We went to Dragon Bowl 龍碗 Cantonese Restaurant at Aperia Mall with no expectations. In fact it is quite hard to form a definite impression of the place as there are mixed signals. It has a open frontage and looks more like a casual noodle house but their chefs and waiting staff are quite properly and formally attired. You can see that they put some effort in the interior decorations but somehow we think the place will probably lose out to many modern Singapore food courts in the looks department. They have a nice bar counter and next to it is a glass display cabinet that will not look out of place in a fruit stall of a hawker centre. What really bemuses us is a poster advertising “Ladies Night”. Ladies Night in a Chinese restaurant?
We were in Aperia Mall on a weekend evening and was surprised to see that Dragon Bowl 龍碗 Cantonese Restaurant was quite crowded. While we were still surveying the place and wondering whether to give this newly opened Chinese restaurant a try, we were warmly greeted by a friendly gentlemen. He mentioned that their chefs used to work in the kitchens of a few of the top hotels in Singapore.
We were shown to a table and given a tablet which served as an electronic menu as well as an ordering device. The menu is really extensive and has all the usual items you would expect to find in a full service Chinese restaurant. The Chef’s recommendations included Braised Whole Abalone, Pan-Fried Kurobuta Pork Chop with Honey Sauce, Braised Beancurd with bamboo charcoal powder and Deep Fried Prawn with Pumpkin Creamy Sauce. The Roast Peking Duck and Barbecued Pork with Honey were said to be popular dishes there.
We ordered their Stewed Spinach with Trio Egg ($10.80), Deep-fried Spare Ribs ($14.80) and a single portion bowl of Double-boiled Chicken & Conch with Cordyceps Flower Soup ($10). Rice and Chinese tea were $1 each per person. The usual service charge and GST were added to the bill.
The wait for the food was about 15 minutes. The food came nicely presented in reasonable portion size. The spinach with eggs dish is quite a common one but Dragon Bowl’s version was quite well done. The spinach was soft but not soggy and the stock was rich and flavourful.
We were pleasantly surprised by the tasty pork ribs. The ribs were well fried and the sauce was a little unusual because of the use of Zhenjiang vinegar (a type of Chinese black rice vinegar). It was not too sweet and has a nice tinge of sourness. The toasted sesame seeds added texture and an extra dimension of flavour.
The bowl of double-boiled soup was full of ingredients. We liked the different tasty bits found in the bowl particularly the slightly chewy and aromatic cordyceps flowers. However, so much things in the bowl of soup meant that there was no much room left for the soup. That was a pity because we found the soup to be delicious, with a slightly herbal taste packed with natural sweetness.
We left Dragon Bowl 龍碗 Cantonese Restaurant with good impression. The staff seemed to be well-trained and were courteous and attentive even though they were very busy that evening. The food on the whole was better than average. We had a pleasant dining experience and would certainly return. Perhaps the next time we will go on a Tuesday night when ladies get a free martini and a 20% discount for all a la carte food items. Yes, Tuesday is Ladies Night!
Food : 4
Service : 4
Value : 3
Atmosphere : 3
Overall Rating: 3 TOPs
Dragon Bowl 龍碗
12 Kallang Avenue
#02-09, Aperia Mall
Tel : +65 6702 1588