Here we go again, whenever I try out the Dim Sum service of a new Chinese restaurant, a follow up post on dinner arrives shortly afterwards. Why the dedication? Well, as many of you know, the Dim Sum chef and dinner chef are generally 2 different people. Hence, both experiences are usually very different. So with Dim Sum out of the way at Van Dragon, we made our way back to try out the dinner service. Remembering back to the ol' Tung Sing Chin, there was a good chance it would be better since hardly anything could be as bad as before (I know it's my Father-in-Law's friend, but the truth is the truth!).
We ended up ordering the set dinner for 4 which began with the Daily Soup which happened to be a broth consisting of chicken feet, pork, burdock root, young fern stems and mushrooms. We found it mildly seasoned with a slight herbal quality to it. With only the broth and no ingredients, my son was tricked into drinking it. LOL... Next up was the Steamed Free-Range Chicken (I guess that is where they got the chicken feet from...). It arrived in an appealing yellow hue with gelatinous skin (and plenty of gelatin underneath). We found the meat well-seasoned and texturally on point with a gelatinous meaty quality. Even the white meat was moist and not chewy at all. The grated ginger condiment was good with only a modest amount of green onion as filler.
Next, we yielded to my son's wishes in ordering the 2 courses of Peking Duck in addition to our set meal. Again, this is as foodie as he gets going for crispy duck skin. This version was indeed crispy with plenty of meat still attached underneath. We found the layer of fat to be acceptable (still had to scrap off some from the breast portion) while the duck meat was moist. A minor criticism would be the colour as it could've been a more richer hue. We loved the crepes though as they were light and airy despite being somewhat thick. Onto the next course, we had the Duck Lettuce Wrap that was a fairly large portion as the layer of fried mung bean noodles was minimal. There was more than enough moist chunks of duck meat mixed in with crunchy veggies which were the beneficiary of proper wok heat. However, they could've diced the veggies a bit larger.
Doused in enough sauce to make a porno look tame, the Lobster with noodles and cream sauce was practically still swimming. Therefore, the noodles were not exactly al dente or that appetizing. The lobster itself was okay though being buttery with a light snap quality. As you can probably ascertain, the sauce was a bit watery and bland as a result. Moving on, we were presented with a plate of Steamed Basa topped with a good amount of minced and salted garlic. Actually, the garlic was loaded not only with salt, but an equal amount of MSG. Hence, the dish was not longing for flavour. In fact, it was probably too salty, yet for myself, I didn't mind it since I love garlic and the fish needed seasoning anyways. It was steamed nicely though being soft and flaky.
Our veggie dish of the meal was the Braised Baby Bak Choy with roasted whole garlic cloves, slivered ginger and Virigina ham. Normally, when I prepare this at home, I need to add an obscene amount of salt to make it taste good due to the water content. Well, these tasted well-seasoned, so yes, there was a lot of salt involved (mostly likely helped by the slivered Virginia ham). With that being said, the bak choy was prepared properly though retaining a crunch and its vibrancy. We finished off with the Yeung Chow Fried Rice which was ironically lacking in seasoning. The chewy rice was texturally right as with the shrimp and BBQ Pork. But each bite was rather uneventful. Overall though, we though the food was decent and well-portioned. Definitely a step up from before.
- Friendly service, just like our other 2 visits
- Decent dinner service
- Okay portions
- Some seasoning issues, either too salty and/or too bland