Dragon-i: New dinner tasting menu in an unexpected place

Talk of Dragon-i usually surrounds a few stories of late night misadventures where bottles were bought and far too much money was spent. It’s safe to say that most people in the city associate this well-known establishment with Russian models and messy, pretentious nights out. Dragon-i is now working a new angle to entice people to pop over for dinner well before the debauchery begins. In case you were unaware (as I was), Dragon-i actually serves dinner (not just all-you-can-eat dim sum) and they’ve just introduced a new dinner tasting menu for 4 or 6 people for a bargain. Only the test of time will tell if peoples’ outlook on Dragon-i shifts from a late night club to a restaurant/club.

Vibe at Dragon-i

I’d be lying if I said I didn’t feel a bit weird going up the escalators to Dragon-i on a Wednesday at 7:00 pm. The restaurant area was dark, quiet, and empty; the latter of which are in stark contrast to a typical night at Dragon-i. Overall, I found it a bit hard to judge since the idea of going to Dragon-i for dinner hasn’t exactly caught on with Hong Kongers, which certainly had an impact on the atmosphere. This could be a good place to start your night with a late dinner and followed by drinks out on Dragon-i’s terrace afterwards.

Starters

Chili Pork Dumplings
Sun-dried Scallops and Bamboo Pith Soup

The Tasting Menu for 6 began with a very traditional chilled cucumber and jelly fish starter. Though that dish wasn’t my favorite, I loved the Chili Pork Dumplings that came next. These babies were stuffed with delicious pork, were surprisingly spicy, and were a personal favorite of the evening (so much so that I couldn’t resist sneaking an extra one in before the next course). Keeping in line with a very traditional Chinese meal, we were each served a bowl of Sun-dried Scallops and Bamboo Pith Soup. Admittedly not much to look at, I really liked the rich aroma and consistency of the soup.

Mains

Sliced Spicy Beef in Szechuan Style
Pregnant Women’s Fried Rice
Poached Chicken with Root Ginger

Moving onto the large sharing plates, we began with a delicious Sliced Spicy Beef in Szechuan Style. The beef was coated in a delicious Szechuan sauce with just the right amount of spice. The Pregnant Women’s Fried Rice went well with the beef, although I still find the name to be a bit odd. We were all curious about the story behind this dish. Apparently, the chef’s wife, who was pregnant at the time, would come into Dragon-i and he would prepare this simple yet fried rice dish for her that included an array of healthy ingredients. Unfortunately, the Poached Chicken with Root Ginger just wasn’t my thing. I’ve never been a fan of Hainan chicken because of the bones and skin. Thankfully, those with a more local palate were more than happy to have my share.

Dessert

Papaya and Snow Fungus Sweet Soup
Seasonal Fruit Platter

To finish off our meal, we each had a bowl of Papaya and Snow Fungus Sweet Soup. The warm papaya didn’t have that strong papaya taste that people either love or hate. Though I’m still not sure what snow fungus is, I liked the overall subtly sweet flavors of the soup. Lastly, we all shared a Seasonal Fruit Platter with honeydew melon, watermelon, pineapple, and kiwi. Nothing special, but the fruit was a nice way to cleanse our palate after our meal.

Verdict

My feelings are mixed on the new dinner tasting menu at Dragon-i. On one hand, I enjoyed many of the dishes (though the menu is certainly catered to a local palate). On the other hand, the atmosphere needs a bit of work. Dragon-i at 7:00 pm was a bit too quiet and still had that ‘club feel’. But, for the price, I think it’s certainly worth a try. Especially if you plan on making a night of it.

Dragon-i’s dinner tasting menu for 6 people is a steal at HK$1032 (under HK$200 a person!).
The dinner tasting menu for 4 people is HK$688.

Dragon-i
G/F The Centrium
60 Wyndham Street
Central

Tel: 3110 1222

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