One Utama's new wing houses some pretty good restaurants. Last Monday night ST and I went down there to celebrate yours truly's 25th birthday. The plan was to have dinner and then catch Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. We didn't get to watch Harry Potter that day because it was totally sold out but we managed to try out a new eatery called Dragon-i. Dragon-i's facade. See that bun like caricature? That's their signature dish, the Shanghai 'Xiao Long Pao'And here you see some chef's preparing the 'pao'.
I'm not sure if the banner below is still around but it was there when we went there. Dragon-i proudly boasts;
HE HAS ARRIVED
WE HAVE WAITED FOR 10 YEARS
Now whoever put up this banner should be fired. First of all... who has arrived? Secondly what exactly did we wait 10 years for? If you put up a picture of let's say Jackie Chan and don't name him that's fine cause who in the world does not know Jackie Chan but I went in wondering who the man pictured on the banner was and left the restaurant none the wiser. In fact when we left we were underwhelmed by the whole experience.
First off we have to give credit where it's due. Dragon-i is a very handsome restaurant. The entrance is lined with some faux terracota warriors. The chairs and tables are wooden with a dark lacquered finish. The lighthing is suitably dim. The whole place oozes a stylish charm. If I had the money this is how my house would probably look like.
"I may not look it but I'm damn tough, ok?"
Now on to the food. Dragon-i's menu offers a variety of dishes from Shanghai. There are many ala carte dishes which we did not try and there are what looks to be some pretty interesting tid bits. Didn't feel like having rice so we ordered 2 bowl of noodles (lai mien) and a serving of their signature 'Xiao Long Pao'.
Beef briskets in spicy broth with noodles. Minced meat (pork if I remember correctly) and musrooms with noodles.
The first thing that came to my mind upon the noodles being served was that this place served their noodles the way Japanese restaurants typically served their ramen. Big bowls with huge spoons. Unfortunately this also happens to be a well known trick to make the serving look big without actually giving much away. As you can see the bowls are only about half full. The beef brisket noodles tasted as you would expect them to but really nothing to wait 10 years for. The other dish on the other hand was utterly bland. Also the mushrooms seemed to be missing from the dish. I can't remember the exact price but both noodles are over RM10 each. Not really that expensive but bear in mind the disappointing taste and proportions.
Next, the 'Xiao Long Pao'. Now I can't read any Chinese so correct me if I'm wrong but I think literally translated... 'Xiao Long Pao' means Little Dragon Buns (trivia: Bruce Lee's Chinese name was Lee Xiao Long). 'Xiao Long Pao' is a delightful steamed bun with meat and broth on the inside. You pick up the bun at it's tip and you can feel the broth within gather at the bottom. If the skin breaks then it's a badly made bun. Dragon-i's little dragons were good but I know an even better place which I'll talk about in an entry in the future. Oh by the way... a serving of 4 will set you back RM8.
ST with the 'Xiao Long Pao' A serving of 'Xiao Long Pao'. Each serving consists of 4 'pao's but as you can see in the picture above ST ate one before I took the picture ;p
In conclusion, whatever it is that we were supposed to have waited 10 years for I'm pretty sure we did not find it that night.