The beauty of humble Chinese

In life and in writing, I sometimes veer towards the overly intricate. Simplicity and brevity, however, can be a joy in itself.

Looking for Chinese restaurants in the area threw up this as an option, and I was confused by both the rating and it’s presence, for I had never seen nor heard of it. My initial suspicions were proven true as a chat with the staff at this oriental eatery revealed that it has been just 3-4 months since this little restaurant popped up.

Chinese cravings led to us having a quick dinner here, and the ambience is fairly regular fare for oriental restaurants. The innards are bedecked in red and black hues, with yellow lighting serving to offset the wood that is used in places. There’s nothing fancy about the place, but then that’s because they choose to hero the food and keep all the frills at bay, serving up everything you need and nothing you don’t. That means the prices are honest to goodness value for money, and what you see is what you pay. There are no taxes tacked on, and I can’t begin to tell you how nice it feels to get more than what you paid for.

Chicken Lollipops are the mother in law’s Kryptonite, and it’s a given that we order it whenever the chance presents itself. I personally don’t get the deep fried pleasure she gets out of it, but seeing her silently sink her jaws into it and the crackle of the batter give way to piping hot protein meant that these guys had got something right, but the Butter Garlic Prawns was where it was at for me. The mix of mellow butter tempered with some garlic and the mildest hint of pepper meant that the prawns were allowed to be the star attraction of this show. Deliciously garlicky and slightly saucy, I would pick this over the lollipops any day of the week and twice on Sundays.

The ladies at the table opted for some American Chopsuey that would make Uncle Sam beam with pride while us gents went with some simple Burnt Garlic Fried Rice and paired it with the oddly named Red Cook Chicken. The American Chopsuey was a sweeter version of a Triple Schezwan that, like its more fiery cousin, was simple yet satisfying. God alone knows why this is called an American Chopsuey because there’s nothing remotely American about it, like deep fried Pepsi, racoon on a stick or chocolate covered scorpions. While I often make stuff up for shits and giggles, none of these three dishes were. ‘Murica! Hell yeah!

Anyways, moving along. The Red Cook Chicken, as it was named, was a fierier version of a Chicken Sapo, complete with sliced red chillies that packed some serious heat. Loaded with enough chicken to feed a small army, there was enough of this to go around the table and still have enough left over to take home. That;s not to say quality was sacrificed at the altar of quantity; this was no Royal China, but it was more than good enough to satiate the Chinese cravings that cropped up out of nowhere.

A meal for 4 set us back just north of 1000 smackeroos, and when one is accustomed to sometimes spending that much per person, it’s hard to deny the value for money that this meal at Lucky Dragon represented. You can say that Lucky Dragon was a bit of a lucky find, and while it’s not going to blow minds and redefine paradigms, it offers wholesome, honest, tasty food at prices that won’t leave a dent in your wallet. You can’t really argue with that when all you want served up is some simple, satisfying Indian style Chinese.

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