While doing my research for late night eats on the computer, I stumbled upon Dragon House. A quick look at its location and it didn't seem to ring a bell, especially since I drive by that area often. Even a quick peak at Google Street View and all I got was an Indian restaurant. Well, apparently it does exist. Driving by late one night, the place was bustling with activity. Late night spicy Szechuan eats? Not sure how that would "sit" with everyone. After our weekly Friday night hockey game, I suggested to the group that we give it a go. The promise of Szechaun beef noodles seemed to seal the deal. Yes, I realize that there are many more than that in terms of representing Szechuan cuisine, but Milhouse, Gordo and Emilicious aren't exactly fans of super spicy food.
With that in mind, we kept the extreme spicy dishes to a minimum starting with a mild one being the - Beef Pancake. We loved how they grilled it so it wasn't overly oily on the outside. Instead, it was crisp and pleasing visually. The beef filling was moist and flavourful with a sweet onion slant. I've had many version of this dish where the meat is bursting with oil, yet this one did not have this problem. A few drops of vinegar really brought the pancake to life. So our next items were their specialty - Skewers. We had 2 each of the Lamb, Pork and Beef. The spice level was pretty mild since the rest of the gang requested it. Not it wasn't devoid of flavour by any means. There was still a kick and well-seasoned. The meats were moist per se, yet they weren't too dry either. The lamb was super fatty though.
Now these were the smaller skewers which were about $1.00 - $2.00 each. There were much larger ones going for around $3.00 - $5.00. The one that caught Milhouse's eye was the Bacon-wrapped Fish Balls. Yes, that drew a reaction from all of us and he insisted we try the balls. I asked if they would be "salty"... due to the bacon... Well, they weren't salty. In fact, for something I didn't have high hopes for, it was pretty tasty. The bacon was fried up crisp and the mayo/spicy seasoning really completed the flavours. Who doesn't like mayo on their balls? One dish I insisted on trying was the Double-Cooked Pork (no, not more balls!). I really liked their version as the sauce consisting of black beans, chili oil, chilis and soy hit my tastebuds with authority. It wasn't too spicy (again, we requested medium). If I was here by myself, I would've asked for a few notches higher. The entire dish was cooked with plenty of wok heat where the caramelization of the ingredients was visually evident as well as a smoky flavour. The pork was fatty and tender (a touch dry from the cooking), however, the dish could've stood for more of it.
Now for the dish that lured everyone here in the first place - the Szechuan Beef Noodle. When we started to eat it, the Szechuan peppercorns started to do their thing and the numbing sensation settled in. I liked this spicy flavourfulness while others were yearning for the milder Taiwanese version. Wimps! Anyways, the hand-pulled noodles were the best part. They were chewy and fresh. How fresh? They were made-to-order. The beef was fairly tender, but since they were in small little bits, there were some drier portions. We also got the Fried Noodles with Lamb and Cumin (insert joke here). Hey, nothing like lamb and cumin eh? And yes, there was a definite cumin hit (get your minds outta the gutter!). The noodles were chewy while completely covered in grease. The lamb was tender though and with a decent amount of spice coupled with the copious amount of cumin, we enjoyed this dish nonetheless.
This was supposed to be the last of our dishes, but somehow Milhouse became fixated on the Frog Legs. Was he watching Sesame Street in the morning and had Kermit on his mind? Whatever the case, we had it as an add-on. The legs were fried and tossed in red chili peppers, sesame seeds, salt and fried Szechuan Peppercorns. The legs were moist while the batter was soft and greasy. There was some spice, but it really wasn't as bad as it looked. Ultimately, we never requested a higher spice level, so the meal could've been hotter. For most of the group, the flavours were fine. We were pretty satisfied with the food, especially for late night.
- Plenty of flavour
- Okay pricing
- Open late
- Tight seating