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DRAGON-i

Sunday, April 01, 2007
Four chinese characters stand proudly on the logo of DRAGON-i.

龍的传人

Being the banana that I am, I can't read what it says ... ok, maybe 2 out of the 4 characters. Anyway, I found out that it reads ... "Long De Chuan Ren" which simply means Descendants of the Dragon. Chinese people often use the term "Descendants of the Dragon" (龍的傳人) as a sign of ethnic identity. As you walk into Dragon-i, you can't help but to wonder if you're walking into an ancient chinese hall (not that I've been to one) or probably into a museum. The many rows of chinese writings on the walls as depicted in the images here probably means a lot but I am just settling at admiring it's beauty (can't read ... again). On the other side, 3 Terracotta warriors stand guarding the entrance walkway to Dragon-i ... perfectly accentuates the ambiance of ancient Chinese culture.

If you are think casually strolling into the restaurant would get you a seat immediately ... dream on! Dragon-i is usually packed to the rim, on most weekends. Utilizing a systematic way for queue management, you register at the reception area and is given a queue slip. You are then shown to the waiting area, consisting of a row of bench ... which probably is already filled with eagerly waiting customers.

As you stare impatiently and unblinkingly at the LED sign, waiting for it to display your queue number ... you can't help but feel your stomach growling. By now, the person sitting next to you would have probably heard your audible tummy grouses ... and gave you the funny look. But you couldn't care less, because you just noticed the LED displayed your queue number. Almost instantly, you stood up ... flashed a "nyeh..nyeh.. I am going in first" look to the person who gave you the funny look earlier ... and walked proudly to your table, led by the waitress.

Dragon-i

Finally ... time to enjoy a good lunch! As you flipped through the menu booklet ... you noticed their specialties ... their Xiao Long Bao, La Mian and Szechuan Tan Tan Mian. And also, a handful of other items which looks equally interesting. Of course, I ordered the Xiao Long Pao ... and some other items on the menu but deciding to skip La Mian and Tan Tan Mian.

XiaoLongBao

The first to be served were the Shanghainese Steamed Meat Dumpling, or more widely known as Xiao Long Bao (direct translation : little basket bun). Xiao Long Bao are traditionally steamed in bamboo baskets, hence the name. It is filled with soup and meat, wrapped in jiaozi wrapper (a thinly rolled piece of dough that turns almost translucent after being steamed) which is then sealed by pressing the edges together. Shanghai steamed buns can be recognised by their unique design, as the filled wrapper is gathered up into fine folds at the top, prior to steaming. The soup inside is created by placing some meat gelatin inside the dumpling before steaming. The steam heat melts the gelatin into soup.
Caution : Fresh Xiao Long Baos are very hot; the soup can scald your tongue if you're not careful. Unfortunately, quality declines as it cools down. Picking up Xiao Long Bao can be quite a challenge too ... since the jiaozis are quite thin. If you're not careful, the jiaozis will tear ... and there goes the delicious soup.

Generally, Xiao Long Bao is widely available everywhere but to-date, my vote goes to DRAGON-i for serving the best ones. The servings are naturally well proportionated , and the soup is very well-prepared. But I have to make sure I don't waste any of it when picking it up !!! Hmm ... maybe a straw might help ... to scald my tongue, that is ...

And finally, just add a touch of their Special Chili Oil for flavor and you're in for a treat!

Now, with the Xiao Long Bao aside, time to have some more starters. We will begin the starters course with the Jellyfish. I first learnt to eat Jellyfish in a sushi restaurant. Since then, there's no turning back ... and here I am .. with a wholesome plate of Jelly Fish with Sesame Oil. For a start, it's good to know that Jellyfish toughens if excessively cooked, so it's generally quickly blanched in boiling water for only about 15 seconds. It's customarily shredded and served cold in salads for a crunchy texture. In Dragon-I, the chefs must've put in quite some effort .. for the Jellyfish is both very crunchy and very, very appetizing.

From Jellyfishes, we move on to Eels ... and no, this is not a reality show about exotic seafoo dining. Again, I picked up the love of Eel dishes through my sushi dining experiences. Eels are synonymous with Shanghai cuisine. If not properly cooked, Eels may emit some certain fishy smell. Those who fear the fishy smell will love the Honey Glazed Crispy Eel. Actually, it's so crispy it doesn't even taste like fish. A good dish as snacks or even with your main courses.

After downing some of those good stuff, you may want to also try their fried rice. You will want to have some rice to go with the mouth watering dishes. There's a good variety of fried rice in the menu ... and I ordered 2 different types, to try. Firstly is the Fried Rice with Shrimp and Preserved Vegetable ... something plain and simple, without any meat.

As I mentioned, it's quite plain especially without the presence of meat but goes well with any good dishes. The next one however, caught my taste bud ... it's the Fried Rice with Ham, Prawn and Fish. The ingredient combo must be working very well for I fell in love with it on the first smell. Well, I do admit I can hardly spot any ham and fish ... but the prawns were aplenty. If only it were a little spicy ..I'd go there for lunch and dinner everyday, for a week !


SweetnSour

Of course you have to down the rice with some good dishes for a complete meal. What better dish to have than the Special Sauteed Sweet and Sour Spare Ribs ... and trust me on this .. if you're a meat lover ... well then, this is your thing ! Every piece of rib is so well marinated that when it's cooked, the sauces are saturated into the ribs. As you sink your teeth into the ever so tender meat ... and take your first chew ... you will want to enjoy it slowly, for as I mentioned earlier .. the meat is so tender and juicy and the sauce is sweet with a slight taste of saltiness. And when you swallow ... the meat just slides down your throat ...gracefully.

