Singapore - Yum cha @ Paradise Pavilion, Marina Bay Financial Centre
Paradise Pavilion is the latest outlet in the "tze-char" restaurant turned fine-dining Chinese restaurant chain, Taste Paradise, stable of upmarket Chinese restaurants. Paradise Pavilion's location in Singapore new Marina Bay Financial Centre guarantees it the patronage of big-spending "expense account" financial brokers, bankers and other executives from various MNCs at the swish MBFC office towers.
On weekends, the place turns quieter, but one still needs to make advance booking at Paradise Pavilion to be sure of a table.
What we tried during our "yum cha" luncheon last Monday (a bank holiday due to the the Eid ul-Fitr celebration in Singapore) at lunch:
- Poached chicken in Sichuan sauce. Paradise Pavilion's version is unique: a combination of Sichuan peppercorns, dried chillies, peanut paste and sesame oil. Topped with finely-cubed century eggs. The chicken-meat was satiny-smooth - I absolutely loved it. But the sauce was a bit too spicy for me, and I'd never liked the numbing effect which Sichuan peppercorn has on one's lips & tongue. But overall, a rather innovative and interesting dish.
- Lobster bisque served in a young coconut. I think the best part of the dish was actually the young coconut vessel. The coconut flesh was soft enough to be scraped off with a soup spoon and blended with the rather unimpressive, much-too-liquid tomatoey "bisque", which totally lacked the robust lobster flavors, not a strong dash of spirit to pep it up. I'd not recommend this soup, try something else if given a choice.
- "Cha leung", which was "yau char kuai" fritter rolled in "cheung fun" rice sheet, then steamed. The version here was surprisingly tasty, albeit in the different manner - the filling seemed to have a cocoa-coffee flavor more reminiscent of the "coffee pork-ribs" dish which is so popular in Singapore.
- Deep-fried cod-fish nuggets, coated with almond flakes. Quite tasty but rather plain & boring. Maybe should have been pepped up with wasabi-mayo dip or something.
- Barbecued puff pasties filled with "char-siu": if Paradise Pavilion's kitchen failed in any one dish - this has to be it. The short-crust pastry crumbled at the softest touch, which was pretty annoying. So, I was left with oily crumbs all over my plate, table, and my lap.
- Custard-filled steamed buns or "nai wong bao" ( 奶黃包). Pretty average tasting version here, and lacked the salted duck's egg-yolk which acted as a counterpoint to the sweet custard.
There were only two of us at lunch, so we had to forgo the Peking duck at Paradise Pavilion - a pity since two of their Peking duck chefs were from Beijing's legendary Quanjude Kaoyadian, which was responsible for introducing & popularising the Peking duck to the world.
8A Marina Boulevard
#02-01 Marina Bay Link Mall
Tel: +65- 6509 9308