey club in 1972 before moving to Forfar three years later to manage the August Moon restaurant, also in Castle Street, for his cousin Alan Ip. In 1982 Tony left the business to manage another restaurant in Dundee and also that year married his wife Kim, who joined him from Hong Kong.

Tony said his time at the jockey club emphasised a standard of presentation he carried into his own business, which he opened at the suggestion of his best friend.

He said: “The jockey club was a very strict place and I think generally that if you create a good mood, good service and have a tidy place then you will be okay and I’m proud of presenting.

“I just deicded to take a chance. I didn’t expect to be in business this long - I don’t think anyone would expect 27 years and starting today I wouldn’t be thinking that. But I’d like to thank all the customers and staff over the years.”

The retaurant has been taken over by business partners Laxman Shrestha and Himlal Aryal, both of whom have experience of working in top hotels in Abu Dhabi and Dubai.

Mr Shrestha said: “We’ll be keeping the food almost the same but will be adding our own specialities, and we’ll try to continue Tony’s goodwill and good name.”