Eat Random

The idea for this blog is to blog about everything I think about food and food culture. I'll tell you what I like to eat, where I like to eat it and if I thought it was good or if I thought it was crap. My thoughts about food could go anywhere. Hey if you don't like it go blog at

Random Dude Eats Random Food Indianapolis restaurants

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Dragon House Chinese Eatery

Getting Chinese food is one of my true pleasures in life.  Most of the time I like to get takeout, but I can enjoy it in all of its forms as long as it's tasty at a decent price.  The girlfriend and I have been looking for a good Chinese buffet in the area.  I have tried Super Chinese Buffet in Noblesville...not good.  I've also tried 8 Chinese Buffet in Castleton...okay but I don't always feel like driving down to Castleton.  We both decided that Dragon House Chinese Eatery in Fishers (116th and Allisonville) was worth a shot.  I had heard good things about their non-buffet menu items from Indy Restaurant Scene.  It was time to learn if they put the same quality into their buffet items.

The restaurant looks unimposing.  It's just in an average strip mall next to a Kroger.  You go in and you can either order off the menu or order the buffet.  We both got the buffet and it includes drink for around 10 bucks a piece.  More than reasonable in my opinion.  I also noticed that based on how many phone calls were coming in the place must do a brisk carry out business.  I found that unusual for a restaurant with a buffet so I hope that boded well for the quality of the food.

The selection of items on the buffet is not large by any means.  A couple of soups,  a small selection of fried items like egg rolls and crab rangoons and a small salad bar and several hot dishes.  I was skeptical at first because I thought if 2 or 3 of the dishes are bad then that is pretty much going to be all there is to choose from.  However, it turned out I was quite wrong.

For my first selections I decided to try some staples along with some things that just looked tasty.  I decided to go with an egg roll, fried rice, sweet and sour pork, pork with mushrooms and a little bit of their own sliced bbq pork.  As soon as I looked at the food I knew that the small amount of items on the menu was an advantage and not a hindrance.  Everything was really fresh and really tasty.  Without having to worry about so many dishes it really lets them make food for a buffet that is the same quality you would get if you were eating takeout or a sit down meal. The egg roll was the best I've had on any buffet.  I love egg rolls, but on buffets they usually get soggy.  These were crisp and delicious.   There was also significant care put into the fried rice.  Instead of the usual neon yellow flavorless stuff this was fresh and you could actually tell that it started with quality white rice then flavored and turned into a fried rice dish.  The pork and mushrooms was okay, but really nothing to write home about.  Pork and mushrooms in a brown sauce.  You've had it before.  Likewise with the sweet and sour pork.  I thought the real star was the bbq pork.  It was sliced thin and had the traditional sweet glaze on the outside.  It was very tender and flavorful.  I've seen spare ribs on other menus, but they aren't like this.

For round two I decided to try out some of the potstickers along with some of the general tso's chicken.   The potstickers were good and had nice flavor, but I'm always going to be a fan of the thicker dough style dumplings and those just don't seem to show up on buffet menus.  The sauce that went with the potstickers cold have used a little more spice, but I know my tolerance for heat is higher than normal and they want to make it palatable to more people.  The same goes for the general tso's.  I will give them props for having it taste fresh and not like out of the bag frozen chicken nuggets.  Also, it had a flavor profile that was more savory than sweet.  In my opinion it shouldn't be just a second version of sesame chicken.  I could have used a little more heat, but overall I was happy.

As far as dessert goes it's usually just something I go ahead and skip at Chinese restaurants.  I find their desserts to usually be bland and without much sweetness.  That was the case here as well for most of the dessert items.  They were the usual straight-out-of-the-box cakes and cookies.  However, something original on the hot bar intrigued me.  Fried coco milk.  I'm a big fan of coconut and I know not everyone is, but regardless you need  to give this a try.  The outside is fried crisp like in a tempura style, but the inside is creamy almost like the consistency of a thick pudding or sugar cream pie.  The flavor is not overwhelming coconut, but it does have a nice subdued sweetness.  I'm going to go back just so I can end my meal with one of these.

Taste 8.5/10  Easily some of the best tasting/best quality food I've had at a buffet.
Value 9/10  If the girlfriend and I can go out and have a meal we liked this much for right around or under $20 then I'm a happy happy man.

Dragon House Chinese Eatery on Urbanspoon


Anonymous said...

I read this review last night and immediately got a craving for a chinese buffet... And today for lunch I spent half of my 1 hr lunch break driving up to Dragon House.
I ate those poor suckers out of house and home... multiple trips, overflowing plates, etc. dang. It was good - maybe not the best i've ever had - but still pretty good...

Brent said...

Yeah it's not the overall best chinese I've had but for a buffet I found the quality of the food really impressive. Glad you liked it.

Anonymous said...

Please refer to my P.F. Chang's comment. Atleast this restaurant isn't the abortion that is the marriage of American and Chinese cuisines.