Dragonwell Bistro

3.8
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176 Reviews
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$30 and under
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Chinese
Growing up among the clatter of silverware and plates in his parents’ restaurants, owner Jack Chu went off to China to work as a Business Consultant after he earned his MBA. There, he tasted authentic Chinese food in various regions. When he moved back to Portland with his wife, they opened Dragonwell Bistro. In the restaurant, large, arched windows stretch from the floor to the exposed rafters, allowing natural light to bring to life the color of dishes arranged artfully on plates. Chef Chen draws upon decades of experience as he forges sweet and savory sauces, such as a combination of champagne and orange juice destined to glaze lightly battered chicken; or sautéed shrimps with fresh Dragonwell loose leaf green tea from Hangzhou, China. Traditional steamed dumplings, Xiao Long Bao are freshly made from stratch each morning. Daily happy hour offers local wine, sake, ginger-infused vodka, and green-tea liqueur add exotic twists to cocktails.
What 176 people are saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
3.8based on recent ratings
3.9
food
4.0
service
3.8
ambience
3.9
value
Noise · Moderate
50% of people would recommend it to a friend
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OT
OpenTable Diner
Portland
3 reviews
Dined on February 14, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Love this place! It has become our favorite Chinese restaurant in Portland area. We drive 30 min each way every time we go

BE
BasicEpicure
Los Angeles
7 reviews
Dined on February 4, 2020
Overall4food4service5ambience4

Very nice, enjoyed the dumplings and house fried rice especially.

s
shananorama
Portland
4 reviews
Dined on December 24, 2019
Overall3food4service2ambience4

Came on Christmas Eve so we expected it to be busy and service slower than usual. We received our first three dishes very quickly then nothing. After 20 minutes the waitress asked if we wanted our check. We told her we were missing 3 more dishes. Confusion in the kitchen and finally received our food. Waitress was apologetic.

SW
SWPDX
Portland
14 reviews
Dined on December 18, 2019
Overall3food2service3ambience3

We had soup dumplings. They were warm and had little flavor. The Orange chicken was cut into large pieces and was warm and somewhat mushy and slimy. The Subgum and pork in Black Bean Sauce was awful. There was no pork chop. It was dried out Char Siu pork in something sweet and black beans. The vegetable part was undercooked broccoli, button mushrooms, onions and carrots. Again served warm. Also had the Cashew Chicken and the chicken was slimy. We had Spring rolls that were dripping with oil but were served hot. It took forever to get our drinks.

I would not go back. It used to be good a couple of years back. I prefer Duck House.

OC
vipOCdiner
Orange County
56 reviews
Dined on July 31, 2019
Overall4food5service5ambience4

Loved the steamed salmon. Neighborhood charm and warm welcoming service. This San Francisco gem made for a nice dinner setting.

OT
vipOpenTable Diner
Dallas
2 reviews
Dined on July 26, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Dinner was great! Delicious food, great service, and well priced! Definitely recommend!!

J
Joanne
1 review
Dined on July 5, 2019
Overall1food1service1ambience1

U were not there
U were closed
U failed to notify open table that u were closed during July 4 weekend

My reservation was for July 5 at 4:30. It was a major inconvenience to search for another place to eat as we are not from the neighborhood.

U were closed

OT
OpenTable Diner
Portland
2 reviews
Dined on June 24, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Service was great and so was the food. Made a reservation through Open Table and when we arrived our table was set specially for us. What a great way to start our time at Dragonwell Bistro. It ended just as well!

TJ
TerpJeff
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on June 15, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Excellent food and service from wait staff and bartender

SH
SamH
1 review
Dined on May 11, 2019
Overall4food5service5ambience2

Amazing food.
The place needs a good decorator, but you can't find better food than what they serve.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Portland
3 reviews
Dined on April 26, 2019
Overall4food5service5ambience4

Big portions meant for 2 or more

OT
OpenTable Diner
Portland
13 reviews
Dined on March 15, 2019
Overall4food4service4ambience4

The food is absolutely outstanding but tonight the service was a bit slow (note*the server did a marvelous job despite being the only one for the entire restaurant) However I would definitely recommend Dargonwell

OT
OpenTable Diner
Portland
3 reviews
Dined on February 14, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Food and service were great. Menu is very diverse and well priced.
This is a downtown gem!

JB
JimiB
Portland
5 reviews
Dined on February 8, 2019
Overall4food4service5ambience3

I’ve been ton gina many times. The food and presentation is much like one might find in China though the portions are larger At Dragonwell.

A
Annie
Portland
6 reviews
Dined on September 22, 2018
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great Cantonese food. General Tso’s was great. Kevin our wait person was super. “Not a problem” we will be back with friends!

OT
vipOpenTable Diner
San Francisco
3 reviews
Dined on June 30, 2018
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Fantastic food and service!

