Those of you who are aficionados of the Paradise Group – the powerhouse behind Taste Paradise and Paradise Dynasty amongst others – will either know or want to know about their latest brainchild…Paradise Pavilion.
Located in the new beating heart of the financial district – Marina Bay Financial Centre – it may seem like an odd choice for a weekend dim sum spot but trust me, once you get there all of that falls to the wayside.
It is something of an experience as you access the restaurant through a private elevator and then whisked up to enter its decadent neo-classical inspired interior.
The initial impression and experience is further enhanced as you walk past a special glass enclave where a chef is busy preparing the Apple Roasted Peking Duck.
We sat down to enjoy the Pickled Melon which comes as part of the tea/towel/pickle charge ($5.60 per head). It was a nice touch to have something different like melon as opposed to the usual pickles. Soaked in orange juice it was an aromatic accompaniment to perusing the extensive dim sum menu.
With so many dim sum and with some nice twists on the usual, I was already feeling in dim sum heaven. First up was the Fried Carrot Cake in XO Sauce ($4.80). A perfect texture – as well as taste – with not too much grease which can sometimes be a problem when this dish isn’t executed properly. This was a good start.
The Rice Roll with Dried Scallop and Fungus Filling ($5.50) was beautiful. The texture and flavour of these were superb – the rice roll itself was silky smooth, just the right thickness, not at all sticky and was stuffed generously with its delicious filling which had a lovely sweetness to it. The portion size was generous and I have to say that these are some of the most enjoyable Cheong Fun I’ve had in Singapore. A firm favourite for sure.
The Steamed Glutinous Rice in Lotus Leaf ($5.80) was pretty good, the rice was done perfectly i.e. not too overdone because it’s just horrible when it starts turning mushy as in the case others I have sampled in so many places.
Now I obviously got so preoccupied with eating the Steamed Shrimp in Beancurd Skin Roll with Seaweed ($5.60) that I completely overlooked taking a picture of them (my bad!). But trust me when I say they were delicious. So many times before I have had rather sad, limp versions of this dim sum but here they were just as they should be – juicy prawns packed tightly with love into the beancurd skin along with the seaweed sitting in a delicious broth. Another one I’ll be ordering again.
The Baked Snow Bun with BBQ Pork ($5.60 for 3), succulent meat wrapped in a fluffy, moist, sweet bun was a solid rendition of the char siu bao.
Always keen to try one of the veggie dishes, if you want something over and above the usual greens in garlic or oyster sauce, a good option is the Poached Chinese Spinach with Egg Trio ($16), the eggs binding the spinach in a delicious broth making this a lovely heartening dish. Note picture below shows one serving size only.
Finally if you’re a fan of all things truffle then don’t miss the Black Truffle Chicken Pie ($6.00) – delicious crumbly, buttery pastry encasing a rich, chicken and truffle filing with the unmistakable and flavour from the truffle coming through just perfectly. This was one tasty, savoury, aromatic parcel of dim sum deliciousness.
Sadly because this was more a quick dim sum pit stop we didn’t get to try out the Apple Roasted Peking Duck ($88) which I was getting food envy about looking at other people eating it. It looked so perfectly done with thin crispy skin and tender meat. However, it takes 50 minutes to prepare so you it’s best ordered and enjoyed over a more leisurely lunch.
While I’ve heard some people bemoan that dim sum at Paradise Pavilion is not the best value for money, I would say it’s not all that bad either. Because the dim sum is of a very good quality, plus there’s a very good range making it in my eyes one of the better “more obvious” go-to dim sum places. I’ll certainly be adding it to my list of places to head to for a dim sum fix, and next time I’ll be ordering that Roast Peking Duck also!