Dragon-i, perhaps the first Chinese restaurant brand that brought proper xiao long boa and Chinese cuisine from the region of Shanghai, Szechuan, Beijing and Lanzhou, has been operating since some 14 years ago, is now relaunching 3 of their outlets to “Dragon-i Peking Duck Restaurant“, and I was invited to sample this new dish that they now offer at their 1-Utama outlet.
This was quite interesting for me, as Dragon-i at 1-Utama was one of my earliest food blog entry all the way back in 2005.
Dragon-i Peking Duck Restaurant at 1-Utama
Well, compared to 13 years ago, the restaurant has seen quite a bit of an upgrade in its interior decoration. First and foremost, it has a new logo with a little duck by the side, the dining area looks a lot more up-class and comfortable, and most importantly, it also spot an open roasting room for Peking Duck, where you can observe the chef from Beijing expertly prepare the bird for your indulgence.
Peking duck roasting room with Chef from Beijing
As for the duck itself, I was informed that they’re imported from China to ensure consistent quality and standard demanded by the chef. The roasting process is done by employing traditional brick hung ovens and roast for about an hour on controlled fire over fruit-tree wood.
The idea is to employ strict traditional method to get that crispy skin with tender & succulent duck meat that is infused with smoky floral aroma, just like how it should be.
crispy tender peking duck skin, expertly carved
The Peking duck dish comes in two choices. You can choose a “Peking Duck Two-Course Meal” that comes with Peking duck & duck bone soup with soft beancurd. This is a half duck course that feeds two pax and priced at RM 105.
However, if you have 3-4 pax (or a very good appetite), I’d suggest to go for the “Peking Duck Three-Course Meal” that serves a whole duck, the above mentioned soup, and a choice of
deep-fried duck’s bone with salt & pepper
stir-fried duck’s bone in Hunan style
braised rice noodle with black truffle and shredded duck meat
stir-fried shredded duck meat with vegetarian shark’s fin
all at RM 158.
Peking duck 3-course meal
Which was precisely what was served to us, and I’m happy to say that the Peking duck was indeed as described – crispy skin & succulent meat at the same time.
We had it the proper way of wrapping the duck meat with thin pancake skin, sweet sauce, cucumber, leek, and winter melon. The resulting roll is an explosion of taste & texture that no other dish can offer. I love it, and you bet we finished the whole portion.
Signature appetizer platter – chilled chicken, stewed mushroom,
pickled radish, deep fried bean curd, caramelized eel
Other than the Peking Duck, we were also served with some of their other dishes in the menu.
Starting with the Signature Appetizer Platter that consists of five different dishes (RM 83) with the following:
chilled chicken with “hua diao” rice wine
deep-fried vegetarian beancurd skin roll
crispy caramelized eel
You can also order these dishes on its own, and if I had to pick one, it’ll have to be either the chilled chicken or the stewed mushroom. I especially love the rice wine undertone the chicken carries.
braised pork belly with steamed buns, sauteed mixed vegetable, Shanghainese steamed meat dumpling, steamed black pepper duck meat bun
For those who loves some good old fashion porky goodness, there’s the Braised Pork Belly with Steamed Buns (RM 88). The dish is beautifully prepared with the pork belly crafted in a pagoda-liked shape. The portion for this is quite big though, and I reckon should serve at least 4 pax, tender 3-layer meat in those soft steamed buns, the best oriental porky “burger” if you like.
Sauteed Mixed Vegetable (RM 25) provided a good change of pace in texture and freshness, and Steamed Black Pepper Shredded Duck Meat Bun (RM 12) provided yet another way for us to enjoy another different way the duck is served.
Of course, we also took the opportunity to sample the one dish that kick-started this franchise from all those years ago – the Shanghainese Steamed Meat Dumplings, or Xiao Long Bao (RM 12). Tasted just as it was the first time I set foot in this restaurant.
