When it comes to dumpings, foreigners are usually very confused as there are so many kinds of dumplings. In Chinese, they are all called different names but simplified into dumplings when it comes to English. There are a few categories; from glutinous rice dumplings which are either the round balls with sweet fillings or triangular ones with sweet or meat fillings to flour dumplings which are usually semi-circle shaped and is steamed, boiled, pan fried or deep fried. The one kind of dumpling which this next restaurant is famous for is the soup dumpling.
Soup dumplings are called xiaolongbao and they got their name from the small bamboo steamer which they are steamed in. They originated from the Jiangnan area like Shanghai or Wuxi. One of the most popular restaurants for xiaolongbao is the Paradise dynasty.
The Paradise Dynasty restaurant aims to present to their diners an authentic Northern and Southern China cuisine experience fit for kings and queens of a dynasty. The outlet at Changi airport terminal 3 has an extremely classy and modern look from the entrance to the entire decor of the restaurant. Typical of all their outlets, you will find a window gallery where you can see the chef making the dumplings in the kitchen.
The entire restaurant is shaped in a circular shape like a UFO ready to fly away. There are golden grilles and elements throughout the restaurant to up the posh impressions of the restaurant.
The inner circled seats are next to the circular structure and have cushioned bench seats with a certain level of privacy.
The outer circle seats tend to be more open as they are next to the glass verandah and it allows you to view the entire terminal and the check-in counters.
On the first page of the menu, you can see their top-selling item which is the xiaolongbao. To differentiate themselves from the competition, they have also introduced other modern flavours like black truffle, foie gras, ginseng, garlic, cheese, crab roe and spicy Szechuan. For first-timers, you can order a platter of mixed flavours to try all the flavours available.
The order process is rather simple with an order chit at each table so you just have to mark down the items you need before getting the servers to confirm the orders.
Like many Chinese restaurants, they will always serve you a plate of small appetizers. These might range from fried peanuts, crackers, pickled vegetables or like this braised peanuts. While most appetizers are really delicious, do note that these are not complimentary so if you do not really wish to eat and pay for them, do tell the servers to remove them.
A typical soup from Szechuan area is the sour and spicy soup which is more like a thick starchy broth than soup. There are sliced tofu, mushrooms, black fungus, shrimps and some meat. The broth is thick and starchy and has a good balance between sour, salty and mild spiciness.
One of my favourite starter for sharing is this steamed pork belly wrapped cucumber topped with spicy garlic sauce. The pork belly is steamed perfectly and retains its natural sweetness of the fresh pork while the garlic sauce gives it the right flavours and kick. The cucumber wrapped in the pork gives the right refreshing crunch to the dish.
Another popular dish is this stirred fry soy shredded pork with leek which is wrapped around thin flour skin like a roll. You can wrap any amount of meat in the flour skin and eat it like a tortilla. As the meat is quite heavily sauced, it balances the plain flour skin very well.
My personal favourite xiaolongbao from paradise dynasty is the foie gras flavour as there is a subtle fragrance of the foie gras embedded into the meat fillings.
It is always necessary to eat xiaolongbao with shredded ginger with vinegar as it gives the meaty dumpling a more refreshing spicy crunch. My personal best way of having the xiaolongbao is to bite a small hole into the side of the xiaolongbao and allow the soup to flow onto your spoon, enjoy the flavourful soup first. Subsequently, place some ginger and vinegar on the xiaolongbao and enjoy it in one bite. The xiaolongbao here has very thin skin and lots of filling and soup thus making it very enjoyable.
They also serve a variety of noodles like this simple meat dumplings noodle soup which has very light but meaty favoured soup with fat and juicy dumplings. The noodles are also hand pulled so there is a nice texture and bite to the noodles.
For desserts, they also have dumplings with sweet fillings like this sweet yam dumpling. They come in small bamboo steamers just like the xiaolongbao and look exactly the same in outlook. Instead of meat, you will bite into smooth and creamy mashed yam fillings which is the perfect sweet ending of the meal
Overall, there are a lot more dishes to order at the Paradise Dynasty to sample the different Chinese cuisines and the restaurant does them all pretty well with an affordable price. Most of Paradise Dynasty outlets also have very quiet and nice environments.
Address: 65 #03-32, Airport Blvd, Terminal 3, 819663
Operating hours: 7 am to 10 pm