A new Chinese restaurant opens in Southlake, emphasizing Shanghai fare

Posted by freemexy on April 2nd, 2021

On Oct. 31, Dragon House was closed in connection with arrests made in a prostitution ring operating out of the Jade Spa in Dallas. It reopened under new management on Nov. 20. We will update the story as it develops.To get more news about Taste of China, you can visit shine news official website.

You’ll want to start with the dumplings. There are 10 of them on the menu at Dragon House, a new Chinese restaurant in Southlake, and they are some of the most beautiful and delicious I’ve ever eaten.Just pluck a vegetable dumpling from the steamer basket — its delicate wrapper tinted a pale emerald, its surface intricately creased and pinched like porcelain into the graceful shape of a stemmed leaf. There is a guilty moment of hesitation as you lift it toward your mouth: How can you eat something that looks more like a small art object? But be ruthless. It holds a delectable, finely grained mince of baby bok choy, black mushroom, dried bean curd and threads of crystalline rice noodles.

Dragon House’s steamed juicy dumplings — usually called soup dumplings or xiao long bao — have an even thinner wrapper, each twisted into a pouch crowned with a golden pinch of shaved ginger, each on the verge of bursting. Pick one up by the nub, gently, and place it on your spoon. Then nibble and sip your way through the tender filling of pork and crabmeat, mingled with a sweet, hot broth scented with rice wine and scallion.

Now a steamer basket of Three Delicacy dumplings arrives, an array of brilliant magenta crescents, the vaguely earthy flavor hinting that the wrappers are tinted with beet, concealing a complex blend of chopped scallop, shrimp, pollock and pork — that’s four delicacies, but we’re not arguing. The crescent is the simplest shape, but even it, we’re told, requires 23 separate pleats.By now, it is clear we are in the hands of a master, and the person to thank for that is Yong “Lucy” Wang Murphy. A Shanghai native who came to Dallas by way of Vancouver, Murphy owned Fortune House in Irving until she retired a few years ago. “A restaurant is a lot of headaches,” she says. “I didn’t want to do it anymore.”

Then a space opened up in the corner of a Southlake strip center, a former fast-food joint called Pollo Tropical, and a friend persuaded her to try it again. She and manager Michael Teng took 18 months to design and build Dragon House, opening the restaurant last April as a casual spot emphasizing Shanghainese fare.

She hired Huang Jian Yan, formerly the chef at Chinese embassies in Australia, Denmark and Houston, to lead the kitchen. And she built a dining room that twinkles with chandeliers and Chinese etched glass, and is livened up by a station where you can watch the chefs pulling noodles and shaping dumplings.

That dumpling master is Cheng-Hui “Tony” Lai. Murphy persuaded him to move from Taiwan to work with his friend, the noodle specialist Jason Liu, and create dumplings that draw from several regional traditions and his own imagination.Lai’s Cantonese-style shrimp dumplings are enclosed in a nearly translucent white wrapper, made with a starchier wheat flour that gives them some bounce. Each is shaped like a chubby bunny, including floppy ears. But they aren’t merely cute (and labor intensive): The juicy, popping morsels of shrimp, with bits of crisp bamboo shoot and fresh ginger, have me craving them as I write this.

Honeycomb dumplings, a Taiwanese preparation, are five steamed oblong packets with a luscious pork and Chinese leek filling, topped by a crisp-fried lacy sheet about the thickness and texture of the burnt-sugar crust on a crème brûlée.

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