Central’s Oldest Chinese Tradition Now Serving Its Newest Sensation

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By Mia Freneaux

    12 years ago, 9 Dragon Chinese Restaurant opened its doors in the Oak Point (then A&P) Shopping Center.  Located in a narrow shop, it gradually expanded, first including an all-you-can-eat buffet, then encompassing the shop next door to become the spacious and unique dining experience it is today.  From offering over 50 items on its huge buffet, to its fresh sushi and saucy hibachi, 9 Dragon’s aim is, as it has always been, customer satisfaction.  “We are always striving to improve,” states Central resident Simon Dong, 9 Dragon’s manager, “We listen to our customers’ requests, but also try to do something unique and different.  We do well with creating new dishes regularly.”  9 Dragon’s chef and co-owner, David Zheng, has over 20 years’ experience in the restaurant business. He opened 9 Dragon, then brought Simon on board to help with the business administration.

    Both David and Simon can truly claim to know their cuisine – they are both from the Fujian Province of China. Fujian cuisine, one of the eight great traditions of Chinese cuisine, is known for its emphasis on seafood, and 9 Dragon upholds that tradition.  Offering raw oysters, steamed shrimp, boiled crawfish (in season), baked mussels, baked tilapia, fried frog legs, snow crab legs (on Friday, Saturday and Sunday), and many other delicious dishes such as coconut shrimp and seafood toast, 9 Dragon has anything a seafood lover could want.  In addition, their buffet offers Chinese dishes such as Bourbon Chicken, Pepper Pork, and Sweet and Sour Shrimp to satisfy those craving more traditional fare.  Smoked Chicken and Spicy Salt and Pepper Shrimp are some original creations that David and Simon have cooked up.  Amazing Spicy Chicken truly lives up to its name! 

    9 Dragon’s brand new Hibachi Grill features chicken, beef, baby scallops and shrimp.  Select your meat, and accompany it with your choice of fresh snow peas, mushrooms, green scallion, zucchini, or broccoli.  The chef will then grill it with a marvelous brown sauce.  The sauce is a house secret recipe that starts with simmering 7 different kinds of vegetables in a chicken broth overnight.  The sushi chefs train for 2 years to know the proper way to prepare the food.  The sushi is fresh and beautifully presented.  The 4 Seasons Roll, Sweetheart Roll, 9 Dragon Roll and tofu skin sushi are all delightful.  Homemade desserts include brownies and cheese cake. “We call our menu ‘Asian Fusion’,” Simon said with a smile.

    9 Dragon, with its light and airy feel of pale wood, gleaming chandeliers, and sea green walls, offers a family friendly dining experience. From large tables to accommodate parties to intimate booth seating, 9 Dragon has the right setting for any event.  “Every dish has its own unique flavor,” enthused Central resident Joseph Romero as he dined with his family, “It doesn’t all taste the same. Everyone here is as nice as can be. In our community, we want to support the people who support our community.” 9 Dragon has 4 locations, Central, Sherwood Forest, LSU and their newest location on Florida Boulevard.  All offer the same high quality and great service.  9 Dragon Restaurant, 14455 Greenwell Springs Rd, 262-8988.

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