Aside from the tacky giant golden dragon on one wall and the lines of decorated lion heads, Dragon Noodles Academy looks pretty swish, being as it’s designed like a chic kung fu academy from the 1970s. Still, this new Central contemporary Chinese kitchen by Dining Workshop really must be judged on its food. Its noodles, in fact.
DNA’s extensive menu is daunting but we decide to start with dim sum. The beautifully plated lobster puff ($138 for two), to be exact, that sits between the head and tail of a lobster, forming a whole crustacean. The pastry is flaky but too thick, making for a dry mouth that the generous filling can’t save. The noodle mains, though, as they should be, are much better. The 24-hour sous vide beef cheek in soup noodles ($129) comes as a large bowl of slurp-worthy noods in a crustacean broth not unlike a bisque. It’s stunning. And the lobster claw lo mein ($129) is also a winner, arriving with a teacup of broth. Tip: pour it all in. The chefs provide the right amount of liquid-to-noodle ratio for this dish.
To finish, we opt for a coconut sticky purple rice garden ($69). It’s Insta-worthy but doesn’t work, being too watery and needing more coconut milk. So, basically, DNA is all about the noodles and the noodles only. That’s enough to bring us back.