- Name: dragon-i
- Cuisine: Dim sum (lunch)
- Club (nighttime)
- Cost: $$$ (HK$200+ for lunch buffet)
- Bargain: Pricey
- Payment: Cash, credit card
- Size: Big and spacious
- Station: Central
- Area: Central, Hong Kong Island, Hong Kong
My friends took me to dragon-i, a dim sum buffet, in The Centrium in Central. They’ve never been there but said that it got good buzz.
The restaurant is very big and very posh!! There are tons of tables and booths. They also have two bars, one at each end of the restaurant.
Its main business is actually as a night club. But for morning hours, 12-3 PM, they serve dim sum to fill the gap. Because it’s mainly a night club, the decor is such. Even though we were there during the afternoon, it was still relatively dark inside restaurant. Where we sat, there was relatively more lighting. At the other side of the restaurant, it was dimly lit. Some people might find it “romantic” but I personally like properly lit places. I hate not being to see what I’m eating or who I’m with. Also, there was an overwhelming smell of air fresheners. Like when someone sprays a restroom after they use it to try to mask the smell. It gave me a little headache.
What was interesting is that they have a unisex restroom. Each stall has its own toilet and faucet. The stalls are really deep and spacious. You can fit two stalls in the same length. It was also so dimly lit. It was so dark inside. You can’t even see if you wiped your ass properly or not. The picture might seem that it’s not that bad, but in actually, it’s much darker than the picture shows. Especially near the toilet.
Anyway, back to the actual restaurant. The buffet cost $228/person (~¥3,140). Not exactly cheap. But with each item at ~HK$60, if you order just four or five items separately, it’ll easily end up costing more. You can definitely get cheaper dim sum elsewhere in HK, but the quality at dragon-i was really good. We basically ordered nearly everything off the buffet menu.
TLDR version: basically everything was either good or great.
The baked BBQ pork with sesame puff was a variation of the char siu bun. There was a nice sweet glaze over pastry.
The deep-fried crab cake with shrimp paste were quite good. They were dense but fluffy. These usually show up on Chinese wedding menus and when they do, they’re mostly fillers. But these had no fillers. They had some chunks of shrimp mixed in with the shrimp paste. The batter was light but crispy, not overly oily. We ordered them three times!!
The fried turnip cake had a nice, thin, crispy crust.
The chili pork dumpling was decent/good. Nothing outstanding, or stood out.
I liked their phoenix claw. It was quite good. The skin was tender, not rubbery. The sauce/glaze was nice. Kinda wished for more chilies or some black beans here and there to give it more of a punch. But they were much better than Tim Ho Wan‘s. I didn’t like Tim Ho Wan‘s style of phoenix claws.
The har gow was also pretty good. It came with big pieces of shrimp. However, the dumpling skin falls apart a little too easily. If I remember correctly, Tim Ho Wan‘s har gow was amazing. Their skin was perfect. It was soft but elastic.
Steamed conpoy with crab meat with bamboo pith dumpling with supreme broth. The dumpling falls apart to reveal its contents. Some people who not used to the taste of bamboo pith might think the might taste a little soapy.
The shrimp cheung feng and char siu cheung feng were both good. Kinda wanted the noodle roll to soak up more of the sweet soy sauce.
The steamed cheung feng with crispy vegetables were filled with deep-fried veggies. They were nice and crisp and light. It gave the cheung feng nice contrasts in flavors and texture; soft smooth noodle roll with crispy fillings with fresh green taste of parsley.
I didn’t try the steamed chicken, BBQ pork, baby corn, and mushroom wrapped bean curd sheet since I was so full by then.
I also didn’t try the beef balls with parsley since I was too full. It looked moist and tender.
I did have a tiny bite of the steamed Szechuan diced beef tenderloin. It was sweet, savory, with hints of spice. It was very tender.
Looking at our bill, we ordered 24 dishes!!! Haha. If we ordered a la carte, it would’ve been over US$150.
TL;DR: Dim sum during the day; nightclub during the night.
Address: 港鐵中環站 D2 出口, 步行約7分鐘, Hong Kong Island, Hong Kong