Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Chinatown Style Dinner

Not in a thousand years would I have guessed dragon-i actually has a full dinner menu. With proper tableware set up and all for a traditional Chinese meal (in addition to other bar food and Japanese-style dishes). While during late night this place up on Wyndham, which for years have been the mecca of Hong Kong nightlife and the ultimate seen-and-be-seen venue, could get real lively, at dinner hour it was actually quiet and cozy – you can almost hear the pin dropped on the floor. That I didn't know before until I came over to eat recently. 

With ten of us we went for a combination of tasting menus (one for four and one for six), with some overlapping dishes in larger portion. I struggled for words to describe the style of the dishes – I am tempted to use the term “Chinatown Chinese” but in a positive sense, and without the classic takeout boxes. Well, you know, those Chinese dishes made popular in western countries (adopted by take-out places and Chinatown restaurants around the world). For me they do bring a sense of nostalgia of the old days when you remembered the dishes by the number.

And the dishes here were well-prepared and tasty. The chili pork dumplings were laden with Szechuan pepper flavor giving you the tinkles on the tongues with well-stuffed pork dumplings. The pepper beef was topped with plenty of gravy with a hint of spices, just the way I loved.  The fried rice – dubbed the Pregnant Woman’s Fried Rice for the added ginger inside – was again done Chinatown style with plenty of soy sauce added in, along with chopped vegetables, green onions and bits of ginger root.

My favorite of the evening was actually the poached chicken with ginger paste on the side. The chicken was tender with good amount of fat, and I love the strong ginger paste, the classic Cantonese condiment of serving this chicken dish. On the other hand, I wasn’t a fan of the sautéed seasonal vegetables, which happened to be kale. I am more used to the traditional Chinese style mustard greens with more stems than leaves. This one may have sounded more hipster-ish and trendy, but it didn't do anything for me unfortunately.

Overall it was a filling and satisfying meal with unique Chinese dishes rarely seen in this part of the world. Only thing missing is some fortune cookies at the end.

(Dinner was by invitation)

When? February 23 2017
Where? Dragon-i, U/G The Centrium, 60 Wyndham Street, Central
Menu Highlights? Poached Chicken with Ginger Root

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