Saturday, August 25, 2012

Dragon-i, the Xiao Long Bao expext has invaded Ipoh

 Dragon-I has finally made its path to Ipoh. Previously opened in major ares in the Klang Valley and Penang, now this franchise famous for its Chinese cuisine from Shanghai, Beijing and Szechuan has made its presence felt in the ground floor of AEON Station 18. For those who seldom make their way to KL, what is Dragon-I? In a nutshell, they are famous for their Xiao Long Bao and La Mein.

 Apparently, every outlet has a head chef from China overseeing the hand made noodles and dumlings. Besides freshness and taste, hygiene is of utmost importance as seen here. Yes, every outlet has an semi open kitchen to boast their forte, the making of Xiao Long Bao and La Mein. Now that Ipoh has catch the craze since its opening on 16 August, lets move on to the review from my visit to Dragon I (fondly called Long Dik Chuen Yan which literally translates into Descendent of the Dragon) a few days after its grand opening.

 The Beef Brisket La Mein (RM16) has both hits and misses. The noodles is good, undoubtedly. Apparently you can choose from the few variance of noodles offered - the knife shredded, flat and broad (like pan mee), fine strands like the one in the photo and a few other types. For the Beef Brisket Soup, you opt to have it spicy or non-spicy. I chose the Spicy version and was glad the chilli oil kinda saved the day. The broth was a bit too "clear" to my liking, perhaps the robust flavored and slightly murky beef soup from Korean restaurants have already set a benchmark. The soup here lacked the "beefy hearty essence" though the cuts of beef were tender enough.

The Xiao Long Bao, of course, should be the main reason you are here. A serving of 4 in a steamer basket cost you RM9.80. I have tasted Xiao Long Baos from the dim sum restaurants in Ipoh and none really have really exceeded my expectation. For the ones here, the skin has even thickness throughout, especially at the folding part at the tip. According to them, they boast in their skillful 18 plaits on their skin. The soup is flavourful and the meat juicy. Some may think that the xiao long bao is quite small in size but to me quality matters. If you want a bigger portion, you can order a individual "Soup Bun" which is like a "dai bao". It's a single serve portion on a steamer basket and they provide you with a straw to sip the soup. Check out the menu once you are there and you will know which item I'm referring to =)

 The Woh Tip (Pan fried Dumplings) is has a similar like filling to the Xiao Long Bao. The only difference is the skin is way thicker and this has less soup. Its more of the juices from the filling of pork+minced ham. Enjoy this with a bit of vinegar and ginger shreds.
The Lao Sar Bao here has a rich and strong centre. A serving of 3 buns cost you RM8. A bit steep in my opinion. Oh, if you are here, you might wanna check out the Red Bean Bun which is shaped into a piggy shape. It's very cute indeed, but for RM9 for red bean bun, I shall pass.

I do not know about you but I like to eat Lao Shar Bao just like how I eat Xiao Long Bao, poking a hole and slurp out the potent essence encased. Photo is a bit grainy. Look at the hue of the filling of the salted egg yolk and custard. Slurrrpppssss...

 Initially though of ordering the Flaky Yam Pastry (RM8) but they ran out of that item. Hence we opted for the savoury version of flaky pastry which has a raddish filling (RM6). The pastry is good but the filing is a bit bland. They could've put in dried shrimps or waxed sausages or ham to spice up the filling, just like those stuffs which make your Lor Bak Gou taste good.

 The Gui Lin Gao (RM6) is so-so, nothing much to brag about. Drinks are averagely priced, Chinese tea (refillable at RM2.50, soya milk at RM4) and they have various flower tea (RM5) like this photo above. Else, choose from the Mango Sago dessert and other few tong shuis which range from RM5-RM10. Total damage done was RM80 for 3 person, and we didn't really go all out for a filling lunch. Dragon I offer dishes to go along with rice like Dung Po Yuk, smoked duck, cold Pak Chaam Gai (poached chicken but served cold), etc. I was there on a Sunday, having an early lunch at 11:45am to wait a few person in line before getting my table. For those who wish to try soon, be prepared to wait... Until then, Happy Weekend! =)


Puiyeng Cho said...

U can try ordering dishes! I used to have my dinner in Dragon I quite often back in KL (pyramid branch). there's a dish that have dried chilies and chicken in a basket, very nice. ^^

sEnGz said...

dried chillies... Hmm... muz be Kung Bo Chicken. lolz. Eh, I'm coming KL on 13th-14th that weekend. You want me bring me go jalan jalan or not? =p