Excluding hotel restaurants, Dragon-i (笼的传人) is one of the most expensive Chinese fine-dining restaurants in Penang. The name itself is a play on the word "龙的传人", which is pronounced the same as the former. The latter is the glamorous word for "Chinese people", while the former is a pun which reflects one of Dragon-i's specialty dishes: the Xiao Long Bao (小笼包).
Dragon-i serves mostly Shanghainese cuisine, though its menu also contains other regional dishes such as Sichuanese. It is the sister company of Canton-i which specializes in Cantonese dishes.

There are two outlets in Penang: Gurney Plaza and Queensbay Mall. The outlet that we visited for lunch today is the latter. This lunch is somewhat unplanned. I have an American guest at work today, but since most of my managers are unable to bring him out for lunch, the responsibility fell on my shoulders. This is a good thing, because my lunch expense is paid by my company.
The dish which my American guest requested is the Steamed Rice With Chicken, Mushrooms And Chinese Sausages (腊肠北菇滑鸡蒸饭, RM15.00). This dish is served in a iron bowl, which in turn rests on a wooden pot. The rice is steamed together with other ingredients such as sliced Chinese sausages (腊肠), lean chicken (滑鸡) and black mushrooms (北菇). During the steaming process, the plain rice is infused with sweet essence from each ingredient, making this dish very palatable. The kai-lan (芥兰) is obviously added towards the end, otherwise excessive steaming will make it too soggy. My guest obviously enjoyed the dish very much, and he is glad that I brought him here.
For myself, I ordered a bowl of Fried Mixed Rice With Seafood In Hot Stone Bowl (石锅海鲜五谷米饭, RM20.00). The dish consists of the fusion of five classical Chinese grains (五谷), namely rice (稻), broomcorn (黍), Chinese millet (粟), wheat (麦) and soybeans (菽). Some seafood such as fish, prawns and crab are also added. Overall, the dish is quite filling and satisfying to my palate.
We also ordered a serving of Shanghainese Steamed Meat Dumplings (上海小笼包, RM9.00), which comes in a bamboo tray of four pieces. Xiao Long Bao is renown for the mouth-watering pork encapsulated in the soft, starchy skin. When punctured, sweet savory soup flows out of the skin. Since the dish is best eaten when it is piping hot, care must be taken to avoid burning the tongue. I have to warn my American guest beforehand so that he will not be incapacitated for the rest of the week!
We did not have the chance to try the other specialty in Dragon-i: the La Mian (拉面) or "hand pulled noodles". Dragon-i is so confident of its quality that customers are allowed to watch the chefs skillfully prepare the noodles through the glass panels at the kitchen. Review on Dragon-i's La Mian will have to wait for the next visit.

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