A lot of people really like dim sum. And if the constant queues are anything to go by, a lot of people really like dim sum at Dragon Palace. With the growing franchise’s wide range of dishes, consistent service and most importantly – good food, it’s not hard to see why it is so popular.
Dragon Palace Cockburn is my usual dim sum haunt, and when it first opened up, all the dim sum lovers living in Perth’s southern suburbs rejoiced. This meant that for once, we didn’t need to make our (almost) weekly pilgrimage to Northbridge’s many dim sum joints (including the first Dragon Palace branch itself) to find good dim sum.
It certainly isn’t the first dim sum restaurant to open south of the river, with Emperor’s Palace at Leeming being another constant favourite dim sum haunt. Dragon Palace however, brings in haute Cantonese cuisine and elevates the variety and quality of dim sum beyond what is already available.
A good measure of the quality of the food at any given place is to see how well it treats its classic/standard/you-expect-to-see-this-on-the-menu dishes. I am pleased to report that Dragon Palace more often than not fulfils this brief.
Their siew mais (pork and prawn dumplings) are plump and tasty, with generous amounts of filling.
Their yao yi sou (fried squid tentacles) are done equally well and is tasty without being too heavy-handed on the MSG levels.
Their pai kuat (pork ribs) are done very well. They usually serve it one of two ways – with black bean sauce, or with garlic. If it’s available, my preference is for the garlic version of the dish. It’s a lot lighter in flavour, and very cleverly adds sweet corn to give a hint of sweetness to balance out the saltiness of the dish.
I’m not usually a fan of har gau (prawn dumpling) due to many other dim sum places making them with soggy, floury skins that overwhelm the flavour of the filling inside and falls apart easily when you pick them up. Dragon Palace is not one of these places. Their har gau skins are just translucent enough to tease at the goodness inside but firm enough to hold everything in, which is what good har gaus should do. The lightness of the skin itself does not overwhelm the flavours of the dumpling filling.
On the other end of the prawn dumpling spectrum, their deep fried prawn dumplings in wonton skins are always delicious and full of plump prawn meat.
Beef stomach isn’t for everyone, but I especially appreciate that Dragon Palace serves it. As a big plus, the sauce it’s steamed in is just nice and does not overwhelm the delicate flavour of the stomach.
And when I find that all that yummy dim sum is getting a bit heavy for me, a few spoons of pei dan jook (century egg porridge) is always a great palate cleanser.
Their durian puffs are quite a sight to behold, with the puff pastry worked to look like swan feathers. More importantly, when you bite into it, you can actually taste the fragrant durian and chew actual pieces of custardy durian meat.
They have standard egg tarts and Portuguese egg tarts, and the pastry is flaky and delicious for either.
Nowadays, their service is quick and efficient, but when they first opened, it wasn’t always so. You couldn’t get service if you were sat at the tables near the front door, as none of the food carts could see you as they pass by. If you arrived too early or too late, the range of food would drop massively. Thankfully, they seem to have gotten over their teething issues and are going from strength to strength today. So much so that they have even opened up a branch in Joondalup and are slated to open yet another branch in Mandurah soon.
Location: Shop R1-001, Cockburn Gateway Shopping City, 816 Beeliar Drive, Cnr Beeliar Drive and Kwinana Fwy, Success, WA 6164
See website for other locations.
BYO: Nope. Alcohol available.
Lunch Weekdays 10:30am – 3:00pm
Weekends 10:00am – 3:00pm
Dinner 5:00pm – 9:00pm
See bottom of main website page for all the different locations.
How to book?
Phone: 08 9499 1169
Or via contact form on the website for the Cockburn branch. Bookings for weekend lunch not accepted.
See website for contact information for the other locations.
Anything else to watch out for?
Surcharge for Visa or Mastercard. I’m not that much a fan of this bit. And no AMEX.