Located on the ground floor of theParamount Hotel, across the street from Director’s Park in downtown Portland, Dragonfish is a mash-up of the cuisines of various Asian countries, and sushi, with a sprinkle of American fusion added.
I’ve been here several times, even tho I am not a big sushi fan, it’s been a preferred location for numerous business lunches over the past year.
While I always thought it was “nice”, it really didn’t float my boat as a preferred dining destination for me.
But last nite, after viewing a couple hours of the best British television commercials at the Portland Museum of Art, Mrs. BDB and I walked down the park blocks searching out some grub. You can rarely imagine a boy so torn as we got down the block, Dragonfish on one side of us,Violetta on the other (and I wouldn’t mind seeing if that latter had improved since my last visit).
But always eager to bring a smile to Mrs. BDB’s face, I steered in to Dragonfish, because a) she loves sushi, and b) she hadn’t been there, and c) she said she was buying.
Dragonfish has a half dozen full entrees as well as some seasonal ones; the sushi focus is on mash-up rolls, but sashimi (the fish/seafood only) or sushi nigiri (the hand-formed rice topped with seafood that Americans are so familiar with) are available as well. Frequent robo-sushi type diners might be confused by Dragonfish’s menu, which does a poor job of explaining the options. Fear not, tho, the servers are usually well-versed.
Mrs. BDB started with a poke, the Hawaiian version of ceviche. Poke (pou-KAY) means “sliced or cut” in Hawaiian. The “Spicy Poke”, her selection at $8, was tuna, toasted garlic, sweet chile sauce, rice vinegar, seaweed and ginger. It came with small dices of the tuna, in a savory sauce, with fan-tailed pieces of pappadum (a ‘spicy’ fried Indian cracker for cradling.
I started with steamed dumplings (of course), a Thai peanut chicken concoction, packed tight with premium white meat. I enjoyed them very much.
For an entree, Mrs. BDB went with a roll, and some of her favorite nigiri. I opted for a most interesting melange/fusion/mashup of Chinese influenced seafood hot pot, in a broth that was straight out of Louisiana gumbo cookbook, with the addition of cilantro for a SE Asian influence.
Lots of squid in that puppy.The broth was very tasty.
We passed on dessert in favor of an espresso and Earl Gray under the stars (and rain) outdoors at Violetta.
If you absolutely love sushi, you’ll love Dragonfish. If you’re not familiar with sushi, this is the place to get your feet wet. Some online reviewers say it is spendy, but I don’t think so. Our dinner, with a small bottle of saki and a beer, was less than $50.
BTW, just for the record, I am writing this whilst eating a 7-Eleven Italian Baguette, which I have previously opined about. Apu, at my local 7-Eleven, says it is one of their best sellers.