Enter The Dragon - Striving for the Pinnacle of Dim Sum Goodness! Dragon Beaux [Thoughts + Pics]

Hi @Ns1,

So cute! What are the 11 dogs joining you for? Just a road trip for fun? :slight_smile:

Hi @catholiver,

Yah the Pork Belly was so good. :slight_smile: In terms of authenticity, it’s not my heritage, but I’ll let @ipsedixit @chandavkl @beefnoguy and other experts chime in.

But I remember seeing Cantonese style Roast Duck, Charsiu BBQ Pork slices and Roasted Pork Belly at Dim Sum houses for years. My very first few Dim Sum experiences to the SGV… I remember seeing those on the carts rolling around.

XLB, oh totally. :slight_smile: Yah that’s just something I think it’s so popular in general it’s been appropriated onto Dim Sum menus.

DO NOT get me wrong. That pork belly sounds and looks amazing. I’m just betting it got its start in the SGV.

it’s that time again, so if any of y’all are going to be in NorCal on 10/21, drop by the booth and say hi. Ask for Sergio.


roast pork very commonly offered in Hong Kong, like this amazing example from Lei Garden:


In Hong Kong, roast pork is often at casual and upscale dines.

Dining with friends.

More formal.


Does the more formal one taste any different? Skin seems kind of light.

Really? Interesting. I definitely do agree that Dragon Beaux is hands down the best dim sum in the US but I’m not quite sure HK Lounge I and II also beating any LA dim sum. My 2 times at HK Lounge I was probably around King Hua and Elite quality - so good but not beating LA. Hong Kong Lounge II is great and I find it about as good as Sea Harbour but not sure if it consistently beats LA, so curious as to why you say that.

Though would also love your thoughts on how Dragon Beaux would stack up again Vancouver/Richmond BC!

I’m partial to innovation more than than standards so I think the HK Lounges have most of the LA places beat. Plus there have been disturbing downhill reports on Elite and King Hua.

Hi @Ns1,

That looks amazing! :slight_smile: Was that one of the best versions you’ve had?

BTW, if you get the Roasted Pork Belly from Dragon Beaux, make sure you eat that first. :wink: I was thinking many of the Dim Sum items can be fine in To-Go containers (Siu Mai, Har Gow, Steamed Buns, etc.), but crisped up Pork Belly, maybe not so much, so enjoy it quickly. :slight_smile:

Dim Sum in LA has largely stagnated in terms of innovation. And maybe even quality.

Nowadays it’s all about Sichuan, or hot pot, or some combination of the two.


Hi @ipsedixit,

I agree. Thanks for the recommendation again; I will get those next time. Besides the fried rice, what other dishes did you like here? Thanks!

Great report, I was hoping you would make that your 4th bang.

That’s disappointing to hear about the har gow, was the filling any better?

As @beefnoguy mentioned their xo sauce is outstanding, i like to eat it with the pan-seared daikon cakes.

I also really like the glutinous pillows and pretty much all their baos.


There are some misconceptions about roast pork, also referred to as “siu yuk” in Cantonese 燒肉, so some clarification is in order.

Google Gourmet’s first picture is actually roast suckling pig. While it is technically roast pork, it is a very specific type (and definitely a banquet/celebration item). To call roast pork “Siu Yuk” in the roasties sense, the pig has to be in essence an adult, what the Cantonese would call a medium sized pig.

In Hong Kong, one of the prized cuts is roast pork belly and some gourmets are more particular to the rib side belly cut that is a bit more even in terms of fat/meat ratio (and flavor), and is often charged a premium price at the local roasties deli neighborhood shops. The rib side belly cut is a large portion that’s curved at the bottom with a thin layer of bone (at times soft bone that’s edible), referred to as “siu lahm gwut” 燒腩骨.

More 燒腩骨 pictures here: http://bit.ly/2y01qUy

There are other cuts that are not as popular but end up being used as roasties for rice plates as they are cheaper, or a health preference because they are also leaner
This variety is available is because in Hong Kong at the neighborhood deli shops (and some restaurants) they roast a whole pig and carve up/sell. Cantonese restaurants in California for example, know that people would rather just go for the belly, so they purchase an entire belly section and roast it themselves. At times you may find just layers of fat and maybe some lean. If you are lucky you might get the 5 alternating layers. It ends up being a mixed bag as sometimes you get far more fat than lean, and by Cantonese standards, that’s not very good (or healthy). You get less variety this way, but hopefully slightly better quality control since it’s just one section (though you’d be surprised how many restaurants don’t do this right). May have better chances finding varying cuts at the deli’s in Chinatown.

