Singapore - Paradise Dynasty
Lunched at Singapore's latest Shanghainese hotspot today - Paradise Dynasty on the 4th floor of the swanky ION Orchard mall.
It's a nice restaurant, but the food's pretty average (Din Tai Fung serves better renditions of the xiao long bao & double-boiled chicken soup). The striploin beef in Sichuanese ma-la sauce was lethal though - halfway thru the meal, my tongue was so numb, you could have pushed a skewer though it & I wouldn't have felt a thing.
The piece de resistance for Paradise Dynasty is their 8 XLB in 8 flavors (color-coded, too, no less). Comes with a little instruction card on the order in which they are to be eaten. I quite liked the foie gras-flavored one, but the cheese & crab-roe ones were bleah.
Service was good & prompt, and prices were very reasonable, given the upmarket location.
2 Orchard Turn
#04-12A ION Orchard
Tel: +65 6509 9118 (they don't accept reservations at the moment - take a queue number during peak periods, or go early)
Lunch/Dinner: 11am-10pm (Mon-Fri), 10am-10pm (Sat/Sun/Public holidays)
Return visit to Paradise Dynasty yesterday after failing to get into its swankier, more popular, no-reservations sister-restaurant, Taste Paradise (Me: "Do you have a table for 4, please?", Taste Paradise receptionist, smiling sweetly: "Yes, sir, we should have a table available for you in two hours").
Anyway, the wait at Paradise Dynasty a few doors away was only 25 minutes. What we had:
- Xiao long bao: the ones here were as good as any in Singapore, whether at rival outlets from the Crystal Jade or Din Tai Fung chains. Juicy minced pork and savoury soup encased in thin-skinned dumplings, expertly-timed in the steaming process.
- Chilled tofu topped with century eggs and chopped scallions, dressed in soysauce. My fave cold appetiser, done pretty well here.
- Soy-marinated bamboo shoots: also well-done here - crisp, delicious wands of bamboo shoots.
- Crisp-skinned jicama pastries: perfect, crisp, almost grease-less orbs of puff pastry encasing sweet, juicy grated jicama.
- "Gou bu li" buns: the famous crisp-base steamed meat-filled buns from Tianjin. The ones here were delicious and more refined than the original ones I'd in Tianjin itself.
- Egg-white souffle dumplings filled with red bean paste and banana: another of my fave items at a dumpling restaurant. The ones here weren't as light, but the filling were generous.
Good to see that Paradise Dynasty still maintained its standards after all this years.