5 of us decided to head out for Dim Sum lunch in Chinatown. With someone who can speak the language and who’s been to Dragon plenty of times before, we were looking forward to a fun and tasty treat. I’d had Dim Sum before, even once in San Francisco Chinatown – and I’ve never before been impressed. This time I actually enjoyed everything we ordered and it was really fun!
I’ll do my best to remember what we had:
Noodles (main photo above). The flavour was nice – not too seasoned or spicy. But, I found them a little dry. Maybe they’re supposed to be?
Steamed Shrimp Dumplings & Steamed Pork Dumplings. I only tried the shrimp ones. There were ok. I mean, they’re just rice sheets and shrimp… I think whomever wraps these puppies has some great patience. I tried making rice paper wrapped salad rolls at home once and the sticky rice paper was so hard to work with!
Baked BBQ Pork Buns. These are the ones with the crispy top and yellow dough. I think they’re also called pineapple buns? Someone please correct me if I’m wrong! Man, these were so good. There were 5 of us and only 3 of us ate these buns so I was happy to have a whole one to myself. I think I could eat just these buns for dinner any night!
Fish Congee with Deep Fried Chinese Dough – I wasn’t totally keen on trying this dish since I had a Malaysian nanny when I was 8 and she made fish congee at home. My dad made us eat everything that she cooked (and believe me, fish congee was the least odd thing she made). At that time I thought it was disgusting. But, I’m an adult now, so I finally caved in and tried it. We added a few pieces of the deep fried Chinese dough to our bowls upon serving. With the deep fried dough there was awesome texture – the mushy rice congee, bits of cooked whitefish, and the crunch of the dough actually came together and I really liked this. Without the crispy dough I don’t think it would be as good – I need that textural variation. I will now endeavour to eat more congee 🙂
Chinese Dough in Rice Crepe (with 2 sauces) – so good, but like dessert! This is such a weird thing to me – take crispy fried dough and wrap it in slightly slimy sheets of rice noodles? But damn, with the two textures – crispy and soft – dipped into the sauces (one was peanut and the other was like a sweet hoisin, perhaps?) these puppies were yummy. I will definitely get these again. And for $6, this dish can act as a good filler for a group.
Rice Crepe with Shrimp (and this photo below). I can’t remember what was in the crepe in the photo below (perhaps ground beef?). It was pretty good, as was the shrimp one. Similar to the dumplings, they are just rice noodles (crepes) wrapped around protein, in a different shape. The ratio of rice crepe to filling is pretty high, but it’s tasty enough.
Half BBQ Duck – I was told these are BBQ’d off site and hung in the display case. I actually found it chewy and although flavourful, not very enjoyable. All the bones are cut up with the meat and you really have to work your way around the bones to get all the meat off it. When the meat is tough, I’m not that excited to spend the extra effort.
Chinese Greens. I always find it a challenge to eat any kind of long crunchy vegetable at a Chinese restaurant with chopsticks! For one, it’s impossible to hold them. For two, you can’t cut them with chopsticks so if you can actually get a piece to your mouth, you’re left trying to chew through a tough little tree whilst trying not to drop it from your chopsticks. So, I think I’ve given up and I just use my fingers. I pick up the greens and eat them by hand. Woot! Going rogue!
Pan Fried Turnip Cakes with Chinese Sausage. These little things were quite impressive. I’m not a fan of typically a fan of turnip, but these were solid and not too turnipy. We all liked these!
We ordered a lot of food for 5 people for lunch. So much that we even had leftovers (that thankfully, I got to take!). The total bill was approximately $17 each, so we all left $20. It was a fun lunch, super close to my office, and it was neat to try things I’d never had before. I think the key was going with someone who knows the dishes and knows what’s good. I’ll definitely be back to Dragon Chinese Restaurant and I’ll be bringing Jay too.