Restaurants & Bars 4

Spicy Dragon - real Hakka or not

idnas | Jan 6, 2008 05:19 PM

Before posting about Spicy Dragon, I did a quick search and see it's only come up once on this board, in a thread debating what constitutes "real" Hakka cuisine. I'll stay out of that debate and just say it's yummy food. SD is a tiny hole-in-the-wall in a strip mall at Kennedy and Lawrence. They seem to do a lot of take-out business but they also have a few tables.

The food is a mixture of chinese and Indian. I've attached snapshots of the menu and some of my favourite items - their pakoras (veggie ones and shrimp ones) and their kan shue green beans.

Spicy Dragon's pakoras are amazing. I'd had pakoras at lots of Indian restaurants before I tried SD's, and I've always enjoyed them as long as they're fresh and still crispy (i.e. not steaming on the buffet table) but they never came close to blowing me away. SD's pakoras blow me away. The veggie ones have chunks of carrot, broccoli, green beans and peas and the shrimp ones are packed full of shrimp. Both have a nice level of spice for a whitebread wuss like me -- enough to build up a slow burn and keep your tastebuds alive but not enough to overpower the other flavours. And unlike other places I've had pakoras, the two types taste distinctly different from one another. Different batter, different spices. Big orders (12 pieces each) so you'll want to share with friends.

The kan shue green beans aren't terribly different from dry fried green beans at many szechuan places. I just adore the texture of those and wish I knew how to make them come out that way at home. These ones are meatless, with just spices and a bit of onion and oil for flavour.

They have a variety of other chinese and indian dishes but I haven't tried many yet.

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