Last week I went to Dragons Gate, the much discussed CH sensation of last summer.
Another CH and I shared the following:
The Eel Casserole
Snails (in black bean sauce)
Frog leg and abalone congee
Pea leaves with dried scallops
The food is really good but what I liked most about Dragons Gate is the service, it's a Chowhound's dream. Once we got over the hurdle of proving to them that you don't want the gringo menu, its pretty clear that they wanted us to have a good (non-gringo) meal. After we made our order, the owner(?) kept saying things like "you really like Chinese food!" and "your really know Chinese food!"
On to the food.
So thanks to CH, we knew to insist upon the "real" menu, not the paper take out one. We of course had to get the eel casserole. I asked her about getting #131 on the menu, but with a white eel, not a yellow one. I got a kick out of her murmuring "yes, i think we have white eel" while gazing at the fish tanks.
They were out of salt and pepper octopus so ordered s&p snails instead. I think we got snails in black bean sauce. Anyway, it was identical to snails in bb sauce that I had at Gum Fong in Flushing. I loved it, but for some it can be a pain in the ass to take a toothpick and lovingly spear the snail out of each shell.
We originally ordered pea leaves with crab meat, but our waitress informed us they were out of crab meat. After looking at the menu we kind of settled upon pea leaves with garlic. BUT The waitress suggested we try pea leaves with dried scallops, which wasn't on the menu and much preferable to just pea leaves with garlic!
The eel caserole I thought was good, but I'm not sure I understand all the adulation over it. The crispy rice at the bottom of the pot was lovely, though.
I think we were at Dragons Gate for at least 2 hours, if not longer and we were the only diners there the entire time. It seems like they're doing some delivery business, but still its a little worrisome. They have a new lunch menu featuring a $3.95 lunch and I think a $5.95 lunch. Its not the typical Chinese dish over rice stuff.