Dragon-i (established in 2004) opened its first outlet in Mid Valley Megamall offering signature dishes like "siu long bao" (Shanghainese steamed meat dumplings) and "la mian' (hand pulled noodles). It has since grown to more than 10 outlets in the country and though I've been to Dragon-I @ Cheras Leisure Mall before, we ended up here for dinner one evening.
Dragon-i's menu looks a bit similar to Din Tai Fung's although the former's menu has more variety. As usual, you'll find their condiments of chilli oil, vinegar and soy sauce readily available on the table (I didn't care for their chilli paste though).
We started off with a crispy appetiser of Crispy Caramelised Eel @ RM18. The slithers of eel are deep fried and then tossed in some sort of a sweetish sauce. The eels were definitely very crispy but that's about it, I couldn't really detect any taste of the eel other than a sweet caramelised crunchy batter. That said, I think it would appeal to young children who loves anything crispy.
The next appetiser was a chef recommended dish, their signature Chilled Drunken Chicken with "Hua Diao" Rice Wine @ RM16 (not cheap for just 5 slices of chicken). To create this dish, they cooked the specially selected farm chicken in low heat and then soaked it in a Chinese wine base to totally infuse the chicken with the wine flavour. The tender chicken pieces are served chilled with a very robust wine broth. If you like a very intense wine flavour, it's good but, for me, the intensity of the wine was too much for my palate.
For our final starter, I chose the Deep Fried Beancurd with Salt & Pepper @ RM8. You get small cubes of smooth soft tofu with a crisp exterior that has been seasoned with salt and pepper (not black pepper but what seemed like Sichuan pepper to me). We enjoyed this dish very much.
We ordered Fried Rice with Ham, Shrimps & Fish @ RM18 as one of our mains instead of the usual fried rice with pork chop. The fried rice (best shared if you're a small eater) was fried with bits of shredded pork, egg and scallions. Taste wise, it was pleasant enough (though I've eaten better fried rice than this). Also, my son didn't like the Chinese ham.
Our other main was the La Mian with Shredded Pork & Potherb Mustard @ RM15. The la mian was perfectly cooked and the "ching" broth was fairly delicious but may be too subtle for some. I particularly liked the soft pickled potherb mustard (don't know what it's called in Chinese though).
My Personal Opinion
All in all, the food was acceptable, just not as good as Din Tai Fung's. As far as siu long bao is concerned, I definitely preferred Din Tai Fung's version. On other occasions, I've tried some of their dim sum items which turned out quite ok.
I found Dragon-i's portions (especially the fried rice and la mian) to be a bit too hefty for one person to finish but (then again) that's me, I prefer smaller portions so that I have 'room' to sample more types of food.
Price wise, almost similar but (maybe) a tad higher than Din Tai Fung's. You can give this place a try (if you like this kind of food), just don't have too high an expectation and you'll be fine.
Lot G22 & G22A Ground Floor
Cheras Leisure Mall
Taman Segar Cheras
56100 Kuala Lumpur
Tel: 03-9130 0688
Tel: 03-9130 0688