Mixed cuisine restaurants are always a bit of an adventure. You might get one style that is done well and one that isn’t. More likely than not you run the risk of neither being all that great. Dragon Express at the Forks is one such place. Dragon Express features both Vietnamese and Chinese cuisine.
Having tried both styles, I would recommend the Vietnamese be your first choice. The one area where the Chinese exceeds the Vietnamese is in portion size. I purchased the two item combo and my plate was filled to overflowing. However, from a quality perspective I found the Vietnamese items to be much fresher and more flavourful.
Dragon Express Chinese:
The Chinese portion of the menu at Dragon Express is pretty much typical food court Chinese food. Nothing wrong with it, but nothing in particular stands out. The best thing overall was that none of the breaded items were overly breaded. The dry pork was lightly seasoned and had a good chew to it after the initial crunch. Another thing that slightly elevated the combo was that the vegetables were not as soggy as they are in some places.
Dragon Express Vietnamese:
There are a variety of soups and other Vietnamese dishes on offer at the kiosk. I decided I would go with the spicy beef soup. I was a little surprised when the soup came with the spice on the side. Nonetheless, the soup had a good, hearty broth to it. There was also a good deal of beef. With the addition of the hot sauce adding a really good kick to the dish. As is typical of Vietnamese soups, the small serving size gave me plenty of meal for my dollar.
One of my favourite Vietnamese dishes is the salad roll. I ordered mine to go along with the Chinese combo on my second visit. I’m not sure the picture below will capture the sense of it, but this was undoubtedly the biggest salad roll I’ve ever been served. Despite it’s size, it wasn’t all noodles and lettuce. There was a sizeable amount of chicken and two large shrimp as well. I ended up eating it with my fingers because I found it too large to handle with chopsticks. In addition to being large, it was also very fresh. They didn’t start making it until after I ordered it, so I know it wasn’t something that they made at the beginning of the day and then pulled out of the fridge when ordered. The one problem I did have with it being so large was that it was a challenge to sauce it. However, being as fresh as it was, the parts I didn’t sauce were still very tasty.
Both times I went to Dragon Express I found the service to be quick, friendly and efficient. I had a bit of wait for the salad roll, but it was worth every second of the wait. With the announcement of new food vendors and other changes at The Forks, it will interesting to see how places like Dragon Express will adapt. Based on my visits, I think they will do quite well.