Hidden among a throng of restaurants in Hutt Street, Golden Dragon Seafood Palace offers genuinely authentic Cantonese cuisine. With beautiful fresh produce and seafood, and a deft touch for combining flavours in traditional yet creative dishes; Golden Dragon provides a wonderful dining experience.
We began with a starter of Drunken Chicken. Served chilled, the chicken was steamed, moist and cut into bite sized pieces. It was marinated and served in an alcohol based sauce which was lightly spiced and sprinkled with goji berries, adding a sweet berry aftertaste to the dish.
The next starter was one of my favourite dishes of the night – Steamed Scallops with an XO sauce. The freshness of the scallops was highlighted by the saltier, heavier XO sauce. Its oilier consistency accentuated with chewy dried shrimp and a hint of chilli. I loved the way the sauce contrasted with the natural sweetness of the scallops. I particularly enjoyed the use of fresh scallions, which not only brought a crunchy component to the dish, but also added another dimension of lightness.
Moving on to our next course, we had Dry Scallop and Egg White Fried Rice. The rice was soft and fluffy, with egg whites spread evenly throughout the dish. The scallops and prawns were delicious, and matched well with the crisp fresh scallions. I loved the touch of adding pine nuts – I’ve never had pine nuts with fried rice before! It added an interesting dimension to the flavour and texture. Atop the dish there was pork floss, with a rich and salty flavour. The floss worked well with the addition of sweet Chinese barbecue pork pieces.
Our first main course was a Braised Pork Hock. The serving size was very generous – upon seeing it I couldn’t wait to dig in! The slightly spiced pork was cooked perfectly – pulling off the bone easily while having lightly crisped skin. It was served with an abalone sauce and Chinese vegetables. The sauce was slightly salty, retaining an underlying sweetness. It complemented the meat well, bringing out the pork’s natural flavour. The vegetables helped to break up the heaviness of the sauce and meat. I really enjoyed this course!
Next we had an Oyster Omelette – something I have never had before! It utilised soft flavours and textures in conjunction with one another – a delicate balance between the dishes’ components. The oysters’ natural flavour was beautiful; they didn’t need embellishment. Fresh scallions added some variation in texture without distracting too much from the dishes’ subtlety. Although it was served with a chili soy sauce on the side, I actually preferred this dish on its own. The sharpness of the sauce was lovely, but I enjoyed really tasting the dishes hidden flavours without too much distraction.
Finally, we made our way to our desserts; first up being a Fried Custard Pancake. The outer layer of pastry was cooked to the point of being slightly crisp without becoming too hard or overdone. Underneath was softer, slightly chewier pastry with a lovely buttery sweetness. The custard filling was soft, and of a smooth, creamy consistency.
I must admit, I was a little nervous that our other dessert, the Toffee Banana, would be too sweet or greasy to begin with, but it wasn’t at all! The batter was crisp and not too heavy. It was drizzled lightly with sweet, warm toffee. Inside, the centre was soft, hot, and filled with banana. I loved the simplicity of this dessert – I would definitely get it again!
It was such a wonderful experience tasting truly authentic cuisine from experienced chefs. Golden Dragon Seafood Palace reminds me how lucky we are to live in a place with access to such beautiful fresh ingredients (particularly seafood), with such talented chefs from around the world. Between the delicious traditional food, welcoming staff, and warm, bubbly atmosphere, I would love to visit Golden Dragon again.
Words by Lauren Koopowitz
WHERE: 242 Hutt St, Adelaide