Dragon-i restaurant was one of the first chain outlet serving Shanghai xiao long bao 小笼包 that I've ever tried. Specializing in flavours from around the regions of Canton, Szechuan and Shanghai in China, the cuisine they served is a fine blend of aestheticism, flavour and taste, elements proudly preserved by the Chinese over thousand of years.
It was the moments after my LASIK surgery, and I was whisked off to have dinner here. In the state of blurriness, I could still use the chopsticks to pick up these braised peanut appetizer.
The famous xiao long bao, Dragon-i version.
Dong po rou 東坡肉 served with mantou (pictured below). A brief background of this delectable dish:
Dong po Pork 東坡肉 is Hangzhou's signature dish. To eat dongpo pork is to begin to understand the role of fat in making meat taste good. The dish is named after revered Song Dynasty poet, artist and calligrapher Su Dongpo, who is supposed to have invented, or at least inspired it. The meat should be so tender that you can quite easily pry it away in small pieces with chopsticks. As it is made from a slab of pork belly, there is a lot of fat, but the lengthy cooking time (3-1/2 hours) results in fat sans much of its greasiness. You will need at least four hours to make dongpo pork during which time it is simmered twice, braised, sautéd and steamed.
Dan dan mian 担担面, a spicy, sourish noodle soup that contains prserved vegetables. Very appetizing.
紅燒獅子頭 la mian.
A rather normal bucket of steamed pork on rice.
We also tried the soup bun 汤包, which were filled with crabmeat and roe soup. The skin of the 汤包 was very thick.
Overall, food in Dragon-i was average. The famous xiao long bao 小笼包 was no doubt a crowd puller, and other dishes were either hit or misses. I am satisfied with what I've tasted, but it wasn't enough to return for more.
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