As for the magical and signature crispy skin layer on top of the roast pork, the golden Cantonese standard is something called the equivalent of “sesame skin” in Chinese. If anything Ns1’s picture of the roast pork skin at Lei Garden is closer to that standard than Dragon Beaux, though to be fair they are a Michelin rated chain that’s semi upscale (at least they are not using Iberico Pork like the 2 or 3 star places). The skin shouldn’t be compared to Chicharrones, as “sesame skin” if done right is absolutely nothing like that, but if it resembles a bit, it’s not done anywhere near the sesame skin standard. It has been a very long time since I had the perfect HK roast pork skin, but it should be crispy (not overly firm or hard crunch), and have that roasted sesame texture (kind of hard to put that further into words), and a touch fluffy somewhere in between, and not dry.

Perhaps for SF/Dragon Beaux, that’s as good as it gets. It’s typically not something I would get for dim sum, but it is available to the roasties fans. Koi Palace and perhaps Dragon Beaux is also famous for their roast suckling pig dishes during dim sum lunch, but you’re looking at $20+ for a small order.


Beefnoguy, very good information on roast pork. Hong Kong roast pork is fantastic.

Our company CNY (Chinese New Year) banquet this year had not one, but two presentations.

Roasted pork belly. Paranoidgarliclover, the skin was a lighter shade than we usually associate with roast pork. Sesame skin is an apt description. The size made for a nice single bite, with slightly crispy skin melding with tender juicy meat and a bit of light fat. Two pieces not enough!!

Roasted suckling pig. We almost always order suckling pig when available. This version seemed leaner than most, still simply delicious.

I love the roastie shops that are ubiquitous all over Hong Kong. It’s rare that we return to our hotel in the afternoon after a day’s roaming without a takeaway box.

Flavorful crispy skin. Perfect with a pre-dinner glass (or three) of wine in room.

The ever elusive 5 layers of goodness. For the princely sum of $5 USD.


I like the black mochi sesame balls, lava egg yolk bun, and the durian puffs are tasty as well (but can be inconsistent). The duck tongue and the pork cheeks are wonderful complements to the fried rice.

1 Like

Gawd, that looks SO delicious… And so cheap!


Hi @PorkyBelly,

Thanks. It was all thanks to you, so there was no way we’d miss out on Dragon Beaux on this visit! :wink:

The filling for the Har Gow was fine (very fresh, tender), but the Dumpling Skins really ruined it. But I chalk it up to random unluckiness. I’ll try it again of course.

Thanks for the recommendation for the Daikon Cakes w/ XO Sauce. I’ll definitely try that next time, and the Glutinous Pillows. :slight_smile:

1 Like

Hi @beefnoguy,

Thank again for such an informative post! :slight_smile:

Yes, I agree with you, Chicharrones aren’t anything like this Roasted Pork Belly; sorry I was thinking of other Pork Skin dishes and that came to mind when I was writing. :sweat_smile:

But, regarding Suckling Pig for lunch(!). We didn’t see Roast Suckling Pig on the menu at Dragon Beaux. :cry: I would’ve ordered that for sure. Is it a specials only thing? Or maybe only in Chinese on the menu somewhere?

Thanks again for this great rec. :slight_smile:

Nice pictures!

Ahh the famous roasties rice box! It’s convenient and I do miss having those. A blue collar or salaryman’s delight. I’m sure even a run of the mill box from HK blows away most places in California, even a from a chain shop like Tai Hing.

Though if one wants to YOLO or baller it up quite a bit at the HK neighborhood deli shops, get roasties by weight and specify the name of the cut you need and point to the specific slab you want carved, to order like a seasoned pro. You absolutely get what you pay for and the quality is much higher than the rice plate cuts. Though some deli shops are great in that for dine in roasties plates, they sometimes give you a house soup of the day which hits the spot.

But going back to the main topic, I don’t know for sure if DB has suckling pig dim sum plates since they are a hot pot Da Bin Lo restaurant for dinner. The suckling pig plates are available in Koi Palace locations. I am unaware if DB does roasties in house or if they are trucked over from other KP locations that have their own roasties section.