Continuing our wonderful trip, we had to make a stop at Dragon Beaux.
As before, a testament to the efforts for higher quality at Dragon Beaux are the offering of 21 different types of Tea to choose from for your Dim Sum.
We decided to try:
Li Shan Tea:
Excellent, aromatic, delicate fragrance. Definitely not like any of the generic Teas at our local So Cal Dim Sum restaurants.
Huge thanks to @PorkyBelly for this recommendation, this was a standout item: Real meaty, tender whole Abalone topped on a crisped Pastry shell with a deeply savory base. Delicious.
Baked BBQ Pork Bao:
Slightly crunchy, toasted top. Fluffy interior and a balanced sweet-savory Charsiu (BBQ Pork). I’m so glad @chandavkl @beefnoguy turned us on to this Tim Ho Wan-style preparation.
Egg White Fried Rice with Dried Scallop:
If you ever wondered how much better Fried Rice could be from the typical offerings around town, then you owe it to yourself to try Dragon Beaux’s Egg White Fried Rice with Dried Scallops.
The amazing Wok Hei (Breath of the Wok) from someone in the kitchen who knows how to cook with a Wok. It’s light, not oily, it is outstanding once again! I can see why @ipsedixit orders Fried Rice here. (@JeetKuneBao @Ns1 and others.)
Abalone, Chicken Sticky Rice in Lotus Leaf:
Interestingly, Dragon Beaux serves their Abalone & Chicken Sticky Rice Lotus Leaf dish with parchment paper on the outside. Perhaps to prevent the leaf from tearing?
Regardless, the inside ingredients are still steamed infused with Lotus Leaf flavor.
This was a solid representation of the dish. Not leagues ahead of So Cal places for this particular dish, but they had a nice big piece of Abalone in each serving. Tasty.
Roasted Pork Belly:
Crispy, crunchy Roast Pork Skin. Tender, fresh, meaty Pork Belly meat underneath. SO GOOD! To get this quality of Hong Kong Roast Pork Belly during Dim Sum is reason enough to celebrate!
(Special) House Special Roasted Spring Chicken:
The one miss of this meal, the House Special Roasted Spring Chicken was essentially that Hong Kong / Cantonese style Crispy Chicken dish (where they cook a Chicken pouring hot oil over it repeatedly to crisp up the skin while cooking the meat within).
The Chicken skin was crispy in parts (which was great), but the actual Chicken didn’t taste that fresh. This was listed on their daily special list, not on their regular menu.
Bitter Melon Chicken Rice Crepe Roll:
Silky, smooth, pliant Rice Roll texture (not stuck together or gloppy like some So Cal places), nice light bitterness from the Chinese Bitter Melon and tender pieces of Chicken. This was a great Rice Roll.
Jumbo Scallop Shiu Mai:
Just a fantastic Shumai! The silky, tender Scallop on top is the highlight, but the actual Marinated Ground Pork and Shrimp filling in the center is balanced, not littered with chunks of Pork Fat or filler like too many Dim Sum places around LA (and the other place in SF we went to).
It is clearly a cut above these places. Excellent!
Five Guys Xiao Long Bao:
As before, normally we’d never bother ordering Xiao Long Bao (Shanghai Soup Buns) for Dim Sum, but based on the excellent first time, we knew what to expect.
This visit didn’t disappoint: While ostensibly gimmicky, Dragon Beaux’s 5 different colored Xiao Long Bao are fantastic! A thin-medium skinned XLB, each one had a distinct flavor. The Beets Skin XLB actually had the unmistakable earthiness of Beets from the skin, and a nice Ground Beef filling.
I loved the Turmeric-infused Crab Roe XLB, and Natural Flour Skin version (traditional) was a better Xiao Long Bao than many we’ve tried in the San Gabriel Valley.
Rainbow Taro Paste Bao:
Phenomenal! Arriving freshly steamed, piping hot, the eye-catching, fluffy Steamed Bun exterior gives way to some of the best creamy, lightly sweet Taro filling we’ve had in years!
Do not miss out on this Dessert if you’re at Dragon Beaux!
Portuguese Egg Custard Tart:
Having had a real Portuguese Egg Tart at Portuguese restaurant Uma Casa a few days earlier, this Hong Kong / Macau interpretation is one we find more pleasing:
Arriving hot (nice touch), with an eggy, Custard center, it is far less sweet than Uma Casa’s version, which is what we prefer. (@attran99 @TheCookie)
Service is rather standard, average service that’s on par with Chinese restaurants around the San Gabriel Valley, but better than most of the Dim Sum restaurants (plates are cleaned and tea refilled without asking). But nothing noteworthy or outstanding like a Michelin-starred place around SF like Californios or Saison.
After having recently finished a long Dim Sum Journey around So Cal, trying Dragon Beaux again, there is absolutely no doubt that it is superior to L.A.'s Dim Sum restaurants. It’s not even close.
There are a couple dishes that might taste rather similar (e.g., Sticky Rice in Lotus Leaf), but where Dragon Beaux shines is in its execution and consistency. Add in the more creative dishes, like the 5 Colored Xiao Long Bao, Rainbow Taro Paste Bao, Fish Chip Rose Red Rice Crepe Roll (say that 3 times fast!), Scallop Shiu Mai and more, and add in vastly superior traditional dishes like the Roast Pork Belly that completely blows away every single Dim Sum place we’ve tried except Monterey Palace, and phenomenal Wok Hei Fried Rice, and you have a place that is well worth a visit and something we wish we had in L.A.
5700 Geary Blvd.
San Francisco, CA 94121
Tel: (415) 333-8899