Iron Chef Dragon
Popular cooking show Iron Chef Thailand creates a restaurant that spotlights progressive— not to mention, photogenic — Chinese fare
The success of late-night cooking show Iron Chef Thailand entailed a franchise restaurant where die-hard fans can sample beautifully presented dishes as seen on TV, whipped up by the program’s mainstay celebrity chefs. Recently, the restaurant rebranded into Iron Chef Dragon and now trains the spotlight solely on pretty-looking Chinese fare.
Breaking away from the negative stereotypes attached to Chinese eateries (no old-school round tables or Lazy Susans here), Iron Chef Dragon injects a modern edge to centuries-old Chinese culinary culture. The first-floor features a small seating where you can watch cooks in action through a red window-style partition. Upstairs in the main dining, colorful Surrealist art dominates the walls, depicting Oriental elements from dragon and tigers to lotuses and lanterns.
The attempt to liberate Chinese food from its Sunday-dinner-with-your-grandma reputation is showcased in a menu curated by chef Thanarak “Pom” Chuto, the Chinese cuisine contender on the reality show. Chef Pom’s collection features classic dishes but prepared with progressive techniques and dressed in Instagram-perfect aesthetics. Take the dim sum, for an example. These humble bites are transformed into too-cute-to-eat, sushi-style creations that belie the use of high-end ingredients like caviar, foie gras and abalone (starts from B65/piece for B990/platter). Meanwhile, popular Shanghainese dish drunken chicken (B350) is soaked in Chinese liquor, and brought to the table swathed in liquor-infused smoke for dramatic purposes, while the stir-fried wagyu beef (B890), served Peking duck-style with corn flour wraps, cucumber and mango, arrives in a bird cage.
The kitchen quirks are also reflected in the restaurant’s selection of sugary drinks, which includes Let’s Take A Bath (B230), a booze-free concoction of earl grey tea and rose syrup that’s literally served in a miniaturized bathtub (with rubber duckies to boot!), and Lady in the Moonlight (B180), a tribute to Taiwanese singer Teresa Teng that’s comes with a tiny microphone affixed to the glass.
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