Dragon Noodles Academy, Central – great buzz, good food in characterful surroundings
Peking duck, crispy lobster puff and the 12-hour sous-vide US bone-in short ribs were the stars of a delicious menu
Dragon Noodles Academy, also known as DNA, is a very cool place. The decor is interesting, it has a great buzz, staff are – for the most part – friendly and efficient, and most importantly, the food is good. Our only complaint about our dinner there was that the table was too small to fit everything we wanted to eat.
Four of us ordered a lot, but finished almost everything. The only dish we didn’t like was the osmanthus lotus roots (HK$59), which sounded more interesting than it was. Salt and pepper tofu could have used more seasoning, but the crust was delicate and the tofu was soft.
Crispy lobster puff – a recommendation by a manager – looked impressive, and was delicious, with light, wonderfully flaky pastry.
The 12-hour sous-vide US bone-in short ribs (HK$439) were excellent, with moist meat and just enough fat. The pickled cabbage served with it balanced the fattiness of the beef.
Wood oven whole Peking duck (HK$499) was a dish recommended by a very picky friend. Served with mashed garlic (too strong), cane sugar, duck sauce and sesame paste, as well as a small plate of cucumber, Chinese leeks, pink cabbage and rock melon, the duck – carved in front of us – was very impressive.
The bird was skilfully carved into pieces of just skin (which we ate very quickly), meat with some skin attached, and meat on its own, which was tender, although the least popular in our group.
Special commendation goes to the pancakes served with the duck: they were very thin and delicate. The restaurant offers several options for the remainder of the duck to be served as a second course; we chose the spicy duck with dried chilli (HK$99), which we also enjoyed.
We couldn’t leave the restaurant without trying the noodles, so even though we were very full, we tried the minced pork and shrimp roe lo mein. We were so glad we ordered it, because it was really delicious, with the firm noodles really soaking up the flavours of pork fat and spring onions, and the shrimp roe adding more depth.
Dragon Noodles Academy, shop G04, Man Yee Arcade, Man Yee Building, 68 Des Voeux Road Central, tel: 2561 6688. About HK$350 without drinks or service charge