Saturday, June 3, 2017

Dragon Noodle Academy (Hong Kong, CHINA) ★★★☆☆

I needed to do a couple of things in Central this afternoon and with my little nugget around, fine dining won't be an option but luckily, there are tons of dining options around here including Dragon Noodle Academy (龍麵館), a place that I've been waiting to check out personally.

At first, I thought they are a noodle place (judging from its name) but they turned out to be much more. Imagine a lobster themed dim sum and noodle joint with a dark dungeon vibe and a bit of kungfu twist. That pretty much sums it up.

We were pleasantly surprised that they're still open for lunch after half past two. It was right after we got seated that we were told the restaurant actually opens from 11:30AM to 11PM without stoppage but the food menu does change ever so slightly after lunch hours with less dim sum to offer.

I'm all for the throwback theme. The city definitely needs more of these kind of restaurants.

I got some stuff to play with before our food arrives.....

Dragon Noodle Academy probably gets its name from two of their signature items - Dragon (presumably lobster, which is pronounced "dragon prawn" in Chinese) and noodle but they're far from a one-trick pony. I heard they have a pretty good peking duck too (marinating in the oven now).  

First, some homemade camomile tea to quench my thirst. Thought it tasted a little weird but then I'm never a big fan of tea to begin with.

Seasonal vegetables in soup (濃湯時蔬) ($79) - Something healthy before the funky stuff arrives. The bok choy was served in a light broth with some crisp lily bulb on top. Not bad.

Steamed crab and shrimp dumplings (半蝦半蟹餃) ($59) - Our run of funky dim sum started here with the "half shrimp half crab" dumplings. This was pretty tasty with lots of diced shrimp and crab meat in there and the wrapper was fairly thin making the experience even more enjoyable. 

Crispy lobster puff (龍蝦蘿蔔酥) ($69x2) - For a moment, we all thought we ordered live lobster but no, it's their crispy lobster puff. This tasted almost exactly like a puff pastry with shredded radish (蘿蔔絲酥餅) but with lobster meat as filling. I thought the crust was really flaky with the sweetness of the lobster meat backing it up nicely. It didn't have the usual multiple layers of a puff pastry with shredded radish but no complaints from me there.


Steamed shrimp rice rolls (即拉海蝦腸) ($69) - Okay, the shrimp rice roll doesn't qualify as a funky dim sum. It was decent but probably one that I could do without.

63°C poached egg on turnip cake (泉蛋蒸蘿蔔) ($59) - I was curious to see how the turnip cake worked with the 63°C poached egg but sadly, the result was a bit appalling. The turnip cake itself was pretty good though with the sweet soy and dried shrimp providing extra flavors and texture to the mix. 

Black truffle taro puff (黑松露芋角) ($49) - Another combination that I thought could go a long way but didn't.

It's a nice idea to have a taro puff made with truffled crust but that was way too thick and not flaky like it's supposed to be. On the bright side, I thought the filling of diced mushrooms, green pea and sweet corn in a light black truffle sauce was pretty delicious.


Lobster and shrimp roe "lo mein" (龍肉撈麵) ($149) - We're saving the best for last here with the lobster and shrimp roe lo mein making the curtain call.

I have the feeling that the lobster bisque would be a good match for the Chinese noodle and I was right on the money!

I can see they've put a lot of thoughts into the design of this place paying homage to the traditions of Hong Kong. We have enough Hong Kong-style tea restaurant with reto Hong Kong setting already, it's about time to get one with a more sophisticated food menu.

Food Rating: 5/10
Price: $$$
Address: Man Yee Arcade Shop G04, G/F, Man Yee Building, No. 68 Des Voeux Road, Central, Hong Kong
Closest Metro Station: Central
Tel: +852 2561-6688

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