Now open: Paradise Dynasty
We visit the newest spawn of the Paradise Group. By Ng Su Ann.
Walking into Paradise Dynasty is akin to accidentally stumbling into an elaborate, grand dining area of a Qing Dynasty period movie set, complete with wait staff dressed in traditional Chinese garments. Located on the first floor of Paradigm Mall, we hear the restaurant has been packing in the crowds since its premature opening.
We visit at 4pm on a lazy Friday. Dark wood walls envelope the restaurant, lit by yellow wall-paneled lights. A Buddha statue sits calmly in the centre of the main eating section, where, to amp up the Zen factor, an indoor water stream flows through.
Xiao long bao in assorted colours
A quick flip of the heavily bound menu reveals a selection of northern and southern Chinese cuisine, with a heavy focus on their signature xiao long bao (soup dumplings), and la mian (hand-pulled noodles). The xiao long bao comes in eight different colours and flavours – original, ginseng, foie gras, truffle, cheesy, crab roe, garlic and Szechuan. For patrons who relish traditional procedures, eating these delicate soup dumplings would be a delight.
There is also a right way of eating these xiao long bao – first, very, very gently, lift the bao from the basket to your spoon, making sure you do not break the skin of the dumpling. Once this is accomplished, you must nip off a portion of the skin to drink in the outflow of juice and soup in the dumpling. Complement the bao with ginger slices and vinegar, and then stuff it whole in your mouth.
La mian with minced meat and mushroom sauce
Chef Ge Sheng was specifically scouted from China to spend his days with the labourious task of pulling noodles. The restaurant offers eighteen types of la mian, served in an assortment of sauces, side dishes and soups. The signature stock appears to be a point of pride, as it is toiled over with pork bones, pork ribs and whole chicken, and then simmered over slow fire for at least twelve hours before being served.
If you like your noodles dry and hot, also available on the menu are la mian with minced meat and mushroom sauce, la mian with poached marble beef in Szechuan style and dry tossed la mian with dried shrimp and scallion. If you're not a noodles person. opt for the Shanghai fried rice, or the wok-fried Shanghai rice flour cake with minced pork and vegetables and as a side dish, the deep-fried diced chicken in Szechuan style.
Soufflé egg white balls stuffed with banana and red bean
As snacks, there’s always the Shanghai-style dim sum and sweet desserts. The radish pastry from the dim sum selection is an unassuming little dish, with a light crispy batter on the outside and a salty sweet radish filling inside. If you want to skip the mains and aim straight for the sell-out items, choose between the pan-fried pumpkin pastry and the soufflé egg white balls stuffed with banana and red bean, lightly sprinkled with sugared powder.
Prices at Paradise Dynasty are surprisingly reasonable, or as reasonable as lavish Chinese cuisine dining allows it to be. Ten pieces of xiao long bao (you can mix and match the flavours) are priced from RM16.80 to RM36.80. A bowl of la mian can set you back about RM15 on average. We wonder if the Singapore-born restaurant might spawn other branches in the near future? The company seems to be spreading its influence quickly, through different culinary concepts in KungFu Bake Rice (Suria KLCC), KungFu Paradise (Paradigm Mall), and Paradise Inn (Sunway Pyramid). We'll just have to wait and see.
For more info on location and operation hours, see venue listing.