September 15, 2018

Paradise Dynasty's New Dishes! (Podium Mall)

According to Wikipedia, Xiao Long Bao is a type of Chinese steamed bun from the Jiangnan region, especially associated with Shanghai and Wuxi. It is traditionally prepared in Xiaolong, which is a kind of small bamboo steaming basket, which give them their name. Xiaolongbao is often referred to as a kind of "dumpling", and they are also called a "soup dumpling" because they are filled with hot soup and must be eaten carefully.

One of the places you can get the best xiao long bao, not only in the Philippines, but across Asia is at Paradise Dynasty. A few days ago, I was lucky to get invited to try their new menu additions at their branch at The Podium Mall. I’ve heard so many great reviews of this place and I was excited beyond my wits because it was my first time to try what they have to offer.

The Paradise story began with a small spark that fired into great influence. The little spark began with Seafood Paradise - a humble 25-seater eatery in Defu Lane in 2002, which gained popularity with its sumptuous and reasonably-priced dishes. Spurred by this success, founder Eldwin Chua opened a second outlet at the iconic Singapore Flyer to make Seafood Paradise a prominent showcase, and gained not just a local fan base, but an international crowd appreciative of Singapore seafood delights.

Staying firm to his belief in creating great food at good value for food lovers, Eldwin continues to grow the Paradise brand. Today, Paradise Group houses a total of 11 culinary concepts across 9 countries, serving customers at more than 30 restaurants in Singapore and 60 restaurants worldwide.

The first Paradise Dynasty in the Philippines opened at S Maison at Conrad Manila back in November of 2016. Their next venture was at The Podium Mall which opened its doors on December 2017. In line with its third branch opening at SM Aura happening sometime around October this year, Paradise Dynasty is launching a few additional items on their menu which will be available starting Sunday September 16, 2018.

Check out what I got to try during my visit at Paradise Dynasty at The Podium Mall:

Signature Original Xiao Long Bao - steamed soup dumplings. I didn’t know that there’s a certain or proper way to eat these delectable little parcels. My first time to eat xiao long bao was when I went to Taipei with my closest blogger friends and it was at the underground food court at Shilin Night Market. I thought you just eat the whole thing straight up, causing it to explode inside your mouth and let the soup fill your mouth and then chomp on the meat and wrapper. At Paradise Dynasty they gave us a hand out on how to best enjoy their xiao long bao as you can see in the photo below.  I love the classic xiao long bao as its paper-thin skin enveloping perfectly seasoned pork filling and floods of hot flavorful soup was a comforting experience. It’s not my go-to dumpling to eat, but I’m starting to develop a penchant for it.

Specialty Dynasty Xiao Long Bao (8 Flavors) - these are the famous flavored xiao long baos of Paradise Dynasty. touted as a world-first, Paradise Dynasty is proud to present eight first-of-its-kind legendary xiao long bao with flavours such as original, ginseng, foie gras, black truffle, crab roe, cheese, garlic and Szechuan. The colors are extracted from natural ingredients so you are sure you’re eating just the best. I only got to try the Foei Gras and I loved it! When ordering these specialty xiao long baos, Paradise Dynasty suggests that you eat them in a sequence to ensure the optimum tasting of these 8 distinct flavors, as you can also see in the photo below.

Fried Duck - perfectly marinated duck with white peppercorns and Sichuan pepper carefully fried to ensure the crispy texture. The best way to enjoy this duck dish is to flake the meat and pack them with shallots, basil and cucumber strips into a soft milky steamed buns and then drizzle them with Paradise Dynasty’s special sauce.  I like how tad crispy the duck skin was giving every bite of the bun such good texture especially with the veggies included in it. The entire thing was fragrant and the crispy duck was phenomenally good.

Grouper with Pine Nuts and Fruits - meticulously fried to become golden in color then topped with a special sauce and grilled pine nuts. I am a fan of the sweet and sour dishes. I just love how this sweet and sour fish dish is simple and yet it left me gastronomically satisfied. The sauce was thick and had a good balance of sweet and tangy flavors. The grouper meat was silky, milky and tasty. This is my top 2 among all the dishes that we got to try.

Grilled Grouper with Tofu in Mapo Tofu Style - grilled Grouper smothered in tender tofu cooked in an aromatic and spicy sauce. Unlike the other grouper dish, this one is grilled giving the fish meat a good smoky flavor. The sauce though is quite on the spicy side that is too spicy for my liking. Nonetheless it was a good dish.

Shanghai Style Braised Pork Belly - a very famous dish in China where the pork belly is accurately glazed with various special sauces to achieve the right flavor. My favorite or the one that takes the rank 1 among all the dishes featured during this lunch. First off, the look of this dish is already very appetizing: just take a look at the color of the sauce and how the glaze glistens. Second, the pork meat was so tender and the fat almost melts-in-your-mouth. The sauce tasted so close to the local dish called Humba but a little bit subtler. This was very sinful but oh so freaking good!

Crispy-Fried Crystal Prawns tossed with Salted Egg Yolk - I am someone who loves salted egg especially when eaten with grilled dishes; so just about any dish with salted egg yolk I immediately like. This dish was easily everyone’s favorite. The prawns are fried with salted egg, milk and butter which gives the creamy texture and salty flavor.

Charcoal Custard Lava Bun - bun with salted egg custard. This was so much fun to eat. The color is a goth-freak dreams come true. It is known that eating food with charcoal, of course in moderation, is a good thing. With this you get the best of both worlds, a slight detoxification and a satisfaction for your dessert cravings. The custard had a nice sweet and salty (due to the salted egg yolk) flavor to it that was quite addicting.

Bok Choy with Garlic - authentic bok choy cooked slowly to encapsulate the fresh taste of garlic. We didn’t get to try this but this is one though because it was out of stock. I’ll try it the next time I visit and update this blog post too.

Homemade Chestnut Water - can be ordered hot or cold. This was refreshing and added a nice and subtle flavor to the rather boring plain water.

Dining at Paradise Dynasty is akin to taking a step back to imperial China. Marvel at the opulence and majesty of the restaurant settings while immersing yourself in the finest of northern and southern China cuisine. At Paradise Dynasty guests dine against a backdrop of luxury and grandeur befitting for kings – be wowed by the plush dining ambiance and customized imperial court lamp chandeliers that are intricately designed to capture the bygone eras of Imperial China in a contemporary fashion. But never judge a book by its cover, for Paradise Dynasty promises to couple great food with great value in a grand alluring ambiance.

2F, The Podium, ADB Ave.,
Ortigas, Mandaluyong City
Contact Nos: 02 6823333

For more information, complete menu and restaurant reviews, check out their Zomato profile: 
Paradise Dynasty Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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