Wednesday, November 9, 2011

A Hot Pot of Asian at Ruby Dragon (CLOSED)

Ruby Dragon
Although I live insanely close to Ruby Dragon, we'd never had much occasion to go. The location had once been the longtime home of Chili Hot Hot, a very large, Chinese dim sum restaurant that the humans enjoyed. Since it's closing, it housed the short lived Kai Asian Grill. However, my entourage had a Groupon that would soon and took the opportunity to try it out.

Insanely large plate
Ruby Dragon is in a very large, sprawling, cavernous space of a restaurant. A definitively Western modern design, influenced by a variety of Asian cultures. The menu offers dishes from a variety of Asian cultures, designed for those that want a little bit of everything, or cannot settle on just one culture.

A little warning, don't go in expecting any of the dishes to be authentic, these dishes have definitely been Westernized, along with the plating and eating method, nary a rice bowl or chopstick in sight. However, the food is actually pretty good.
Hot and Sour Soup

We opted on ordering their set dinners, instead of a variety of individual plates. The Taste of Vietnam and the Taste of Korea, neither of which consisted of dishes strictly from the aforementioned countries.

The Taste of Vietnam starts with wonton soup, spring rolls, lemongrass grilled chicken breast, stir fried mixed vegetables and steamed jasmine rice. Wonton soup is traditionally found in Chinese cuisines. The soup had a mildly salty broth, but with good flavor, unfortunately the wontons within suffered from lack of seasoning and a wonton wrapper that was slightly too thick. Had this actually been a taste of Vietnam, we would perhaps have been instead been served the very well known Vietnamese dish of a bowl of Pho.

Wonton Soup
The spring roll had an a nice crisp shell, giving way to a warm and moist interior. Although I couldn't discern the complex combinations of seasoning of the pork, it tasted great sans sauce. Served with a plum sauce, the sauce was unfortunately far too thick for the delicate exterior which disintegrated into the gooey mass upon dipping. The traditional Vietnamese spring roll is usually served with a mildly sweetened, slightly acidic fish sauce instead of a plum sauce, whereas the more hearty egg roll of Chinese cuisine is usually served with the more dense, sweeter plum sauce. The lemongrass chicken was moist and lightly flavored, accompanied by a sauce that tasted like an mixture of hoisin and oyster sauce.
Taste of Vietnam

The Taste of Korea comes with a bowl of hot and sour soup,  green onion cake, Korean BBQ short ribs, stir fried mixed vegetables and steamed jasmine rice. The hot and sour soup is generally associated with China, Vietnam, Thailand, Phillipines and Cambodia. The soup had a hint of sweetness followed by an initial spiciness. The broth was nice and thick, filled with a mixture of peas, green onions, beans, tofu, seaweed, dried pork and shrimp, providing it with contrasting textures including crispy and soft. However, as I continued to eat, the heat built past the point where I could eat no more. This dish was delicious the first few bites but could be improved if it were slightly less spicy so one could eat more of it. I definitely did not make it all the way through this dish. Unfortunately, neither did any of the glasses of water on the table, and my request for more water was woefully ignored.

The green onion cake, a flat Chinese pancake like concoction was made in a new method that appears to be trendy in #yeg. Instead of flat, this version is shaped into a ring with a hole in the middle, and consisted of several fluffy layers. The cake was light, non greasy with a subtle green onion taste. The Korean BBQ short ribs were tender, slightly sweetened with honey, but fell somewhat short as there was more fat than meat.

Taste of Korea
The food was good for what it was (ie. Westernized Asian food), the only complaints revolving around service and serving method. There were initially very large square, flat plates on the table, which were later taken away prior to the start of our meal. Our meals were then presented on compartmentalized round plates, with sections too small to try to cut anything within and with a rounded surface.

Ruby Dragon
10909 Jasper Ave NW
Edmonton, AB T5J 3L9

(780) 429-8833 


Ruby Dragon on Urbanspoon

1 comment:

  1. Thanks Marlow. Those large square plates are know as chargers....very chique but serving no real purpose...


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