Before the rest of my family left for a weekend trip to Hong Kong (sob!), we squeezed in a get-together at Paradise Pavilion, which it was convenient for my sister and kh, not to mention it is her favorite place for dim sum.
Paradise Pavilion is the grand dame of the Paradise Group and that concept is reflected in its neoclassical decor and prices. The decor is a tad bougeiose but I've always felt that Chinese restaurants could do with a little kitsch. Known for their applewood Peking duck, diners will be able to see the fire brick oven en route to the private dining rooms (I even highlighted to Russell that that's where naughty ducks end up... haha!).
An appetizer we had was the braised duck tongue and beancurd. What I liked about this dish was the contrast in textures - the duck tongue was chewy, resting on top of the soft but bouncy bean curd.
The carrot cake with XO sauce was mighty delicious. It was eggy and strewn with slightly-crunchy bean sprouts; the "carrot cake" chunks were pretty sizable, enabling one to taste the turnip flavor.
A flavorful winter-melon and scallop soup felt perfect for the rainy afternoon.
Grilled, yes GRILLED siew mai! The novelty does wear off after three seconds but it was still an awesome siew mai. We ordered four skewers, which meant there were eight siew mais for the six of us, but I wasn't quick enough and missed out on seconds.
Equally impressive were the har gows. Diaphanous, filmy skin embracing fresh, crunchy skin... Hi everybody in the dim sum puglistic world, this is the har gow to beat.
Steamed chicken feet - good though nothing spectacular compared to the other dishes.
I didn't order the char siew soh, opting to try their chicken and mushroom truffle pie instead. Aromatic, buttery, crumbly... I could really teach Russell the alphabet song with words used to describe the deliciousness of these pies. So good!
I have read Taste Paradise serves up one of the best custard buns in town. Judging by the speed at which I tore into this baby, and scalded my fingertips and tongue, I dare say the pedigree extends to this sister outlet too.
The cheong fun with dough fritters was one heckavu tasty dish too. Wrapped with a thinnish rice paper roll, the fritter reminded me of a dense churro instead of the hole-y dough fritters more commonly served. I managed to finish an entire roll on my own despite this being served last.
Noodles with egg white sauce and a dollar of raw egg yolk for extra richness. It was minimal-table-manners, plate-scrapping good!
I can't complain about the service which was efficient and friendly; the waitress even swopped my utensils when she noticed I was left-handed. A small quibble: I find it odd when restaurants fit two smaller tables in a private dining room as that just negates any sense of privacy.
All in all, it was a delightful meal and I've got one eye on the applewood Peking duck for my next visit.