With summer only two weeks old, food truck season has really come into full swing. And, now that I’m officially on summer vacation, I can finally take the time to try out Ottawa’s newest food trucks and carts. This week, Don and I visit Angry Dragonz.
Angry Dragonz is by the husband and wife team of Kin Tran and Bonnie Wong. Food has always been a big part of their lives, especially for Kin, having worked in the restaurant industry for years and previously owned several restaurants, including Asia River on River Road, Koi Asia in Bells Corners and China Hut on Sparks.
Offering “Asian fusion with a twist,” Don and I weren’t too sure what to expect. Would North American Asian fare be on the menu, like egg rolls or chicken balls? However, when my youngest sister mentioned my favourite Hong Kong-style snack of egg puffs (think waffles) would be served, I had to check it out.
Having already eaten lunch, we were taking a leisurely stroll before Don had to return to the office when we found ourselves walking down Gloucester Street. Of course, we really shouldn’t have ordered a snack, but we just couldn’t resist the good smells. Chatting up some hungry patrons, who were patiently waiting for their orders, we discovered the newly opened truck already had regulars, some making almost daily lunch visits. It wasn’t hard to understand why.
While short, the menu offers customers quite a selection with starters at $3 and $5, rice bowls at $8 or $9 and noodles for $8. Not yet available are their wraps at $7. And, with dessert at $4 and $5, you can easily have a three-course meal for under $20. Vegetarians options are also available. Strong warning though, while you can order a peanut free noodle or rice bowl, those with a severe peanut allergy may need to consider dining elsewhere.
Despite our full stomachs, Don and I went for a starter, ordering some meat skewers.
At $5 for three skewers, we had a choice between lamb, beef, and chicken, and a vegetarian option of tofu. We chose the lamb and chicken skewers.
The chicken skewers were grilled and marinated with a tamarind sauce. Flavourful and succulent, it was also savory yet sweet. I enjoyed the sweetness from the sauce, however Don found it a bit too sweet for his liking. On the other hand, the lamb skewers were a big hit with us. Also grilled, the lamb was marinated with cumin and sprinkled with chili, garlic, and honey. It was simply delicious.
And of course, I couldn’t leave without a bag of the “Dragonz Puffs.”
A golden egg waffle, this Hong Kong snack is hugely popular in Chinatown and in Asian malls in Toronto and Vancouver. I enjoy eating it plain so I skipped the maple butter & bacon and Nutella & icing sugar options. Although it could have been crisper on the outside, it was soft on the inside and reminded me of my childhood. I will definitely order this again.
Total: 2 starters + dessert = $14
We were ready to come back for lunch.
In the summer, Don jumps at any opportunity to have lunch together in downtown instead of dining near his office in Hull. So, when I mentioned one morning that I was feeling too sleepy to make him lunch, he immediately suggested we meet at Angry Dragonz.
Given it was a sunny day, we weren’t surprised by the crowd surrounding the truck. We quickly placed our orders, bulgogi beef ($8) for Don and a peanut-free chicken Pad Thai ($8) for me.
While we waited, we couldn’t help noticing the nice display of condiments. You won’t find the “usual suspects” here. Conveniently packaged in squeeze bottles were Korean red pepper sauce, Thai sweet chili sauce, Chinese chili garlic sauce, spicy plum sauce, and sriracha “hot sauce.”
Don and I were delighted with our boxes of rice and noodles. The bulgogi beef was succulent, having been marinated in a Korean-style BBQ sauce with fresh veggies. It was served atop steaming long grain rice. Don opted for a fried egg ($1 extra). Ducking into a nearby office building with our lunches to escape the heat, the fried egg jiggled as we walked. The yolk was runny, making Don incredibly happy. [Who knew a jiggly egg could make a man so happy?]
While Don prefers a more traditional take on a Korean rice bowl (think bibimbap), he did find Angry Dragonz’s take creative and enjoyed the “bulgogi” beef.
At $9, it was good value and a generous portion.
Meanwhile, I thoroughly enjoyed my Pad Thai. Also a generous portion, I had a little trouble finishing my noodles, leaving the rest for an afternoon “snack”.
The rice noodles were stir-fried in a tamarind sauce with chicken, fresh vegetables, egg, and finished with a squirt of siracha sauce. This was the best Pad Thai I had eaten in a long time. You won’t find a better one downtown.
Total: 1 rice bowl, 1 noodle, two drinks, 1 extra egg + 2 drinks = $20
Verdict: Good food, great prices, Angry Dragonz is sure to be a success!
As of July 5th, Angry Dragonz is temporarily closed due to recent noise complaints from neighbours about their generator and a visit from City of Ottawa officials. Apparently, the truck’s generator was just too loud. However, with the promise to be back up and running soon, be sure to check their Facebook or Twitter feed for their re-opening. In the meantime, here’s their visit to CTV Morning Ottawa.