Best Dragon Seafood Cuisine boasts tanks of gargantuan lobsters, fresh dim sum, an eclectic melange of menu items from all over China and a host of amiable staff. Formerly called Lee Beef Seafood Restaurant, this Vaughan establishment has been operating under its new owner for over three years now. It seems to be working out just fine for them.
I prefer to frequent this spot for their piping hot dim sum cart service on the weekends, though dim sum is always available to order, just make sure you ask for the menu. This particular evening we opted for the conventional fare, ordering a tame assortment of À La Carte options.
As we rolled in on a damp, windy and altogether dismal Toronto night it was imperative that we start the meal off with the soothing warmth of Shrimp Wonton Soup (s$3.25 m$8.99). The broth was slightly under salted but the wontons were bite-size, dense little dumplings with sweet shrimp. The soup was accented with slices of carrot, snow peas and ginger as well as tender chicken. We were hungry and cold. This dish made us feel warm and welcome.
As a second appetizer, we opted for their Moo Shui Pork (served with 8 pancakes) for $11.99. A classic American-Chinese favourite, the sweet, but somewhat underwhelming moo shoo filling of pork, cabbage, Chinese black fungus and egg was balanced nicely by the salty blast of hoisin sauce on the light and fresh pancakes.
Our mains consisted of a trio of Lemon Chicken ($12.99), Sizzling Diced Beef Tenderloin with Cashew Nuts in Honey Pepper Sauce ($13.99) and Shanghai Style Fried Noodles with pork & shrimp ($11.99). Simply listing these three dishes in succession makes me feel like I'm about as adventurous an eater as that kid in elementary school who only ate peanut butter sandwiches for the first six years of his life, until he graduated to pizza; Oooooo. I was, however, with a particular crowd, and everything was eminently edible.
Rather than being drenched in gooey, soggying lemon topping, our Lemon Chicken was fried crispy on the outside and juicy on the inside. Some essentially decorative slices of real lemon and a bowl of sauce on the side allowed us to ration out our desired levels of the sweet and tangy condiment.
Our beef dish was the overall favourite for everyone. Served on a scorching hot skillet, the waves of fragrant honeyed beef with peppery notes gave us all a visceral foreshadowing of what was simply put, delicious. The beef was tender and the sticky sauce clung to the bottom of the skillet and to delightfully charred areas of skin on the peppers and onions while the cashews added a welcome richness and crunch.
The thick, oily and soft Shanghai noodles were a great accompaniment to the crispy, crunchy and meaty textures of our other mains. Try dribbling, or dolloping some chili oil on top of your portion for a perfect addition of spice.
The meal comes to a close with light and crumbly almond cookies with a hunt of zest that cleanses the palate quite nicely. Fortune cookie for good tidings; I think mine said I'd be back again soon!