Dragon Ball-Themed Conroe Restaurant Expands to Spring

The sign outside Dragon Bowl C in Conroe. Courtesy photo.

Dragon Bowl C, a popular Dragon Ball-themed Southeast Asian noodle bar in downtown Conroe, is leveling up with a second location at 610 Rayford in Spring. It’s located inside Sabbatical Spirits & Whiskey Bar and Hop Scholar Ale House. The eatery specializes in noodle soups, egg rolls and boba tea fit for a Saiyan warrior. It is slated to officially open on Saturday, May 4. 

A Dragon Bowl from the eponymous noodle house. Courtesy photo.
A Dragon Bowl from the eponymous noodle house. Courtesy photo.

Dragon Bowl is owned and operated by husband and wife San and Kelly Cheng, along with their daughter, Kahlia. The family’s first venture was a mobile food trailer in Conroe called Taste the Asian, which opened in 2019. It was during that time that they began to encounter their biggest hurdle, which was navigating Conroe’s notoriously difficult city ordinances. When Taste the Asian opened, Conroe only allowed mobile food vendors to operate for two hours per day. Kahlia, who was a minor at the time, went before city council members on more than one occasion to plead their case, becoming instrumental to the loosening of said restrictions

All of this strengthened their resolve and helped them grow together, leading them to opening their first brick-and-mortar,  Dragon Bowl C Noodle Bar, at 118 Simonton during the summer of 2022.

The movie selection is as solid as the beer selection at Hop Scholar Ale House. Photo by Mario-Sebastian Berry.
The movie selection is as solid as the beer selection at Hop Scholar Ale House. Photo by Mario-Sebastian Berry.

The Chengs first met Dr. Todd Hayden who owns Hop Scholar, its attached sister bar Sabbatical and the nearby Rayford Animal Wellness Clinic, about three years ago at a Southern Star Brewing Co. event. A few years later, they reached out to Hayden for advice on opening a business similar to Hop Scholar, and their relationship grew from there. At the beginning of this year, Hayden presented the Chengs with the idea of taking over the shared kitchen space inside his bars. 

A trio of boba teas at Dragon Bowl. Courtesy photo.
A trio of boba teas at Dragon Bowl. Courtesy photo.

The timing was perfect, as the Chengs were already thinking about expansion. The food menu at the new location will keep many of the staples that have drawn lines at the original, like the Dragon Bowl Ph with brisket, round eye steak, meatballs and boiled egg. But just as Goku trains constantly towards learning new disciplines, the Spring location will introduce new, exclusive items meant to pair with the many craft beers at Hop Scholar and the creative, seasonal cocktails and spirits library at Sabbatical. 

Khao poon, a Laotian red curry infused with coconut milk. Courtesy photo.
Khao poon, a Laotian red curry infused with coconut milk. Courtesy photo.

San and Kelly, who are of Cambodian and Laotian heritage, respectively, try to reflect their backgrounds in the food they serve while also listening to the desires of the public. Just as there are seven Dragon Balls to collect, the menu lists seven different specialty bowls, including Ph-geta with tofu, baby bok choy, bean sprouts, corn, enoki mushrooms and boiled egg, Kamehameha with Laotian khao poon broth (usually made with a chicken stock base and infused with coconut milk and red curry), smoked brisket, bok choy, mushrooms and basil, and Khao Poon with chicken, green and red cabbage, mint, carrots and boiled egg. Prices range between $13 and $18.

You can also build a bowl with a base of your choice of noodles: ramen, udon, rice noodles or zucchini. Then, pick your broth, veggies and protein, with options including chicken, brisket, thinly-sliced steak, shrimp, meatballs, fish balls, tuna and fried or steamed tofu.

Stir-fried SAIYAN Noodles at Dragon Bowl. Courtesy photo.
Stir-fried SAIYAN Noodles at Dragon Bowl. Courtesy photo.

There are two stir-fry noodle dishes to choose from if you’re not in the mood for soup: GoGo Noodle, a spicy stir-fry with scallions, egg and corn, or SAIYAN Noodle with spicy kimchi, scallions, egg and corn. Both dishes come with your choice or protein and either ramen or udon noodles. The Spring location will be introducing vermicelli noodle plates as well.

A spread of Dragon Bowl's appetizers. Courtesy photo.
A spread of Dragon Bowl’s appetizers. Courtesy photo.

If you are looking for a salty snack to nosh while you sip on libations, there are small plates such as fried calamari, Brisket Mac Egg Rolls, Philly Egg Rolls, pot stickers, four flavors of wings, crab rangoon and shrimp tempura

As longtime fans of the Dragon Ball franchise, the Cheng family plans to honor Dragon Ball creator Akira Toriyama, who sadly passed away on March 1, with a celebration of life on March 31 at the downtown Conroe Dragon Bowl. Details are still pending, but they also plan to make April 5 Akira Toriyama Day, and have discussed playing their favorite episodes inside the restaurant on a big screen, or even renting out a local theater to watch Toriyama’s works along with fellow fans and regulars.

GoGo Noodles at Dragon Bowl. Courtesy photo.
GoGo Noodles at Dragon Bowl. Courtesy photo.

The Chengs hope to open the Spring location in a month or so. To stay up-to-date on upcoming events and announcements, including the grand opening, follow Dragon Bowl on Facebook and Instagram.

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