Additionally, we also tried the Sauteed Diced Chicken with Dried Flower Chili in Szechuan Style (RM 38), or commonly known as “la ji zhi”, 辣子鸡. A dish with quick a bit of a kick that I absolutely adored, if you’re really adventurous, the imported fried chili can be chewed down for that numb and burning sensation (I didn’t try, but one guy over the session did).
And last but not least (actually was the first dish I had), for the soup lover, their Double-boiled Hydrangea Beancurd, Sea Cucumber and Matsutake (RM 38) soup is one not to be missed. The soup was sweet with seafood goodness, and that tofu that’s expertly cut into 2,800 strands is really something to behold.
Over all we definitely had a great time and awesome lunch at Dragon-i. I think it is time we start to look at Peking duck as a delicacy that is to be enjoyed not only during special occasions such as near & around CNY, but all year round too.
Dragon-i Peking Duck Restaurants are located at 1-Utama, Pavilion KL, and JBCC Komtar.
Address: Dragon-i Peking Duck Lot S313A, 2nd Floor Highstreet, 1 Utama Shopping Mall, No. 1 Lebuh Bandar Utama, Bandar Utama, 47800 Petaling Jaya, Selangor. GPS: 3.150050, 101.615939 Tel : 03 7725 8822
Continuing our effect of exploring more eateries in the west part of Klang Valley that is .. Klang itself, today we’re going to look at one of the most popular roast duck restaurants in the area.
The name of the restaurant is I-Po, and as you may have guessed, a play on the spelling of Ipoh, the town up north famous for ladies with fair skin and temples within holes in their mountains.
Resotran I-Po, Klang
The restaurant itself isn’t too difficult to find, it is accessible via two different major roads in Klang, and parking isn’t something entirely too challenging.
As an additional advantage, unlike most restaurants in Klang, this one speaks Cantonese (since they’re from Ipoh, I assume) in addition to Klang style Hokkien and Mandarin, which can be convenient to some.
roast duck, roast pork, ribs, and more
The restaurant offers a little more than just roast duck, you can also find roast pork, bbq pork, pork ribs, and several types of vegetables, tofu, eggs, almost ala mixed rice style.
For lunch, we ordered a portion of roast duck, roast pork, ribs, and some salted vegetable to go with good old fashion steamed rice. A little bit of everything, really.
a closer look at these roast meat goodness
The roast duck did not disappoint, properly flavored, succulent meat with crispy skin, could hold its own among the better ones (such as Loong Foong & Sunrise in PJ, Chen Chen in KL, Sun Ming in Cheras), but the duck seems slightly smaller in size though.
They’ve also got the skin for their roast pork down perfectly, which seems like something eateries at Klang does very well. The pork ribs though isn’t exactly comparable with the gems at Peng Heong just a few kilometers away.
What I really like though, is the condiments they provide here. The home-made chili sauce here is very different from the ones you get at usual roast duck places, it is slightly sweeter but has a good kick to it, I find it very appealing. Of course, the usual roast duck sauce is offered as well.
Haze and KY at I-Po restaurant
Overall I’d say it is a restaurant definitely worth visiting, especially if you’re at this part of town. Food’s pretty good and prices are fair. Remember, Klang isn’t just about bak kut teh.
Address: I-Po Restoran 180, Jalan Batu Unjur 1, Taman Bayu Perdana, 41200 Klang, Selangor GPS: 3.015270, 101.432853 Tel: 03-3324 2295 Hours: 8am to 5pm, closes on Wednesday
A couple weeks ago we were invited to sample Chef Sam Lu’s menu at Saujana Hotel’sTi Chen Chinese restaurant. Chef Sam Lu is the new man in charge of the kitchen at Ti Chen, and one with multiple awards under his belt.
