Food - 8/10
Service - 9/10
Ambiance - 8/10
For the longest while, it seemed there was a drought of good Chinese restaurants in Chinatown, what with Harbour City Restaurant closing down and several others still closed from the flood. Thankfully, it seems like Chinatown is turning the corner with some great new restaurants opening up that are offering some unique takes on traditional Chinese dishes. One of our favourites so far is Dragon Chinese Restaurant located directly across the street from the new Bow building on 5th Avenue. A nice plus is the plentiful street parking right across the street which is free after 6pm!
If you've dined at an authentic Chinese restaurant before, you'll know that the service sometimes is not a priority. Here though, the owners and servers are all enthusiastic and welcoming. They get you started with tea, Chinese carrot and daikon pickles and roasted peanuts as soon as you are seated.
We started with the house special soup of the night which was a broth made from snow fungus. Sometimes traditional Chinese soups can be bitter and medicinal however this one was really satisfying and tasty.
Overall, the main dishes we tried were all really well prepared and full of flavour without having any of that MSG aftertaste that can sometimes plague some lesser Chinese restaurants. The highlight was probably the stir fried lotus root which was garnished with roasted pork, snap peas, and crispy deep fried white fish. The veggies were still crisp and showed that the chef really has some skills with the wok.
The 'paper-skin' fried chicken gets it name from the fact that when perfectly fried, the skin of the chicken is crispy and as thin as a sheet of paper. The meat was well seasoned and really moist.
Our second vegetable dish included steamed pea shoots, fried garlic, gingko nuts and bean curd. Normally steamed vegetables can be kind of boring but the broth and fried garlic added so much flavour that you forget how healthy this dish is.
The next dish of egg whites and scallops might sound like an odd combination, but once you try it you'll never think that again.
Next up was a dish of steamed fish served with a picked cabbage and soy sauce. The fish was really fresh and steamed to perfection.
For dessert we had the red bean soup and mango pudding. Both were delicious and a great end to our meal.
We have already been back a couple of times and we are still just as impressed as the first time we came.