By now, I am sure you’d have seen the colourful xiaolongbao from Paradise Dynasty on advertising billboards along Orchard Road as well as the other Singapore Food Blogs that have written about it before.
Paradise Dynasty is one of their newer ventures, and it is conveniently located alongside Taste Paradise on Ion Orchard level four. The question on everyone’s mind: are the colourful creations from Paradise Dynasty the best Xiao Long Bao in Singapore?
The Paradise group of restaurants has been growing rapidly in recent years and they are definitely giving the other Chinese restaurant chains like Crystal Jade, Imperial Treasure, Din Tai Fung a run for their money.
I don’t know about you, but the colourful xiaolongbao with exotic ingredients sound like a marketing gimmick to me. In any case, I decided to drop by and see what the fuss is all about.
Okay maybe It is not exactly fair to compare restaurants directly, but to give you a better picture, Paradise Dynasty is the equivalent of Crystal Jade’s La Mian & Xiaolongbao.
Stepping inside Paradise Dynasty through the narrow entrance, the restaurant interior is not what you’d expect from a causal dining restaurant. And given the fact that most of the items on Paradise Dynasty’s menu are priced reasonably, it is not difficult to understand why they have been doing quite well.
We were here for the colourful xiaolongbao of course. Okay, maybe I need to stop calling them colourful xiaolongbao, let me try again. Paradise Dynasty has 8 signature xiaolongbao flavours: Original, Garlic, Ginseng, Foie Gras, Black Truffle, Cheese, Crab Roe, and Szechuan.
The original starts from $9.8 for a basket of 10, while the exotic premium xiao long bao like the black truffle, foie gras and ginseng are $19.80 for a basket of 10. Since it was our first time here, we went for the sampling basket ($13.80 for the 8 flavours). There were hits and misses. I thought that the Crab Roe and Cheese were surprisingly good, while the Ginseng and Foie Gras were rather bland and I couldn’t really taste anything. The other flavours were decent, but not rock-your-socks-off good.
Besides the steamed pork dumplings, we also had the la mian from Paradise Dynasty.
This question has been on my mind for some time, and I honestly don’t get it. Japanese food is a very popular cuisine, and there are so many Japanese ramen restaurants in Singapore. But when it comes to Chinese La Mian, we do not have many choices, and most people seem to prefer having ramen anyway.
The irony is Japanese ramen originates from Chinese La Mian, yet it is often more expensive. A bowl of ramen is at least $12-$15, while La Mian on the other hand, is usually priced below $10 at most Chinese restaurants.
Anyway I digressed. What I wanted to tell you is the La Mian with braised pork belly ($10.80) from Paradise Dynasty. The broth was rich and flavourful, the noodle springy and the pork belly sublime – in short, it was pretty fantastic. I definitely feel that this bowl of La Mian will not lose out to any ramen.
It is not easy to find a restaurant in Orchard road that serves decent food at affordable prices. Paradise Dynasty fits in very nicely in the local food scene, and I like the fact that the Paradise Group is keeping the other Chinese restaurant chains on their toes.
Paradise Dynasty is definitely a good option if you want to have Chinese food in Orchard road. It is a plus that they are an all day dining restaurant, which means that you can even go there during mid afternoon to have dim sum for high tea. But are the colourful xiao long baos with premium fillings really better than the original one?
I am not convinced.
Singapore Food Blog Review
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ION Orchard Singapore
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