Saujana’s Ti Chen Chinese Restaurant with Chef Sam Lu (right)
Chef Sam learnt the fundamentals of Chinese cuisine by attending the Chinese Cooking Course under China Hakka Famous Chefs and was also trained at the China Development Center of Molecular Gastronomy. In this menu, the play between molecular gastronomy and traditional Chinese cuisine is very apparent, and we were lucky enough to be one of the few who got to try his creation at Saujana.
For this media review, we were served the following 7 course menu.
deep fried scallops with banana & taro paste
roasted chicken roll with Korean BBQ sauce
The dinner got underway with a pair of appetizers.
Deep fried scallop with banana and taro paste was a bit like an East-meet-West dimsim & dessert marriage. Banana gave the dish a soft and sweet texture, while the scallop contributed to the taste of seafood, pretty interesting.
Roasted chicken roll with Korean BBQ sauce had a bit more of a traditional palate with a hint of Korean flavor, I find myself enjoying it quite a bit. The carefully roasted garlic was just an icing on the cake.
double boiled village chicken with fish maw soup
The double boiled village chicken with fish maw soup was the one dish that actually enticed Haze and I to go to this review session. We were spending a lot of time with house renovation and thought a bowl of good soup would do us well, we were not wrong.
According to the good chef, the soup took no shorter than 6 hours to prepare. The fish maw was soft and tender, and the soup positively rejuvenating.
steamed cod fish with Chinese herbs
My favorite dish came next – the steamed cod fish with Chinese herbs. The filet was absolutely fantastic, it was tender, juicy, and just lightly seasoned. I like the presence of wolf berry in the broth, and that foam from the influence of molecular gastronomy.
butter garlic fried-rice with crab meat, roast duck
As with any proper Chinese course dinner, there’s always a dish with carbo, and our version came in the form of butter garlic fried-rice with crab meat. Instead of the traditional dryer and more fluffy type of fried rice, this version takes the cue from Italian risotto and prepared a little wetter. To be honest, I prefer the Chinese fried rice of old, not that this one is bad, it was just.. unfamiliar.
We were also given a plate of roast duck, which was prepared differently from the traditional method. It was tender, juicy, and goes very well with any sort of rice, or just on its own.
Desserts came in the form of Sam’s coffee pudding and bake homemade almond cream bun. I personally liked the almond cream bun, but almond is a bit of an acquired taste so I think it didn’t find too many fans among the reviewers around the table. The coffee pudding had a better reception for sure, with it’s cute presentation and subtle coffee taste to a sweet ending.
Ti Chen is open from Tuesday to Fridays for lunch (12-2:30pm), dinner (6-10pm) and on Saturdays & Sundays for lunch (9-2:30pm) and dinner (6-10pm).
A couple weeks ago I was invited to Di Wei Chinese Restaurant at Empire Hotel to sample their mooncakes for the upcoming Mid-Autumn festival as well as a few of their new fish dishes.
It was my second time visiting this rather classy non-halal Chinese restaurant, with the first time sampling some alcohol product that was never brought into the country commercially (Yuzu!), hence the lack of prior blog entry.
Di Wei Chinese cuisine restaurant at Empire Hotel, Subang Jaya
The restaurant is accessible from the hotel as well as directly from the top floor of the shopping mall. Like most Chinese restaurants, Di Wei carries a pretty decent selection of dishes, from bbq meat, traditional double boiled soup, dried seafood such as abalone and sea cucumber, live seafood, beef, pork, chicken, duck, beancurd, egg, vegetable dishes as well as fried rice and noodle.
On our review session, we sampled three new fish dishes as well as their mooncakes.
Braised Marble Goby Fish with Iced Beancurd and Pork Belly
First dish was braised marble goby fish with iced beancurd and pork belly (RM 168++ per portion).
Marble goby is one of the most prized freshwater fish for its smooth texture and layering meat. The usual preparation method usually by steaming, but the chef at Di Wei decided to deep fry the fish and braise with special sauce with addition of pork belly and iced beancurd.