CC
vipCollierCulinaryCritique
Washington DC
161 reviews
Dined on June 15, 2018
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Great tasting food at an outstanding price. Quality ingredients and yummy flavors. Best pork fried rice in the area by far.

CD
vipColleenDEN
Denver
30 reviews
Dined on June 11, 2018
Overall4food4service3ambience3

Yummy food!

OT
OpenTable Diner
Portland
1 review
Dined on May 11, 2018
Overall2food1service5ambience5

Food was not good, we had chicken fried rice, the chicken was flavorless and rubbery. BBQ Pork was good! We will not be returning.

OT
vipOpenTable Diner
Portland
27 reviews
Dined on February 19, 2018
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The Asian food at Dragonwell is excellent, and at reasonable prices. They had a Chinese special for the Chinese New Year that was wonderful.

OT
vipOpenTable Diner
Portland
2 reviews
Dined on February 2, 2018
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great experience as always.

s
sdesi2269
Washington DC
14 reviews
Dined on January 27, 2018
Overall5food4service5ambience4

Excellent. Not your average Chinese fare - subtly flavoured as you would expect from authentic Cantonese. This was a real find. Having lived in Asia and travelled extensively in China and surrounding areas we rarely seek Chinese in the US, particularly Portland, but we were fed up of microbrew and gastropub food and contemporary American fare. Found the place on OT, convenient to our downtown hotel. Unassuming place but really great Cantonese food! Melanie our waitperson was very welcoming and social - great story teller. Food was excellent. We started with Xiao Long Bao and a couple of soups. Followed up with the Cantonese General Tso’s Chicken and Spinach and Garlic with Singapore Rice Noodles. We will definitely go back. Sit by the window and watch the cars go the wrong way up SW 1st Street!

DD
DonD
Portland
13 reviews
Dined on January 20, 2018
Overall4food4service5ambience3

You can expect classic Szechwan-style dishes without the overwhelming heat sometimes found in this genre. Everything on the menu here is consistently good in city that sadly has very few good Chinese options. Some of the standout main courses are the Jade Scallops severed in a decadent crabmeat sauce and their veggie cousin Jade Tofu that offers scallop-like tofu medallions in a umami-rich portobello sauce. Both are served on a discreet bed of spinach hence the Jade moniker. The two recommended starters are scallion pancakes always properly done with crispy exterior and soft center, and sesame noodles (cold or hot) that have a nutlicous blend of peanut and tahini in the sauce. Recommended sides are the gon-bon eggplant – batter fried cutlets in a rich-sweetish brown sauce, and the uber-garliky dry-sauted string-beans. The latter are properly hot-oil blistered before saucing with the typical soy-chili-garlic glaze.

J
Jason
San Francisco
7 reviews
Dined on December 31, 2017
Overall4food4service3ambience4

We stopped in at 8 pm on New Years Eve for our traditional Chinese dinner. The place was busy but not jammed. They are not normally open on Sunday night, but they were open that Sunday for the holiday. The atmosphere was very pleasant. We like casual places, and we felt very comfortable there in street clothes, but we also saw people dressed for New Years parties later that night. The food was very good, and we really enjoyed our dinner. The service was good, not great. I think that they were light-handed on a Sunday night since they usually are not open. My only complaint is that they were closing at 9 pm as is their customary 'weekday' closing, and the staff was already in major shut down mode at 8:45 pm. I fully appreciate that this was not a normal night to be open, and they likely had other places to be for New Year's parties, etc. I would have expected tables to be bused, etc., but there were many tables that had been put together for larger parties, and the staff was lifting and pulling them into place all around us while we, and several other customers were still dining. It would have been great if the 'heavy lifting could have waited until 9:00 pm or even 9:15 pm. Despite that, we had a good time and would recommend this restaurant to others.

YI
vipYummyInYountville
Tulsa
34 reviews
Dined on December 26, 2017
Overall1food3service1ambience3

In top 3 of worst service ever. Too bad cause food was good. Waiter didn't tell us meatball dish was actually soup and let us order soup in addition too. Took 40 minutes to get order in 1/2 empty restaurant on a Tuesday Waiter didn't ask us if we wanted rice when he took order, we requested rice when dishes brought to table, it never came never saw waiter again until 30 later, w/out rice and asked if he could get us anything else! And we were charged for rice plus 2nd soup which also never came! We were party of 2. Can get better service for less

OT
OpenTable Diner
Portland
1 review
Dined on December 25, 2017
Overall1food1service1ambience1

If I could give zero stars I would. Very long story short- ruined our Christmas dinner.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Orlando
1 review
Dined on December 25, 2017
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Kevin was an amazing server! Love him so much. The food was incredible, especially the Xiao Ling Bao.

