Located in Bur Dubai at the Howard Johnson Hotel, Red Dragon is a popular Pan-Asian eatery serving Far Eastern food. I was invited to sample their renewed menu recently.
Ambiance: The interiors of the restaurant hid its age very well with the conventional Oriental black and red theme used throughout while the ambient lighting added a premium touch. One thing I didn’t like was the background music and the repetitive DVD playing videos from cities in Asia – it makes it seem like the restaurant is trying a bit too hard to look Far-Eastern.
What we had: The menu was quite expansive but the waiters were helpful in picking out the dishes. For starters, I was served the Veg 65 (30 AED), Mongolian Chicken (38 AED) and Prawns Pepper Salt (65 AED). The Veg 65 was a great alternative for vegetarians while the Prawns Pepper Salt was my favorite from the set – the prawns were juicy and tender and the peppery sauce was the perfect complement to it! I wasn’t a huge fun of the Mongolian Chicken, though, as it was on the spicier side of the spectrum and tasted too similar to Pakistani/Indian tikka.
The main course involved Lamb Oyster Chili (55 AED) and Singaporean Seafood Fried Rice (45 AED): the lamb was succulent and the thick sauce added a perfect zing to it while the rice was below average and nothing to brag about. For drinks, I tried the Mint Cooler (25 AED) which was refreshing but nowhere near as good as all the others served in the city for the same price.
The best was saved for last as the dessert – Date Pancake with Ice Cream (18 AED) – was a delicious ending: the date pancake wrapped in warm pancake strips made a meticulous match for the vanilla ice cream, I particularly loved the drizzle of sesame seeds and honey on top.
Highs: Generally good food (particularly the desserts) in a tasteful setting. The vast menu means I’ll definitely drop by again!
Lows: Skip a few options in the main courses
Verdict: Massive choice of Asian food at a fair choice makes it worth a visit.
^Red Dragon can be reached at zomato.com/dubai/red-dragon-mankhool/info or 043938538. Thanks to Jive with Deepti for the invite and the entire Red Dragon team for sticking around despite closing time!