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Review: New Shanghai dishes at Paradise Dynasty

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Known for its signature eight types of fusion soup dumplings – or Xiao Long Bao, as you might know them better, Paradise Dynasty recently added new and exciting dishes to its menu.

My dining companion and I arrived at Paradise Dynasty with some anticipation. Truth be told, I am a little skewed toward Paradise group having tried and enjoyed its many concepts (Pavilion, Taste, Inn, Canton).

We began with the Stir Fried Asparagus/Bamboo shoots and Bacon ($13.80). Stir fried with dark soya sauce, both the shoots and asparagus retained its crunchiness while the bacon complemented the dish with its aroma, although it did make the dish a tad salty. The hidden chilli padi gave it the added kick which made the overall dish tasty.

Stir-fried Asparagus Bamboo Shoots and Bacon

Stir-fried Asparagus, Bamboo Shoots and Bacon

Next came the Braised Duck’s Tongue with Oyster Sauce ($9.80). My initial fear was soon overcome as I placed it in my mouth.The tongue was well braised and it was akin to eating a chewy version of chicken feet, palatable but perhaps not for the faint hearted.

Braised Duck's Tongue with Oyster Sauce

Braised Duck’s Tongue with Oyster Sauce

The third dish was the steamed bullfrog with diced chilly ($15.80). The bullfrog was simply tender and nicely steamed to near perfection as the diced chilli infused into the meat. The red and green diced chilli gave it the fiery Sichuan style which made my lips go numb – flavourful and spicy hot, a favourite combination for Singaporeans which my dining companion agreed wholeheartedly!

Steamed Bullfrog with Diced Chilli

Steamed Bullfrog with Diced Chilli

We were then served the Chilled Malva Nut Tree with Pear bits ($4.80) – as i was told and did some research after, the malva nut (or 胖大海) has both cooling and healing properties most effective with regards to throat-related ailments. The pear bits and chestnut added a crunchy feel complementing the Malva, which made the dessert entirely refreshing.

Chilled Malva Nut Tree with Pear Bits

Chilled Malva Nut Tree with Pear Bits

The grand finale was the Mao Shan Wang Xiao Long Bao ($10.80 for 6 pieces). Being durian connoisseurs, we didn’t know what to expect. The hot durian xiao long bao took us by pleasant surprise. The warm durian paste was a good replication of the king of fruits. It tasted as authentic as if you were eating Mao Shan Wang durian.

Mao Shan Wang Durian Xiao Long Bao

Mao Shan Wang Durian Xiao Long Bao

On the whole, I’d say that the steamed bullfrog, stir fried asparagus/bamboo shoots and bacon, chilled malva nut and mao shan wang xiao long bao would be well received but the duck tongue would likely take a backseat given most diners are not so adventurous with exotic items. I am glad that the Paradise group continues to re-invent itself and stay ahead in the game with these new Shanghai-influenced dishes.

The new dishes are available at all Paradise Dynasty outlets from now to 31 May 2015.

Jason Chong is a credit analyst by day, curious foodie by night. He scours the island (increasingly its nearest neighbour too) for food adventures from savouries to sweets.

Author: Jason Chong
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