A familiar sight of chefs in clinical white uniforms, complete with mouth masks; kneading dumplings away behind the aquarium glass tank. They called themselves the descendants of the “dragon” or phonetically – the “steamer basket”, as that’s what Dragon-i is famous for, steamy Xiao Long Bao.
Like Din Tai Fung, Dragon-i is another restaurant chains that offers traditional Shanghainese dishes such as Xiao Long Bao and La Mian Noodle in a modern setting with dark lacquered wooden tables and long threads of velvet red drapes. Me and my friend found ourselves at the Dragon-i in 1 Utama for dinner tonight and I’ve decided to let the local in charge of the menu and orders a few signature dishes to share.
First dish to share is the honey glazed smoked duck breast pancakes. A DIY fun of thin sliced duck breast with very little smoked flavour, together with crispy fried beancurd sheet, wrapped inside a rather unflattering square of warm roll. A smidgen of plum sauce perhaps would bring this dish to life.
A little pizza of scallion pancakes are deep fried until golden brown with a nice crispy skin. Again, very little scallions to be found inside the pancake and a doughy chewiness on each bite.
The Soy Chicken steamed rice with Lup Cheong and Shiitake Mushroom is probably my favorite dish. The soy chicken is slippery smooth and succulent glued to the flavorsome steamed rice enhanced by the saltiness of the lup cheong (Chinese sausage) and the Shiitake mushroom. But there is an unidentified cob-webbed slimyness in the rice, which is questionable.
The signature dish of Xiao Long Bao has finally arrived in the steamer basket. The master skills of the chefs are clearly shown in the presentation, with delicate dumplings plaited exactly 18 times each. I can’t help but keeps comparing these xiao long bao with those at Din Tai Fung. The skin is not as translucent and thin as should be, and also sadly with very little soup broth inside.
It is rather a bit underwhelming. But then, I’ve tasted worst in Sydney too.
As for dessert, we both share a plate of Souffle egg white balls with red bean and banana. It is like a giant soft marshmallow with hot gooey red bean and melted banana filling inside.
Dragon-i is a little pricey for Malaysia standard, and I also think the quality of the food can be improved. That’s what I’ve found with the restaurant chains in Malaysia, they expand widely and aggressively across the country with franchise outlets everywhere. Unfortunately with very little promising on food quality assurance.
Nevertheless, I have had my xiao long bao fix and I am happy.
Dragon-i 1 Utama Shopping Mall Lot-S313A New Wing P: +603 7725 8822