Paradise Dynasty is a franchise from Singapore that specializes in xiao long bao and other Shaghainese dishes. We recently checked out the first branch which opened in S Maison at the Conrad. The place is tastefully decorated with touches of the Orient, the seating area at the back and the function room both afford views of Manila Bay. The usual open assembly area is located beside the entrance way, so those seated in front have a little show to enjoy while having their meal.
Special Dynasty Xiao Long Bao (P388/8 flavors). This is the dish that put them on the culinary map, 8 flavors of xiao long bao in one basket. The eight flavors are Original, Ginseng, Foie Gras, Black Truffle, Cheese, Crab Roe, Garlic, and Szechuan and they suggest you eat them in that order. Comparisons to Din Tai Fung will almost always come up, you’ll immediately notice the wrapper is thicker but there is also a lot more soup inside the xiao long bao. The ones we liked were original, crab roe, ginseng and Szechuan, most disappointing was the cheese. I suggest getting this basket on your first time then just pick the flavor you like on a succeeding visit as they offer in a basket of 6 or 10 pieces.
Steamed Glutinous Rice Stuffed in Red Dates (P230). Irene was the one who said we should order this one because she encountered a lot of similar dishes in a recent trip to China. Many people will just pay this little attention on the menu but you’ll regret it as this is one of the best dishes we had. The dates are served as an appetizer but with the sweet glaze could double as dessert. The glutinous rice stuffing have an almost mochi like consistency that is lovingly chewy.
Pork Dumpling with Hot Chili Vinaigrette (P168). There’s a fair amount of spice One of the more enjoyable dishes despite it being spicier than usual.
We also tried their Raddish Pastry (P138/ 3pcs.) but I seemed to have forgotten to take a pic. It was expertly fried with a pretty shell filled with abundant amount of shredded raddish. I felt it was missing a little oomp in the filling.
La Mien with Scallion (P200). Dry noodles topped with crispy scallions and dried shrimp and served with a bowl of chicken soup on the side. This was too bland and simple for my taste although the noodles were nicely chewy and the soup was very good. I’ll order one of the other noodle options over this any day.
Deep Fried Garlic Pork Ribs (P338). Aesthetically pleasing but pedestrian tasting, like something you can find in many other places.
Steamed Egg White with Fish and Conpoy (P328). A poor execution of a familiar dish, the eggs were overcooked and tasted too much like chicken stock instead of umami flavors of the seafood.
Stir Fried Shredded Pork in Black Bean Sauce (P288), served with Chinese crepes. The shredded pork itself had a slightly sweet taste that appealed to me, but it was the crepes that was a big let down. The crepes were dry and would break apart so I suggest just eating the pork with rice instead.
For dessert we had the Aloe Vera Jelly in Osmanthus Honey Juice (P100) and Pan fried Pancake with Red Bean Paste (P168). Both desserts are good in their own way, one is cold and jelly like with a light sweetness while the other is hot, crispy with a generous amount of red bean paste. You can’t go wrong with either.
Our experience at Paradise Dynasty was hit and miss but the hits will draw us back and will enable us to try other items on their menu. Lovers of xiao long bao should definitely give Paradise Dynasty a try.
Paradise Dynasty at S Maison2/L S Maison at the Conrad
Mall of Asia Complex, Pasay City
Contact No.: (0632) 828-8333
Operating Hours: 11am to 11pm daily