The beancurd, being frozen prior has many air pockets that soaks up the sauce, which makes for an interesting way to enjoy the dish. The fish did not lose it’s original taste with the deep frying process, but gained extra smoothness from pork belly. I love it.
Steamed Seabass in Assam Sauce
Next up was steamed seabass in assam sauce(RM 122++ per 100 gram). It was basically a high class version of asam fish that is quite common in many Chinese restaurants, with seabass doing the major lifting in the quality department. This dish should be consumed quickly if served in the heated bowl, as the heat may otherwise overcook the fish over time.
Pan Fried Giant Grouper with Green Apple Sauce
Pan fried giant grouper with green apple sauce (RM 23++ per 100 gram) is a dish that may not get approval for giant grouper lovers who love to have this fish the traditional way – steamed with superior soya sauce.
I tend to agree, but pan frying the fish gives the skin a new and exciting texture to ponder about, with the addition of apple sauce making it pretty interesting. It is a bold attempt no doubt, but one that hasn’t surpass the traditional cooking method of this prized seafood yet, I’m afraid.
traditional baked mooncakes, RM 18-23 each
So then, lets move to mooncakes.
The traditional mooncakes from Di Wei we sampled are as follow:
pandan lotus single yolk
white lotus single yolk
black sesame single yolk
pure lotus single yolk
bamboo charcoal single yolk
My favorite being the bamboo charcoal and white lotus single yolk, and my complain is – why not double yolks? or even better, quadruple yolks?
snow skin mooncakes, RM 18-23 each
As for snow skin mooncakes that are best chilled, we had the following:
snow skin white lotus single yolk
snow skin green tea single yolk
snow skin black sesame single yolk
snow skin bamboo charcoal single yolk
I like them all, but my favorites were black sesame and bamboo charcoal versions.
Di Wei’s 3 meat platter
Since mooncakes and three dishes of fish weren’t exactly fulfilling enough to our collective stomachs, we ordered Di Wei’s three meat platter as extra (small – RM40++, medium – RM60++, big – RM80++).
The BBQ pork (chasiu) was perhaps not the best I’ve had, but the roast duck very good, and roast pork turned out to be really excellent.
So if you’re into mooncakes, Di Wei offers some excellent choices, and for good quality fish in some non traditional cooking style, this is also a place you should check out.
Address: Di Wei L1, F20 & F21 Empire Hotel, Jalan SS16/1, Subang Jaya, Selangor Darul Ehsan GPS: 3.082109, 101.582716 Tel: 03-5565 1228
Every once in a while, I get carried away ends up somewhere just a little bit too for lunch during work week. This was one such occasion that happened several weeks ago when my badminton buddies called up for a quick lunch.
Our first option was closed, and so somehow we ended up traveling from Bukit Bintang all the way to Cheras for a promise of good roast duck and yong tau foo at Restaurant Sun Ming.
restaurant Sun Ming at Taman Connaught, Cheras
Located at Taman Connaught, Sun Ming was super busy when we arrived at around one pm in the afternoon. Parking was a bit of an interesting affair but with patience one usually prevails.
There’s usually a line at the restaurant, don’t follow the line unless you are going to tapao. We worked our way inside the restaurant and stood beside some patrons who were finishing up their food, like vultures to dying animals, but our aim was an empty table.
roast duck, roast pork, chasiu, yong tau foo
It took another 25 minutes or so to have our food served after we were seated and made our orders. This is definitely not a place to visit if you’re in a hurry.
Fortunately, the quality of food makes up for what’s lacking in speed of service.
we also ordered bean sprouts in addition to all those meat
The roast duck had crispy skin and juicy meat, the roast pork savory, and the bbq pork too is on par with some of the bests I’ve tried from anywhere. As far as roast meat is concerned, they got it right.
As for the yong tau foo, the version at Sun Ming is deep fried version that is increasingly harder to find. If you haven’t tried deep fried yong tau foo, you should. They tastes pretty different from your usual soup based version, and I think works well with the other dishes.