We love Din Tai Fung. Food is consistently good and service is prompt, that is when you finally get a table. The one thing that gets our goad – the wait for a table can be long. Imagine our glee when we discovered Paradise Dynasty, a new casual dining concept by Paradise Group on the 4th floor of ION Orchard.
Paradise Dynasty specialises in simple northern and southern Chinese cuisine. As you enter the restaurant, the open kitchen where chefs busy themselves making fresh la mian (hand-pulled noodles) and rolling dumpling skin comes into view. Promising. Turn the corner, and you find yourself transported into the lavish interior of Imperial China (with wait staff and servers dressing the part in their period uniforms). If you like an opulent ambience, you will feel very much at home. There’s even a skilled tea ‘master’ who serves tea using a special teapot with an almost 1-meter-long spout.
The house speciality is the eight types of xiao long bao each appropriately colour coded for its different flavours. They are: original (white), ginseng (green), foie gras (brown), black truffle (black – duh!), cheese (yellow), crab roe (orange), garlic (grey) and Szechuan (pink). Our favourite is the foie gras version, the liver lends a subtle richness to the dumpling, even Mum likes it. In comparison, we felt that the black truffle was a tad lacklustre – while it sounded and looked the part, the truffle flavours were simply too faint to justify the price-tag.
Their signature pork bone soup la mian is another dish worth returning over and over again for. We’ve tried two variations of the noodle soup (one with pork slices and another with Szechuan vegetables) and they are both delicious.
Also not to be missed is the exquisite ‘lava’ egg which has a hard-boiled texture on the outside, but oozing with creamy yellow goodness on the inside. These perfectly executed eggs can be ordered as a side dish in case the half portion in your noodle soup is insufficient!
For good food (we have yet to be disappointed with anything we’ve ordered…apart from the black truffle xlb), affordable prices, prompt service, no wait for table (okay the interior is a li’l OTT for me), we’ll come back. DTF beware!