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Saturday 19 January 2013

The Dragon with an "i"

During my recent trip to Kuala Lumpur, I met up with one of my best buddies from my secondary school time. When we talked about food, he recommnded the Dragon-i (籠的傳人) highly and even mentioned that the Shanghainese dumplings are better than those at Din Tai Fung (鼎泰豐). I have heard of Dragon-i since 2005 but I haven't tried the food there before this. Since the restaurant is just next to the hotel I stayed, we decided to have our dinner there.

As my friend has such high rating for the xiao long bao (小籠包, Shanghainese dumplings) at Dragon-i, we didn't miss ordering it. I have to admit that they were very good, not surpassing those at Din Tai Fung (鼎泰豐); but equally good.


Each of us also had a bowl of the Shanghainese la mian (拉麵), as this is also one of the specialities. My friend had the string noodles while I tried the ribbon noodles. The ribbon noodles had a chewy texture that I like. I guess the string noodles were softer and smoother. The soup had a hint a sweetness from vegetables and chicken broth.



We also had a portion of something like Peking duck but I think the duck was deep fried instead of roasted. The skin was very crispy while the meat retained its juiciness. Unlike the fatty skin of Peking duck, this crispy duck had less fat attached to the skin.


The sweet and sour pork ribs were also very good. The meat was very tender and the sweetness from sugar and the sourness from the vinegar were just nice. I like this dish very much.


Another Shanghainese signature dish is shui jian bao (水煎包, water-fried dumplings) that we also ordered. There are two types available and we settled for the more glamorous version that came in a metal pot lined with plenty of scallions. The filling was pork cubes that tasted like cha siew (叉燒) with a starchy base. I like this one very much too, although I was already very full.


Since we already had too much meat, it was obliging to gobble up some vegetables to balance up. The stir-fried kai lan (芥蘭) with garlic was a refreshing dish beside all the meat dishes.


To cap it off, we had the sea coconut dessert to wash down all the delicious food. This was the first time I have sea coconut dessert served warm, and I actually prefer it to the cold dessert.


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