- 2664 E. Jefferson, Detroit, MI, 48207
- Overall User Rating:
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- 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Mon.-Thu., 11 a.m.-11 p.m. Fri.-Sat., noon-10 p.m. Sun.
Every home needs a go-to Chinese carry-out restaurant; it is an American necessity, like late-night pizza delivery joints and neighborhood watering holes within stumbling distance. Most of the Chinese restaurants you’ll find in the city of Detroit are small, tucked away in the corner of a strip mall with sparse seating, doing most of their business in carry-outs and deliveries. Lucky Dragon is one of those kinds of places.
Lucky Dragon Café is located near Downtown Detroit, on Jefferson Avenue just east of Chene. Owners Dan Harnphanich and Yin Hon Chan opened Lucky Dragon in 1998, and have been involved in some form of Chinese eateries since 1982 with their first venture in the Renaissance Center. Hon Chan is the chef of the operation; he cooked in Hong Kong before coming to the States, then worked in Chinese restaurants all over the country before ending up here in Detroit. The food at Lucky Dragon is in the Cantonese and Szechuan style, but catered to American palates (as much Chinese restaurants in this area are).
Chinese food certainly has a cultish following – you either love it or you REALLY love it. For those of you die-hards always on the lookout for a great Chinese carry-out spot, you’ll find that the food at Lucky Dragon is a little more heavily seasoned than most other places; they found that there was a demand for that in this particular area and simply responded accordingly. What this means is if you’re the type who tends to dismiss a lot of the Chinese-American places for being too bland, this might just be the spot for you.
They have all the classics – almond boneless chicken, sweet and sour chicken, shrimp egg foo young, General Tso’s chicken – and there isn’t a dud in the bunch. The food is just consistently solid, and that’s really what we all want out of our neighborhood Chinese joint. Another advantage that Lucky Dragon has over many of other Chinese diners is that everything is made in-house from scratch, and most items are cooked fresh to order – this makes a huge difference in the quality and flavor of the food.
Their most popular dish is the Hawaiian chicken, lightly breaded chicken breast nuggets with pineapple chunks, red peppers and green onions stir-fried in a sweet and spicy Polynesian glaze. The chicken is tender and juicy and the sauce thick with just the right ratio of sweet to spicy. They also carry a few Thai dishes for those with a taste for heat. The Thai chicken is stir-fried with green peppers, onions, carrots and bamboo shoots in a spicy coconut and peanut sauce; they also serve other popular Thai dishes like Pad Thai and Drunken Noodles. Other popular menu items include the pepper steak and sesame chicken, but they are also selling more and more vegetable stir-frys as people trend towards being more health-conscious.
They run a daily special all day every day that is any entree served with vegetable fried rice for only $5.90, and they offer both lunch and dinnertime delivery to hotels, apartment buildings and businesses within a three mile radius. They also have a small but cheery dining room if you’d like to dine in, just be aware that they don’t carry a liquor license so no giant fish bowl cocktails, sad face.