When they say this Paradise Group restaurant has a grand alluring ambience, they mean it. Just before dusk, photo-taking was still manageable, thankfully. Decked with both warm and luxurious colors of brown and majestic golden, the restaurant emphasizes its cuisine as Northern and Southern Chinese food. It is also most known for its famed 8 pieces of Xiao Long Bao, advised to be eaten in sequence.
Paradise Dynasty, unlike many other Chinese Restaurants, only offers (refillable) Pu Er Tea ($1.20++). What is a Chinese meal without a pot (or two) of brewed tea right. We went for it without hesitation. Don’t expect much though, the tea was a let down as the flavors did not quite escape the tea leaves used. It was relatively bland.
Mixed Dumpling (8 pieces) ($14.60++) :: Considering the hype (with hype comes inflation of prices) and the ingredients present in some of the Xiao Long Bao, I thought it was fairly priced. It is recommended to eat in sequence so as to tickle your taste bud from the lightest to heaviest flavored ones: Original, Ginseng, Foie Gras, Black Truffle, Cheesy, Crab Roe, Garlic, Sze Chuan. If you are the more choosy eater and would rather zoom into a specific one, I highly recommend you go for its Black Truffle and the Sze Chuan Xiao Long Bao. They are both piquant and mouth-watering, leaving you wanting more.
Cold Salted Duck Slice ($8.80++) :: Duck breast, duck slices, especially when they are made as an appetizer, I wouldn’t let it slip my grasp. This would do better with just a slightly stronger flavor. Otherwise, it’s ordinary.
Shanghai Pork Bun (3 pieces) ($4.50++) :: I don’t usually eat Pork Buns like this, but I was pleasantly surprised with their rendition. The bun is comparatively thin, fluffy and soft, thus not stealing the limelight of the pork. Further, its lightly charred bottom gives more dimension to the dish.
Drunken Chicken ($8.80++) :: With it coming with a strong liquor-flavored meat, you wouldn’t feel like you are being shortchanged. Good quality and adequate deep flavor.
Braised Pork Belly ($14.80++) :: I’m glad the sauce took a step back and did not add the saltiness to the already salted Pork Belly. The chunks of meat were pretty easy to bite off. Fatty portion doesn’t feel all too sinful for me. But of course I’m not one who cares. I can drink some oil as well.
Shanghai Fried Rice ($10.80++) :: About 5 – 6 small bowls makes up the mother plate. It’s a staple worth ordering. Fragrant and considerably intense in flavors. I’d pay a little more for this than to choke on plain rice.
Poached Slice Fish (Szechuan Style) ($20.80++) :: In simple, it’s dunked in mala sauce. If you aren’t familiar with this well-known local sauce, it’s one that is oily, spicy and numbing – all at the same time. And you ought to be aware that they aren’t reserved at all. It really is, oily, spicy and numbing. But I loved it. The fishes were poached to perfection – soft but still with volume and bite. Generous portion, enough to feed 4.
Sautéed French Beans with Minced Pork ($11.80++) :: It isn’t all too bad, but I felt it was rather salty; nothing to scream about.
Stir-fried Slice Beef ($18++) :: No, after stir-frying with the chinese ingredients, it doesn’t have any remaining gamey taste. The slices were thick enough to feel a bite, and that didn’t hinder the tenderness of it. Very enjoyable to semi-chew on them, but not of must-order standard.
As with restaurants of similar cuisines, when dishes start coming, they come like non-stop hits. Service was prompt, though nothing on a personal level. A more than decent Chinese Restaurant I would recommend. I had thought it’d be pricier than this. Guess it’s our gain. Be sure to head there earlier if you do not wish to queue. Plus, everyone has to be present before you’re allowed in.v
—> Note #1: Bills are to be paid at the Counter near the entrance.
Address: 2 Orchard Turn, ION Orchard #04-12A
Telephone: 6509 9118 (Reservations not taken)
Opening Hours: 11am – 10pm (Mon – Fri); 10am – 10pm (Sat, Sun & PH)