Walking into Drgnfly in Ashley Cross, you cannot help but be struck by the dramatic interior.

The eaterie, which opened in October and occupies a prominent corner in the area, boasts a full size tree, oversized lanterns and imposing Asian figurines, in keeping with its Pan-Asian themed food.

A menu overseen by executive chef Jeffrey Rivera features a variety of Asian cooking, with Chinese, Japanese and Thai influences, with signature dishes including Red Dragon Roll – a soft shell crab sushi – and Beef Tataki – lightly seared sirloin steak.

"Sometimes we just play around with a mix," explains Jeffrey, who moved to Poole from London last July with his partner and five-year-old daughter.

"We call it a fusion."

Having come from restaurants in central London, where he says diners are very open to experimenting with new flavours, Jeffrey is keen to introduce different Asian tastes to the south coast.

"We do different specials, just to play around," he says, "if it's not good we remove it, or try something different. We try traditional Japanese, but some people are not open to it, I play around just to please them and to get them to taste something different.

"Asians have a very strong palate so I have to tone it down a bit – not too weird tasting, not too spicy. We have to be balanced."

Jeffrey has spent years honing his skills and admits he is always open to learning new techniques.

"I started in Yorkshire in a Chinese restaurant," he says, "when I got to London I said I wanted to do something different so I went to a Japanese restaurant. It's different to Chinese, so it was challenging.

"I trained with Japanese chefs, they're very strict, perfectionists and very skilled. I worked with Thai chefs as well, but not for long enough. Mostly I just concentrated on Japanese, and getting some ideas.

"Some of the guys are here Filipino, so they've never learned something like this. They're good chefs, but the skills are different. I'm learning from them as well, because I'm open."

Drgnfly will be serving its new, seasonal menu from March 1, with set menus for Mother's Day and Easter. It will also soon be introducing a Chef's Premium Tasting Menu. Visit the website for details of other upcoming events.

Drgnfly, Bournemouth Road, Ashley Cross

01202 252133