Mon to Sun, 12:00 noon - 3:00 pm
Mon to Sun, 6:00 pm - 11:00 pm
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Steamed pork dumplings
Pork terrin with vinegar jelly
Deep-fried king prawns with salted egg yolk
With its far-flung location, it’s unsurprising to see Dragon Inn catering to a combination of local residents and out-of-towners and travelling businessmen; nevertheless the restaurant has a comforting vibe about it, be it due to the number of families who congregate here for weekly dim sum, or the old world China charm of its décor. Ruby red accents stand out among a palette that centres on dark, handsome woods and neutrals. The tables are rather close together – something we have noted on past visits, but on the day of our lunch the restaurant was not so busy, resulting in a more tranquil atmosphere.
The menu can be a bit daunting with its multiple pages, but focus on the Huaiyang and Shanghainese specialties hidden among more typical Cantonese offerings and you shouldn’t go too far wrong. Our signature xiao long bao (a test of any restaurant of this genre) were just right in terms of dumpling wrapper thickness and elasticity, and the soup was suitably savoury. We were less impressed by the deep-fried king prawns with salted egg yolk, which were overly greasy and, strangely, not very salty. We also ordered a seasonal special of mixed and marinated bamboo shoots, which were refreshing and well seasoned enough for us to overlook the fact that there was only one variety of bamboo in the bowl. To kick things up a notch, the lamb mince noodles – a twist on pork zhajiangmian, comes with a good house-made chilli sauce on the side to add some punch. For special occasions, it’s worth asking the restaurant to reserve more complex dishes such as the traditional eight treasure duck. For dessert, we enjoyed a crystal clear osmanthus and wolfberry pudding, which was sweetly floral and a far better version than what we have tried at lesser restaurants.
Wines are not the focus here, with modest selections across most regions and the odd glass here or there. We’d recommend ordering a pot of premium longjing tea instead – the perfect refreshing accompaniment to the regional specialties on the menu.
Service is generally amiable, though more perfunctory than exceptional. We were, however, impressed with how the front of house staff handled the situation with our bamboo shoot dish, offering to replace it with another house special instead.
A meal for two with tea and service comes to around HK$500, more if you decide to order wine or more expensive seafood dishes. While not the most expensive, it’s difficult to justify a special journey to dine here, but if you’re in the area Dragon Inn is a reliable option.