c
chocolate
New England
29 reviews
Dined on December 25, 2017
Overall4food5service4ambience5

Went for Xmas day. Had a reservation so there was no wait. Food was great. Service was slow but to be fair, they were busy and needed more staff. Even so, waitress was upbeat and knew the menu well.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Portland
1 review
Dined on December 25, 2017
Overall4food4service4ambience3

There was a bit of a snafu - My original reservation was at 4:00, then I changed it to 4:15 and the restaurant didn't get the revised time for my arrival. Since it was Christmas, they were very busy and the hostess was rattled. She seated us, but asked us to leave by 6:00 because they needed our table. At 6:00 we were still waiting for our desserts, so we were upset when the hostess asked us to leave. Our server and manager were very nice about it and made sure we knew we were important, and the evening was abnormally chaotic because of the holiday. Overall, the experience and the food were good - we had the shrimp, vegetable lo mein, broccoli beef and combination fried rice. We tried four of the desserts, including the sesame balls upon our server's recommendation. The sesame balls were hot and amazing and the vegan chocolate ice cream was delicious. I'd definitely go back, but stick with my original reservation time.

N
Nbfoodie
Portland
3 reviews
Dined on December 23, 2017
Overall5food4service5ambience4

Order the soup dumplings every visit - only wish they had a few more varieties. Tried the orange chicken this visit also, liked the mandarin orange flavor a lot. Kung Pao chicken a bit to simple on ingredients for my taste but overall really enjoyable dining there.

R
Ryan
Portland
3 reviews
Dined on December 9, 2017
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Had a great time at Dragonwell Bistro. I took my partner there for her birthday. I asked for a nice table and I got one. Server was awesome as was the food. Can't wait to have their orange chicken again.

MS
MarteenS
Seattle
20 reviews
Dined on November 14, 2017
Overall4food4service3ambience4

While I made the reservation for 1 p.m., my plans changed and I walked in at noon. There was no problem getting seated and I was given a window view, My apologies, I do not recall my server’s name however she was enthusiastic and helpful. All dishes are cooked to order; this means a bit more time with the flexibility of leaving items out. The twice fried pork dish, minus bell peppers, was a perfect lunch all by it self. Choice of white or brown rice a good touch. There was some confusion at the end over paying and receiving change however it was cleared up with thoughtful apologies by the staff involved. All in all, a good first experience and I wouldn’t mind going back to sample other dishes.

E
vipEpicurious
Minneapolis
80 reviews
Dined on October 21, 2017
Overall5food5service5ambience5

This was a great find. We had a large group, all visitors to the area, and the restaurant was wonderful. Food was excellent, service exceptional, and we all had a great time. I will definitely come back next time I'm in Portland. Highly recommend you check this out if you are in Portland. Their menu is extensive and everyone, vegetarians and gluten free folks, found something to enjoy.

j
vipjillandamy
Portland
45 reviews
Dined on September 1, 2017
Overall3food3service3ambience3

A good lunch spot m-f. Went one night last weekend for dinner and was disappointed. The lunch food is much better! There is a special pork wrap that they promote and that was very good. Everything else was very blah. The salt/pepper shrimp were bland, battered, fried and small. They forgot to take our drink order till the entrees came so by then we skipped beers. Also, they totally forgot our soup. The server was very nice. She said the kitchen staff are new. It felt like the typical rushed and slightly disorganized Asian restaurant. Used to be much better. Bummer

SL
vipSteakLover
Portland
14 reviews
Dined on August 30, 2017
Overall4food3service5ambience5

Not busy when we went. Good service and food.

t
viptms1
Portland
66 reviews
Dined on August 29, 2017
Overall2food2service3ambience2

disappointing. thw best were appetizers. the duck was very dry and the scallops not so good dessert balls filled with red bean curd and coated with sesame were burnt.

AB
AlexisB
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on August 18, 2017
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great option to make a reservation on opentable. Dishes are flavorful and generous family style portions!

JA
JiminAZ
Miami
9 reviews
Dined on August 13, 2017
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great food and outstanding service. Special dumplings were amazing. Great flavor with scallops entree.

LM
LaurenM
Portland
4 reviews
Dined on August 13, 2017
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Every bite hit the mark! More than one of us felt it was the best Chinese we'd had in years!

AL
ALVIN
Anchorage
17 reviews
Dined on June 28, 2017
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Real Chinese, Really! Very nice restaurant, spacious, with a traditional and creative menu selection. This was just what we wanted to stir up our meal choices with stir fry. Appreciated the history with a China Professionally trained chef and owner.

FAQs

Dragonwell Bistro offers takeout which you can order by calling the restaurant at (503) 224-0800.

Dragonwell Bistro is rated 3.8 stars by 176 OpenTable diners.

You can book this restaurant by choosing the date, time and party size.