THERE has been a buzz about the Drgnfly restaurant ever since it first opened its doors in the heart of Ashley Cross in Lower Parkstone last October.

From the outside, it's an imposing looking building which started life as a bank (before it became the former Patrick's brasserie) occupying a prominent corner opposite the green.

But the new owners have completely transformed the interior and made brilliant use of a big space. There's a full size tree, big colourful lanterns and imposing Asian figurines in keeping with its Pan-Asian themed food.

The menu is described as a Japanese-Chinese fusion featuring a variety of classic Asian dishes.

And it's a big read divided into sections including Aperitifs, Snacks & Soups, Appetisers, Drgnfly House Specials not to mention a broad selection of sushi and that's before you get to the mains.

There is also a choice of Tataki & Salads, Sashimi & Nigiri, Tempura & Fried or Noodles & Stir-fries. Fortunately the staff know their stuff and will happily guide you through the various options with ease. They will even bring you little tasters to try first if you're still unsure.

The drinks menu is equally broad including an innovative selection of cocktails, wines, spirits and champagnes. We settled for a bottle of Picpoul de Pinet (£24.50) which was perfectly chilled.

For starters we had Crispy Nori (£4.50), large crisps made from edible seaweed served with a dish of shiso guacamole and Buta Gyōza (£6.50), five pork dumplings served with a dipping pot of soy vinegar which was a superb combination of textures and flavours.

We also ordered one of the Maki Rolls, Sake to Avocado Maki (£6 for six pieces) filled with slivers of smoked salmon and avocado rolled in roasted sesame seeds.

(They also feature stylish looking Bento Boxes between 12pm and 4pm served with Miso soup and steamed rice prices range from £12.50 to £15)

I've had sushi here before and it's easily one of the best places in terms of quality, variety and quantity. (You are asked to allow around 20 minutes so that it can be freshly prepared but it's worth it).

For his main course my husband opted for ever popular Japanese classic, Tori Katsu Curry (£13) which was made with chicken breast rather than thigh meat as mentioned in the menu, coated in crispy panko breadcrumbs and served with an aromatic curry sauce and steamed white rice.

I ordered Peri Peri Tori (£8.50) from the Robata & Grill section – three chicken skewers of tender breast meat marinated in the house Drgnfly spicy sauce and served with a bowl of white fluffy rice. Everything is handmade on the premises and elegantly presented.

The dessert menu featured choices such as the Matcha Creme Brulee (£7.50) and Mochi (£4.50) soft Japanese rice cakes filled with choice of salted caramel, mango or coconut mochi ice cream.

On our waiter's recommendation, we decided to share a large Grilled Pineapple (£7) which had been halved, the contents scooped out, cooked in some fragrant spices, topped with a ball of light coconut ice cream and a sprinkling of bright red berries which looked as good as it tasted and provided just enough sweetness to round off the meal.

This is a place that takes pride in every detail and always seems busy even on a mid-week evening. The food tastes fresh and is filling without the glutinous texture that you can sometimes associate with Chinese food.

Overall Drgnfly delivers on its promise to provide a distinctive and memorable dining experience, bringing exotic flavours from the Far East to our doorstep in Dorset.