Talking about signature food in Southeast China, you won't miss steamed dumpling (Xiao Long Bao) which is not only appearing everywhere in China, but also the world. In Hong Kong, you might think about Din Tai Fung while mentioning Xiao Long Bao, but what about something new? Rainbow Xiao Long Bao, must be fresh to you, and alined with it, a rich selection of Singaporean, Shanghainese, Cantonese, Sichuanese culinary dishes are offered by Paradise Dynasty flagship restaurant in Lee Theatre, Causeway Bay.
Paradise Dynasty originates in Singapore with their first 25-seat Seafood Paradise in Defu Lane, Singapore; and now they are in China, Taiwan, Japan, Malaysia, Thailand and Indonesia. Chinese, is the feature of this restaurant so that it was not different for us to recognise bronze tea pot, Qing Dynasty helmet, red china wall, Chinese wooden and bamboo screen.
It was so full plus the long queue at the entrance, shocked us a lot. You should know the restaurant actually occupies the whole floor and is quite big with a lot seats inside and outside. By reading the menu, I was very surprised to the large input of Shanghainese cuisine, like noodle, rice stick (Lunar New Year's cake), jellyfish, fried cake with red bean filling, etc. I seldom try Shanghainese restaurant here in Hong Kong, because I'm too pity for the authentic and even Mum's flavor when I'm judging the so-called Shanghainese dishes. Well, I could say if Paradise Dynasty want to have another business line called Shanghai Paradise, I would vote for one :D
Signature Dynasty Xiao Long Bao (8 Flavor)
The signature Xiao Long Bao, is not only impressive by its colorful looking, as someone growing up among Xiao Long Bao culture, I was quite satisfied by the most basic elements it offered to me. Thin but firm dumpling skin, moisture inside but a bit harder and dryer outside, especially the top; hot soup inside; right flavored meat ball mixed with pork and vegetables. To take the middle original flavor, I would suggest to give a first sip, then go with vinegar.
Besides, the colorful ones are Sichuan Spicy (Red), Ginseng (Green), Foie Gras (Brown), Truffle (Black), Yellow (Cheese), Orange (Crab), Grey (Garlic). Foie Gras and Truffle were such an outstanding creation. They are perfectly mixed with the strong and western specials but incredibly having a harmonious balance to the original pork sweetness and Chinese flavor. I was given an original Xiao Long Bao taste in the first second, then jumped into beautiful foie gras or truffle taste in the next second, and since the third second, two parts had already blended together. Amazing!
Chilled Jellyfish and Seafood in Vinaigrette
A typical Shanghainese or Zhejiang Province cold dish, which is a must-item at my family's new year gathering dinner. But this one is innovated by involving Thai sauce and seafood. Jellyfish was in a very good quality although it might be another slimmer type compared to the one I was having in my past 20 years. The sauce tasted quite similar to Thai-style salad, very refreshing by its sweetness, sourness and Thai spicy.
Lettuce Roll with Homemade Sesame Sauce
It was a double-crispy & double-juicy vegetable dish, very fresh but also rich in taste. Thinly sliced cucumber (even transparent) acted as rope to make the chopped fresh lettuce stable like a mini green pillow. While chewing it, I felt crispy and vegetable juicy coming out continuously. I will strongly recommend that sesame sauce which is not too sticky or thick, in a strong sesame aroma and tasted slightly sweet. I and my nut-paste-lover friend, just could not give up the sauce until it was gone.
A mixture of Shanghainese and Cantonese, which reminded me the cheap breakfast/snack in Shanghai's market, Deep-fried Radish Cake. Well, this one had a much more decent and elegant presentation which well fit into the restaurant's self-definition. I appreciated a lot to the thin-crispy pastry layers, which was almost the most important point when judging this kind of dishes.
Scrambled Egg While with Fish and Dried Scallop
Again, Shanghainese cuisine and actually it was quite a funny game with egg while and vinegar. In every Shanghai housewives' mind, egg white plus vinegar and ginger, means 'fake crab', is one of the must-know rule of home cuisine. I won't go into the details here, but you could have a try.
Coming back, the upgraded dish was no longer simple with just egg, it was added with fish slices and dried scallop to make the whole dish more seafood-tasted, and I could find a bit vinegar-sourness within the spread-out egg flavor in it also. Overall, it gave a lot eggy freshness and seafood sweetness to me.
Crisp-fried Tofu in Chili Crab Meat Sauce
Crispy-fired Tofu in sweet and sour sauce, I could not say anything bad to this great combination. The sharp orange sauce contained the right potion of oil and chopped crab meat, so that it tasted very rich in falvor and not dry in texture. Coming with the lightly fried Tofu, the strong flavored sauce was like drawing on a plain paper (fresh tofu inside the crispy skin), a good combination of bean-freshness and flavorsome sauce. Well, if the Tofu skin could be more crispy, it would be awesome.
Crisp-fried Prawns tossed with Wasabi Mayonnaise Dressing
Another awesome dish with its beautiful Wasabi Mayonnaise Dressing, we were sooooo impressive with it. The shrimp was slightly fried to be just crispy and freshly chewy, and it was rolled and fully covered by the green sauce. It looked a bit heavier but actually it tasted very light in the Wasabi freshness, sweetness and special spiciness.
Coffee Pork Ribs
I have never thought about coffee mixed with sweet pork rib could be such delicious! The flavor of coffee which was bean-bitter, a bit dry and had the strong 'calming' aroma, was well melted into the each drop of sweet sauce on the surface pork ribs. I could still enjoy the original sweet BBQ pork rib but meanwhile the sweetness was slightly reduced in terms of coffee aroma. Another amazing!
Laksa La Mian with Seafood
OMG!!! As the last rice-family dish, it was so great and so occupied with the impressive and authentic Singapore-style Laksa soup. It was very thick and creamy, very coconut, and very seafood-flavored. I love the spoiled egg with semi-liquid egg yolk; I love the fried Tofu which absorbs the essential of Laksa; I love the egg noodle which was in a superb softness and chewiness. Be careful, the large bowl Laksa, was a 'monster' to overload you very easily :P
Chilled Aloe Vera and Osmanthus Jelly in Honey Lemon Juice
So luckily we had fresh iced dessert right after the heaviest Laksa taste. It had everything fresh inside from skin-friendly aloe vera (tasted similar to pudding/jelly), osmanthus jelly (a beautiful floral aroma to the dessert), and honey lemon juice (less sweetened but iced enough).
6/F, Lee Theatre Plaza
99 Percival Street
+852 2177 0903
Mon to Sun. 11.30am - 10.30pm