If you’re craving Chinese food in Stillwater OK, look no further than Golden Dragon Cafe. Locally-owned restaurant serving up delicious cuisine
My parents and I love Chinese food, and on every visit we eat it at least once. In Maryland, we have one main standby that’s about a 10-minute drive from my parents’ house. My parents contribute to their booming carryout business, and we get it to go 99% of the time. Next time I’m in Maryland, we’ll have to dine in so that I can do a review.
When my parents are visiting, we cook most of the time, as they usually come in August which is my busiest time of the year. Their most recent trip was over Christmas, because we were heading to the Sugar Bowl in New Orleans. One night we didn’t feel like cooking, so after some discussion on cuisine, we decided on Golden Dragon Cafe. I realized that I had never posted about it, which is crazy considering how many times I’ve eaten here.
Golden Dragon is my go-to Chinese restaurant in Stillwater. When I ate lunch out daily we went quite often, as they have great lunch specials and everyone in my group really likes the food. Then one time I went to order carryout, and the owner knew what I wanted before I could even say anything. That’s when I realized I was eating there way too often! I don’t go very often anymore, mainly because I don’t want to weigh a ton. But also, it’s on the complete opposite side of town from my house and I don’t want to drive all the way there. Yes, it’s only 10 minutes, but when I’m lazy, “all the way” is really far.
The original Golden Dragon space wasn’t very large, seating about 50. Booths line the left wall, tables are in the middle, and the order/takeout counter plus the kitchen are along the right wall. During the lunch rush, it would be normal to wait 15-20 minutes to be seated. About a year ago they took over the nail salon next door and doubled their space. I went in to order takeout last month on the day of OSU graduation and, even with the doubled space, there was a huge wait to eat there. But on a normal lunch day, I would think they wouldn’t have much wait, if any.
My parents and I were seated at one of the booths in the original dining space. It was freezing cold outside, so I ordered Jasmine tea to start. I don’t get it very often, but the tea is always served scorching hot so it was perfect for the weather
One thing I really like about Golden Dragon is they serve both Chinese and Thai dishes, and you have your choice of protein on many of the dishes. The lunch menu is substantial but not overwhelming. The dinner menu, on the other hand, is a book, with appetizers, soups, noodle soups, and a lot more of both Chinese and Thai dishes. I don’t do well with big menus, so maybe that’s why I only come for dinner when my parents are in town.
The Golden Dragon lunch specials all come with soup, rice and egg roll or spring roll. The dinner entrees only come with rice, so my mom and I both got soup. Mom got the vegetable soup
I didn’t taste any, but she said it was good. I went with the wonton soup. It’s by far my favorite at Chinese restaurants, and I will always get it when available
The soup was super hot, and very flavorful. The wontons are huge, which is a big plus. They used to bring crispy noodles automatically, but over time they phased that out. You can, however, still ask for them. Of course I completely forgot to take a picture. I love the crispy noodles, because they are light and airy and have a great crunch.
My mom went with the spicy basil with veggies, found on the Thai menu
I’m always hesitant with tofu, especially unfried tofu, but in the spirit of the blog I tried a bite. It was delicious and had a very good mix of flavors. The vegetables were cooked tender-crisp, and the sauce was nice and light. My mom likes spicy so she got hers a 3 (medium). It had a kick, but nothing too overpowering.
My dad went with eggplant with garlic sauce, found on the Chinese menu. He doesn’t do spicy at all, so he asked for it with no spice
The vibrant colors were the first thing that jumped out at me. It was like all the colors of the rainbow on one plate. I’m not a fan of eggplant. I’m a huge texture eater, and it’s much too mushy for me, unless it’s fried. I did, however, taste the sauce and the veggies, and the flavors matched the colors. The sauce had a wonderful depth of flavor and was very rich, while still being light. All of the vegetables were cooked tender-crisp, just the way I like them.
I’ve tried numerous dishes on the menu, and none have ever disappointed: pepper steak, kung pao chicken, Szechuan shrimp, rice noodles, pineapple curry fried rice, spicy basil, Pad Thai. I had a really hard time making a decision, because I do have so many stand-bys. I tried to theorize that I could get one of them since I had never posted before. But I eventually talked myself out of that and decided to take a huge plunge and go with the tofu hot pot
This is officially one of my top 3 dishes on the Golden Dragon menu. I absolutely scalded myself when I took the first bite, but that’s my own fault for not being patient. I don’t quite know how they cook it all without overcooking any one part, but I just can’t worry about that. The sauce was very light, and it really needs to be so that it doesn’t overpower everything else in the dish. I wasn’t a fan of the crabmeat because it was those fake crabsticks. But I knew that going in, and just took them out. The tofu was lightly fried, but still kept it’s integrity through the cooking. I never thought I would ever say this, but the tofu might have been my favorite protein. Don’t get me wrong though, the chicken, shrimp and pork were outstanding as well. The vegetables were all cooked to a perfect tender-crisp. I told our server at least twice how good this was, and my parents were probably tired of me talking about it by the end of our meal.
The tofu hot pot comes to the table screaming hot and sizzling, and the pot is covered until the dish is set in front of you. I wanted a picture of it closed, but our server took it off too fast, and then I was completely enthralled by the dish itself. And besides, he took the cover with him so I wouldn’t accidentally touch it and burn myself.
Golden Dragon will continue to be in my top 5 restaurants in Stillwater.