Seeing the queue outside Paradise Dynasty at ION Orchard Level 4, one might be discouraged by this and end up never eating there. Honestly it won’t change your life that much either way, but in my opinion, the rainbow xiao long baos is an interesting signature dish of theirs that is worth a try.
One of the offerings of the Paradise Group (see also my review on Kungfu Paradise here), it is positioned as a ‘page out of a history book’, offering an experience of imperial China, contemporary style. True to its promise, the restaurant provides opulent oriental decor in slightly more modern colours (ie. more muted, deep blues and browns instead of bright red and gold) and the usual traditional food of xiao long baos and la mian – but with a twist.
Been seeing it around on advertisements and all, but only trying these rainbow dumplings for the first time this year. And have had this twice for dinner (yes, pretty much the whole basket all for me) already since.
So here’s what the flavours are for each colour: original (white), ginseng (green), foie gras (brown), black truffles (black), crab roe (orange), cheese (yellow), garlic (grey) and Szechuan (pink). They’re all pretty good – you can taste the flavour each happy coloured dumpling is supposed to be, and they’re all bursting with delicious soup and plump meat.
My favourite ones are the foie gras, black truffle and crab roe, as the flavours are rich and pretty accurate. The cheese and ginseng ones are pretty alright. I’m not too fond of the Szechuan as it’s a bit too sharp and the garlic too, as it doesn’t taste quite like right. Luckily, the skin was not too thick as well. It was fun seeing all the pretty colours and having so many different flavours in my mouth one after another!
Paradise Dynasty also offers 18 different types of la mian (priced around $10.80 +-) a variety of soups, light bites and the usual Chinese stir-fried dishes. My sister, who loves Szechuan sweet and sour soup / la mian, says that Paradise Dynasty does a pretty good job of this dish, better than Crystal Jade and Imperial Treasure.
Tried a few of the stir-fried fish and vegetable dishes too, namely the former in Chinese wine and Sweet and Sour and for the latter, the Garlic Kailan and the Stir-fried Baby Kailan. The fish dishes were quite yummy – big slices of fish cooked well to a soft yet firm texture, with nice flavours. The vegetables were also well-fried and not too soggy. The garlic on the former was really tasty! I found the prices of the dishes slightly steep though, as the fish was around S$20 and the vegetables around S$11 or S$12 if I recall correctly – and the portions are not exactly huge.
Don’t be fooled by this empty looking entrance, as it’s usually blocked by a queue. This was taken after our meal, around 9plus. And do take note / be prepared – they do not accept reservations.
I think overall, the food is pretty good, though I’m not sure it’s worth such a long wait. But I’ve been there thrice already and will probably still go back, because the food is rather enjoyable (and also because my parents signed up for the membership card!) and I just love having eight different flavours of xiao long bao in one seating.
Paradise Dynasty, ION Orchard
2 Orchard Turn
#04-12A ION Orchard
Paradise Dynasty, Lot One
21 Choa Chu Kang Avenue 4,
Lot One Shoppers’ Mall #03-02B,
Paradise Dynasty, Causeway Point
1 Woodlands Square,
Causeway Point, #05-16/17/18,
11.00am – 10.00pm (Mon – Fri) Last order 9.30pm
10.30am – 10.00pm (Sat, Sun & PH) Last order 9.30pm