Monday, February 22, 2010

Golden Dragon Palace

363 Manningham Road, Lower Templestowe VIC
P: 03 9852 4086

I was reading an article recently that was all about yum cha (I think it might have been in Epicure... or it could have been the extra food guide in the Sun... such a shame I now can't find it online). Anyway, it rated GDP as a top over-all place for yum cha. I figured I'd give it a go for dinner one night. Not yum cha, but a chance to sample their food all the same.

First up, an order of san choi bow. This was delicious, but a little overly generous as we had to eat half of it before we could even wrap the lettuce leaf around it!

These little babies are spring onion puffs. Sooo yummy. In fact, we ordered them again the second time we went, as well. Delicately light flaky pastry, lovely fresh flavours inside.

I didn't see XLBs on the menu, but I am terribly useless at seeing something when I'm looking for it. In any case, when I asked our waitress she assured us that yes, we could get a serving of these. And these specimens were quite yummy... but not a patch on Hu Tong. Also, I like my dumplings served with some dark vinegar, maybe with some gratings of ginger dipped in it too. The little dish of pale red vinegar you can see to the side here wasn't quite to my taste. Even so, I enjoyed these.

Entrees were rounded out with a serving of grilled Shanghai dumplings. Mmmmmm, I LOVE pan-fried dumpling wrapper. Oh yes, the fillings were nice too. I'd have these again in an instant.

We shared the mains. First up, the stir-fried green stuff. Not much I can really report on this... they were green, they were tasty.

But here. Right here. This here dish above. Order it. Taste it. Drool at its memory. I'm not kidding. This dish was the stand-out highlight of the meal. It's called Mandarin Shredded Beef Fillet. It's sweet, sour, spicy... a right hook of flavours straight to the taste buds. The beef is so very tender, and coated in a thin crispy.... well, coating. The slightly sticky sauce that clings to it is just amazing. Brilliant flavours, great textures. We also ordered this the next time we ate at GDP, and it was just as good. Oh my.

The only down side to the meal so far had been the fried rice... very ordinary. But after some great entrees, and that fabulous main, the desserts really kept things going. The list isn't all that extensive, but there's enough there to have a decent choice.

First up, a pineapple fritter with ice cream. I have no idea where they get their ice cream from, but this stuff was so creamy, and so nice, that J, a confirmed ice cream non-eater, cleaned it all up. The fritter was also well done, with no "old oil" taste to it at all.

And this. I have a long-standing love of "pudding". And there was also black sesame ice cream. So when I asked our waitress if maybe I could have a scoop of the ice cream with my mango pudding I was delighted when she said it would be no problem at all. And it was goooooood. I really need to learn how to make these babies (the mango pudding, I mean).

So yeah, I'd agree with what I read - Golden Dragon Palace is a good place to eat. The food we've had on each occasion there has been great, the service efficient and helpful, and the bill quite reasonable. Can't ask for much more than than, eh?

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