Red Dragon Restaurant - Tumon's Newest Chinese Eatery Appeals to Budget-Minded
Restaurant Review by Ken Stewart, The Guam Food Guy
What's all the buzz about Tumon's Red Dragon Restaurant? Well, it must be the fact that people are looking for good food that's not going to bust the wallet with a location near the heart of dynamic Tumon. Upon entering the Red Dragon, one may be disappointed in the chaotic, disorderly atmosphere and inattentive service, which is different from other Chinese restaurants where you are usually greeted by a hostess or server, then lead to an available table. Don't fret, you will eventually be assisted by someone at Red Dragon after they've taken care of their seated customers. Red Dragon is still new (only 5 months old) and it is a first time venture into foods service by owner Miki Peng, whose previous businesses were night clubs. Miki is very warm-hearted and likes to meet and talk to customers. Her sincerity and easy smile erase your initial concerns, as you'll soon discover that what Red Dragon lacks in atmosphere it makes up for in food value.
We recently tried a sampling of Red Dragon Restaurant's menu, and were generally pleased with the experience. The Pan Fried Pork Dumplings ($4) are freshly made appetizers and pretty tasty, especially on the dark, grilled ridges that were cooked to a flavorful crunchiness. For the price, these were ample for two to share.
The Won Ton Soup ($6) was very good, with Chinese broccoli as well as fresh dumplings with pork and shrimp. The broccoli was a notable addition, as it added a leafy colorfulness and fresh crisp texture to the soup experience. The Kang-Kong ($6.) was about average, and the portion matched the price. I prefer more garlic and a larger portion. Also, it may be that this was not their freshest batch, as I didn't get my usual Kang Kong "rush" like I do when eating May's or Joyful's.
The Honey Walnut Shrimp ($10) was alright and probably could have used a few more walnuts (the ones they gave were good - we just wanted more). Sometimes this dish can have too much mayonnaise, however, they seemed to have a balanced sauce. The shrimp were good-sized.
The Sze-Chuan Spicy Eggplant($7) was a hit though, and packed a lot of flavor in its steamy, vegetable-filled dish. For the money, it was a lot of food and the eggplant was great. This dish had sliced, braised pork pieces that were quite tender, as well as bell peppers, onion, bamboo shoots, celery, chilis and mushrooms . If you are vegetarian, you can get it without the meat...just request. The sauce blend is magical. Red Dragon's chef, Ben, has a lot of experience, as he has cooked at Dynasty as well as in Vietnamese, Japanese and other Chinese restaurants.
Red Dragon is open from 11am - 12 midnight daily, and is located behind the Outback on San Vitores Road just down and across from the Okura Hotel. Daily lunch specials are $5, and usually feature 2 items from the menu. Lunch includes rice and soup of the day. The a la carte menu has a typical selection of Chinese favorites, with locals particularly liking the Crispy Fried Noodles, Won Ton Soup, and Fried Rice. Beer and wine are available, as well as sodas and teas. While sitting, you can watch a steady stream of take-out orders going out the door; apparently to the many hospitality and travel employees who work in the vicinity. You can call for take-out (probably not a bad idea if you are in a hurry) at 649-8882.
If you are looking for a great bargain and an informal, busy, and crowded (space is limited) restaurant, then Red Dragon's the place for you. Once you eat there, you'll see why they are busy.