Who’s ready for some affordable, delicious Chinese food? We certainly are! And here we are writing about Hungry Dragons, the newest establishment in famous culinary spot, Pecenongan. Nested in same building with MAGAL Pecenongan (just above it), it’s not difficult to find this place.
Walk the spacious stairs to 2nd floor and we were greeted with bright, cozy atmosphere that is far different from typical Chinese restaurants’ ambience. Hungry Dragons looks more like a trendy cafe with warm-colored furniture and high ceilings. They managed to put everything so well together in a sweeter, industrial design. We love the sofa tables just near the windows, so comfy and inviting. All these non-typical atmosphere certainly looked promising to us!
The restaurant is divided into 2 major sections: one is air-conditioned seating area (photos above) and the smoking area with better-looking ceilings. We love how neat everything is, and how they put so many greens in all possible spots. Personally, I love the second area better as the mood is kinda different, best to relax and just unwind. Plus, all the beautiful flower vases on each table make it difficult not to love the place. It’s an ideal spot to start a bright and positive day, don’t you think?
Hungry Dragons is probably new name for us, but the history is much longer than what we knew. So apparently, the owners of this joint used to have same Chinese cuisine themed restaurant named Hang Lok in Setiabudi One back in the days, and they are opening this Hungry Dragons now. Having years of experiences in serving authentic Chinese cuisine is definitely something that we look up to, and we couldn’t wait to see what they had in stores for us.
Here we can find many types of authentic Chinese cuisine with modern twists, variety of dimsum, and also they have bartender to make drinks and coffee. Despite the instagrammable-looking place -which usually means higher prices for the menu-, we were surprised that they keep prices very affordable and perfect for the neighborhood. Prices for F&B items start from IDR 10,000 to 150,000 only.
First things first, we had their savory dimsum for the starters! Tried the Hakau (Shrimp Dumplings), loved the big and tasty shrimps although we think the skins were too fragile and easily broken. Kaki Ayam (Chicken Feet) were excellent, well-cooked until soft and all the flavors perfectly absorbed; definitely won’t mind another plate! Kue Emas (literally translation: Golden Cake) was attractive as hell, but we didn’t really get the taste. We were imagining red bean or lotus paste to replace the savory fillings and that seems like a (much) better idea, LOL.
Moving on to the mains, we have plenty of favorites from what we tried that day! The first one is the Sapi Lada Hitam (Beef with Black Pepper Sauce) which is served with cakwe (Chinese dough fritters) and finger-licking delicious black pepper sauce!! There are so many explosions tasted when eating these beef dices, of course in a good way.
Another form of goodness is their Bistik Sapi (Beef Steak), which is served in some kind of hot plate along with colorful vegetables and fries. This is an old school beef steak which we Indonesians commonly find in local steakhouses or restaurants. The steak was cooked well-done yet still maintained its juiciness, drenched in strong, aromatic brown sauce that reminds me of a mother’s touch. Yes, some dishes can bring that level of memories and I am a sucker for that.
Another menu not to be missed would be Udang Goreng Gandum (Fried Shrimps with Oatmeal). We have eaten so many versions of this menu but safely to say, this is undoubtedly one of the best we have ever had so far! The shrimps have really good textures and crisps, are nicely peeled, well-seasoned and already tasty eaten that way. The oatmeal was nicely crushed and the flavors of many spices mixed altogether creating a great balance of umami and spiciness in mouth. Wow, I am amazed I could actually enjoy shrimps this much although I am not much a shrimp fan.
Next, we had Tumis Iga Saus Pedas (Beef Ribs Stir-Fry with Chinese Hot Chili Sauce) and Kungpao Chicken. All we can say is that the more we tried their menu, the more we were gonna miss them. Both I & Mr. K are fans of bold flavors, and Hungry Dragons serve tastes that seem like to click to our preferences. The beef ribs sauce was memorable, although we secretly wished that the ribs would have more meat than the ones presented before us. XD Mr. K liked the Kungpao Chicken so much because it reminded him to Thai cashew chicken dish.
Well, we don’t normally get impressed by vegetables menu when visiting restaurants, mainly because we RARELY order them. *chuckles* However, kudos to the chef for making us gushing about 2 veggie menus here. The broccoli with mushroom and garlic was THE STAR! Hey, we are not exaggerating when it comes to veggie, we were so impressed they can make broccoli tasted that good, LOL. The broccoli were so tasty, yet still managed to keep its crunchiness (means they didn’t cook it for too long). My brother actually loved the Oyong dish so much he reordered again in our second visit. In case you are wondering, yes, we came back to this restaurant 3 days after the first visit because we really like the food there. 😉
As if we haven’t praised them enough, I must say that we all love their humble Yangzhou Fried Rice! We love this simple yet unforgettable dish, believe it or not, you just gotta try this and experience it by yourselves! No overpowering ingredients, no pretentious flavor, it’s simply heart-warming and putting smiles on our faces.
Last but not least, we had some sweets to end our delicious journey here at Hungry Dragons. First, we had this Glutinous Balls with Salty Egg Fillings, I love the crust but the salty egg, not so much. Taste-wise, it was good but the texture was too rough for me. The Fried Durian was good, though, it’s very unique and easy to eat. They use durian custard so it’s not totally strong like real durian meat, but still very much enjoyable.
If you are in the neighborhood and looking for a cozy place just to relax and have some drinks, Hungry Dragons might be the right place as well. We tried some of their house specialties and they are decent enough. Coffee lovers won’t be disappointed, too.
Dining here at Hungry Dragons gave us a good and different vibe as it’s pretty much different from usual Chinese dining places in Jakarta. The variety of menu is wide, and most importantly, they serve delicious food. The good thing is that while typical Chinese restaurants are purposely for large number of patrons (big family), here you can choose to eat alone by yourself and enjoy the moment, only you and your food. They also serve individual serving portion so you can just grab a quick lunch or dinner alone or with your colleagues without having to share the food on the table. Pretty efficient, no?
Anyway, will we come back? Absolutely yes!
** This review is written based on our visit on 30 March 2019.
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HUNGRY DRAGONS KITCHEN, DIMSUM & COFFEE
Jalan Pecenongan No. 67 ABC (2nd Floor)
Central Jakarta 10120
Ph.: +62 81802208989
Mon – Sun 7AM – 12AM