We were out almost the whole day yesterday from 10 am to 4:30 pm. It was hot. My partner was sweating all over. We took taxi from one place to another, and did some short distance walking. It was not that expensive in Australian dollar. The locals seldom catch the taxi. The taxi is not supposed to charge a fix fare. But, Penang is a small place and most distance travelled is not far enough for the driver to use the meter. I have a mix feeling on this fare charging. In the past I get upset when they refused to use the meter. But, nowadays I can’t be bothered as the driver doesn’t make much profit.
The first time I had a meal at Dragon-I was a couple of years ago at their first outlet in Penang at the Queensbay Mall, across from where we were staying. I had not thought much about the place after that. It was not that great to make me want to go back again, and it was quite expensive.
But, I am glad my partner and I went to try this second and new outlet at Gurney Plaza. We were happy with our meal this time, and thought it was a fair price when it came to paying the bill.
I guess it is reasonable to give a place a second time if the first time was a somewhat mediocre eating experience. It may be that the first time when we took our little nephew and niece we did not ordered the right dishes for ourself. We ordered things that we thought our little companions would be happy to eat.
This time, we ordered their house specialty, Xiao Long Pow (steamed dumpling), Low Mien Hot and Sour Soup, Stir Fried Low Mien with Shredded Meat, Hot Chili Meat Dumpling and Scallion Pancake, and Soya Milk drink. The bill came to MYR$77.65 (about AUD$26) included 10% service charge and 5% government tax.
This second outlet at Gurney Plaza is less opulent in their deco than their first outlet at Queensbay Mall. I prefer the ambience and view of this restaurant at Queensbay Mall, which partially overlook a sea channel.
Xiao Long Pow – the house specialty. Probably the best I have ever tasted. It was packed with a nice subtle flavour that oozed with a burst of stock flavour when bitten in one bite mouthful. Best eaten with the whole dumpling in one go!
This was even better – hot chili meat dumpling. Smooth dumpling skin with an interesting mixture of sweet, spicy and salty flavour. The chili stock flavour was superb.
I am not a big fan of shallot pancake, but my partner love to order this appetizing snack when it is available in a restaurant menu. I found this too oily for my liking.
These two noodle dishes (Low Mien) were both fantastic. I ordered the hot and sour noodle soup. It came in a huge bowl. I was very surprised! The serving size was enough to share among 4 people. The stir fried Low Mien was equally delightful, ordered by my partner. But he preferred my choice so we exchanged. The stir fried Low Mien was accompanied well with the chili pastes on the side.
We probably ate a bit too much! That gave us enough energy to do more shopping!
When evening arrived, the dark clouds set in. We were staying at a family condominium apartment that overlooks the city and mountain ranges. We could see the rolling storm clouds. The weather pattern was almost the same since we arrived in Penang. It was steamy hot and breezy in the day. Then rain in the early evening. But last night was the biggest storm we had since we arrived, and caused some massive traffic jam on the highway. We were getting ready for dinner. My sister and mum arrived to pick us up. We went to Jade Blossom Restaurant, which is not far from where we were staying. In a normal traffic, it takes 10 minutes for us to get there. But, last night we were stuck in the traffic and took an hour to get to the restaurant! We were all hungry by the time we got there. I was more worried for my mum.
We have been to Jade Blossom a few years ago, and only once. My partner remembered we had a great meal the last time. This time, he wanted to shout my mum and sister. We ordered a steamed snapper in Hong Kong style, steamed prawns with white eggs and Chinese cooking wine, pork belly with salted fish, bean curd with fish roe and crab meat and fried rice with salted egg yolk. The bill came to MYR$128 (about AUD$43). It was an excellent dinner. Much better food and value than the other place, Lau EE, we had on mother’s birthday.