All meat and no vegetable isn't a good idea of a well-balanced diet. To strike balance, we had Stir Fried String Beans with Minced Meat (yes, I know .. more meat) ... and what I love about this course is the crunchiness of the string beans and the minced meat, that adds to taste.

Finally, you mustn't leave the place before having their famous desserts. I ordered 3 different types of desserts to try ... which is the Deep Fried Minced Meat & Sesame Pastry, Deep Fried Durian Pancake and Pomelo Mango Cream Sago. From the list of 3, the ones I'd go back for more would be the Durian Pancake. When you take a bite on the Durian Pancake, you will be surprised to discover that the skin is actually very crunchy and crispy .. and more surprised to find that the durian fillings are actually cold. Another experience to leave you coming back for more. The 2 other desserts however, will need more work. For example, both the Pomelo Mango Cream Sago and the Deep Fried Minced Meat & Sesame Pastry are pretty tasteless.




Here's what I paid for my lunch ...

Jelly Fish with Sesame Oil - RM14.00
Honey-Glazed Crispy Eel - RM16.00
Shanghai Steam Meat Dumpling - RM8.00
Special Sauteed Sweet & Sour Spare Ribs - RM20.00
Fried Rice with Ham, Prawn & Fish - RM16.00
Fried Rice with Shrimp & Preserved Vegetable - RM14.00
Stir-Fried String Bean with Minced Meat - RM14.00
Pomelo Mango Cream Sago - RM12.00
Deep Fried Minced Meat & Sesame Pastry - RM6.00
Deep Fried Durian Pancake - RM12.00

Dragon-i is located in 1 Utama new wing and I am pretty sure getting to 1 Utama shouldn't be any problem for most of you. Here's the exact location.

Dragon-i Restaurant (1U) Sdn Bhd
Lot S313A, 2nd Floor HighStreet,
1 Utama Shopping Mall,
No. 1, Lebuh Utama, Bandar Utama,
47800 Petaling Jaya.
Tel : 03-7725 8822
Fax : 03-7728 6886

Other branches are located at

MidValley Megamall, Cititel Lobby
CentrePoint Bandar Utama, G115, Bandar Utama
Sunway Pyramid, G1.43. Ground Floor
The Curve, Lot 136 & 137
Cheras Leisure Mall, G22-22A, Ground Floor
Penang QueensBay Mall, Lot 2F-77, 78, 79 & 81, 2nd Floor Centre Court
Pavillion KL, Lot 1.13, Level 1

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13 Comments:

Blogger Precious Pea said...

The food looks very yummy indeed. Luckily you skipped the tan tan mien...total disappointment. The fried rice looks good too!

4/02/2007 9:02 AM  
Blogger Timothy said...

Thank you very much for the heads up, dear. Even without the Tan Tan Mien .. my bill already came up to approx RM200++. A hole in my pocket that'll take a while to recover. I guess it's foodstall reviews for now ...

4/02/2007 12:50 PM  
Blogger Xiu Long Bao said...

The food looks yummier wiv ur nice photos! Actually Dragon-i's food is slighty pricey if compared wiv Crystal Jade. Anyway, muz try this dumpling place soon :)

4/02/2007 2:23 PM  
Blogger whistler said...

Wah, you have a lot of nice stuff, the photos just look great! My vote of best Xiao Long Bao still for Shanghai in J.W Marriot, then Crystal Jade (heard the quality went down), and Dragon-i, maybe the quality has went up, I'm sure you vote for reason, I must try once again :D

4/02/2007 5:29 PM  
Blogger Honey Star said...

Will try this place soon. The pancake and xiu long bao are calling me :D

4/02/2007 7:12 PM  
Blogger Lyrical Lemongrass said...

Your pictures and descriptions are great, dude! Makes me wanna go out and eat the xiao long bao there immediately. But then, there's the other obstacle of patiently (no way!) waiting for my queue number to be displayed on the LED sign...sigh...the price we pay for good food, huh?

4/02/2007 9:45 PM  
Anonymous Kay said...

The food looks soo good! So many dishes to try out, you guys sure got some good chefs there!

4/05/2007 10:15 AM  
Blogger Xiu Long Bao said...

wow..changed template oledi?nice big heading :)

4/05/2007 10:29 AM  
Blogger Tummythoz said...

Wow! Just spend many a minute browsing through your older posts. Incredibly beautiful droolicious pictures & descriptions. My strict diet just packed & jumped out the window.

4/05/2007 3:24 PM  
Blogger The Expedited Writer said...

Hi there,
I stumbled across your blog from Masak-masak. You've got some nice food porn there heheeheh...

I would like to link you up. Feel free to link me back as well :)

4/06/2007 4:47 AM  
Blogger boo_licious said...

Yums, also had dragon-i recently. Hey, trying to contact you but could not find any email address, can you email me instead at boo_liciouskl@yahoo.com. Thxs.

4/09/2007 12:10 AM  
Blogger tankiasu said...

You seriously feels that the xiu long bao in Dragon-i is the best? Coz I read/heard alot of bad reviews about it. Hmm...maybe I should go try it myself.

4/11/2007 11:49 PM  
Blogger vampynyam said...

Hey Tim, finally tracked back my older post and it is definitely you who leave comment on my vampy's blog. What a coincidence!! I am now putting your site as my favorite pick..I love food so if this page is dedicated to some of the good restaurant in town, count me in! Btw, you are really good in taking beautiful shots on the food. You made it look so delicious. Btw, i hear Dragon-i food is so so only...Are you sure it;s as good as you said ah. PLus the head chef left Dragon-I and opened up his own restaurant in MidValley called "Tun Loong" Or something...

3/29/2008 12:35 AM  

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I'm Timothy From Kuala Lumpur, Wilayah Persekutuan, Malaysia
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