Paradise Dynasty ~ Legend of Xiao Long Bao
2 Orchard Turn, #04-12A, ION Orchard, Singapore
Phone: (65) 6509 9118
Paradise Group is the latest empire to snip at the Chinese food market in Singapore. After the much dominance of Crystal Jade and Imperial Treasure, it is definitely great to see the competition! My friends have raved about how special their Xiao Long Baos were and the mad queues that one has to endure to get in as they do not accept any reservations.V was in town for a visit, which is an extremely good opportunity to head down to PD for some delicious XLB that Melbourne does not serve. When we arrived at the entrance, there was no queue in sight! We were shown to our seats almost immediately. The decor and ambience was just fine for a delicious Chinese Lunch. Anyway, before I forget, there was a sign up front, detailing their specialty: The World’s First 8 Flavoured Xiao Long Bao (Namely: Original, Ginseng, Foie Gras, Black Truffle, Cheesy, Crab Roe, Garlic and Szechuan).
When the much anticipated XLBs were served, I was mesmerized by the variety of the colours but disappointed by the shape as they looked flat and sloppy. If one has been to Din Tai Fung, they will recognise the differences and the precision involved in the making of XLB. They should be perky and the folds to be distinctive. Yes, the flavours were interesting and they actually blended really well with the filling. However, picking up the Szechuan XLB which was in pink, I bit into it carefully and was overwhelmed with the spices and nearly gagged over it. It was simply too much for me and I have utterly underestimated the little innocent pink thing. T_T The Foie Gras flavoured XLB was so much nicer! 😀
Next up was the Sweet and Sour soup which V thought was yummy and thick!
After which we had some of their signatures: Braised Pork Belly. They were tender and succulent; the sauce was thick, flavoursome and completed this classic perfectly. Fried rice that was a simple yet distinct rice dish at most Chinese restaurants. Sweet and Sour Fish was another of their more popular dishes and the flavour was balanced nicely but I still prefer the pork version.It was my first time trying the Radish Pastry. It was crispy on the outside and the radish inside were sliced nicely in fine strips and they managed to maintain their natural juiciness.Pan fried Shanghai Pork Bun is my all time favourite. PD managed to fry it nicely at the base, with all the crispy bits at the bottom. But the top seemed a bit too doughy and tasted like plain bread which was not all that fabulous. >.<Lastly, for their dumplings, be it fried or the standard ones, the skin was done in the right thickness and stuffed with lots of filling! It was not too thick like those I have tried in Melbourne nor too salty for the pork fillings inside.
Paradise Dynasty markets itself as the Legend of Xiao Long Bao, it seems to me that they fall short of being the Legend? The consistency and the precision that are to be observed in this delicacy were not that stringent at PD as seen in the picture above. Maybe they should ‘learn’ from the guru (DTF) and enhance their signature to live up to the hype as the world’s first flavoured XLB? As for the other dishes that we ordered, they were mouth-watering and reasonably priced.