Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Paradise Dynasty @ The Podium

Had my first taste of Paradise Dynasty in its pioneer branch in S'Maison Conrad some months ago and it was a memorable experience. See my post dated October 2017 here  for my take on their beautiful xiao long bao.

Yesterday was another unforgettable foodgasmic adventure  per the invitation of  Ms. Maxine and Paradise  Dynasty at the Podium Mall. This branch just opened last December 17 and from the looks of the packed restaurant when we were there,  it was also a blockbuster.

Paradise Dynasty is located at the second floor of  the Podium just above Bake Cheese Tart which is another mus-visit place. But I digress.

The Open Kitchen

The Legend of the Xiao Long Bao which is a tagline of Paradise Dynasty is as posh as its sister's branch in Conrad. The space is sprawling  and also has rooms for private function for a minimum consummable fee . The open kitchen was a delight  because we can actually see the chefs make the  colorful xiao long bao from scratch.

We were served the following :


Clearly this is the house specialty.  Note that they were carefully shaped and folds meticulously counted to a uniform 18.

Special Dynasty Xiao Long Bao 8 flavors P388
A feast for the eyes and the palate. It was a joy just to stare and appreciate the artistry for a second or two. Your EQ will be severely tested. Yes they look like a painter's palette from a dIstance.

Original Xiao Long Bao P188 6 pcs P298 10 pcs
I love both original and  colored xiao long baos. Please do not ask me which flavor in particular  because it will all depend on my mood on that day hahaha


Charcoal Custard Lava Bun 3 pcs P188

How do they make the buns so black? That was my first mental note.  How did they make the buns so soft and fluffy?  The custard inside these glorious buns were worth its weight in gold or should I say calories ?

Radish Pastry 3 pcs P138
Another impressive skill displayed in pastry making. The baker in me was impressed. Surely there is  a Pastry Chef in the premises well trained in the French way of making pastries !


 Steamed Glutinous Rice Stuffed in Red Dates P238

Dessert for appetizer? Actually it was not a dessert. although sweet  and tasted  like tikoy albeit on the sweet side, it was an appetizer. Did I like it as an appetizer ? Surprisingly I liked it. The sweetness and the sticky texture served to  give my palate a brief respite from the xlbs and  dimsums I initially tasted.

Lettuce Roll with Homemade Sesame Sauce P238

One of my favorites. I love greens. So I was quite delighted to see this dish. Yay! something healthy to balance everything. The  Australian lettuce was beautifully rolled with cucumber inside as filling and outside as a "ribbon" sort of. It was crisp , fresh and paired well with the home made sesame sauce which tasted a lot like  Kewpie's Roasted Sesame Dressing

Chilled Jelly Fish and Seafood in Vinaigrette P328

Praise God for the acidity.  I loved how succulent the crystal prawns were. I particularly liked the texture of the jelly fish too

Chilled Baby Spinach with Vermicelli P288

Per Ms. Maxine this is a dish among 4 we are enjoying today that are only available in the Podium branch. Although this was my least favorite among the appetizers, I loved how the spinach retained its greenness.

Chilled Tofu with century egg  P188

This particular dish stood out for me. The silken tofu were a perfect foil to the chopped century eggs texture and flavor wise. I loved the savory sweetness of the sauce with a little kick. I can finish two orders of this  in one sitting. It was truly scrumptious  and the mouth-feel divine.


Stir fried Shredded Pork in Black Bean Sauce with Chinese Crepe P388

For one brief moment , my first thought was it looked like a plate of brains braised in soy. My next thought was surely these are noodles? Only to find out a bit later that they were shredded pork. It tasted good but was overshadowed by the other stupendous dishes served.

Kung Pao Chicken P298

This dish looked so simple sitting there but packed a lot of flavor. The cubes of chicken were succulent and juicy. Easily this became one among many of my favorites last Tuesday. Rice please!


Crispy fried Crystal Prawns tossed with Salted Egg Yolk P588

OMG another favorite. The crystal prawns inside the batter were perfectly luscious. The salted egg yolk batter was gorgeous and perfectly seasoned. The combination of the two was sublime.

Scrambled Eggwhite with Fish and Conpoy P328
I thought it was congee. "Conpoy"  or dried scallop is a type of
Cantonese dried seafood  product made from tthe adductor muscle of scallops -Wikipedia.
The texture certainly  had the "lugaw" feels. I was prepared not to like it.
 Im not a fan of oatmeal or congee except arrozcaldo which I like.
Anyway the look of the raw egg yolk with the swirl of black vinegar did not
appeal to me initially . But being a foodie , I tasted it anyway. It was good...surprisingly.
It was piping hot and savory. The eggyolk gave it another level of creaminess
and richness. But I will not order this again

Stir fried French beans with minced pork P238
Easily another favorite. Amazing how verdant green the color of the beans
 and how crunchy they were! Will order this again


Poached Sliced Fish in  Szechuan Chili Oil P788
If you like it spicy, you will love this dish

Spicy Szechuan Crispy Chicken P298

Another favorite, this dish started a debate among our group.
Are we sure its chicken?  The texture is like pork chicharon. Yum!
Extra rice please


La Mian with Scallion (dry) P200
It was a broth-less noodle dish. Simple yet surprisingly tasty


Pan fried Pancakes with Red Bean Paste P168

A foodie friend (@benbigs) remarked that it looked like a Pinoy version of  
Fig Newtons which indeed it resembled. But I think in matters of  texture,
its more reminiscent of our turon with red bean paste in lieu of the banana. 
But that's just me. It was light, delicious and surprisingly not oily

Pan fried Pumpkin Pastry P138 3 pcs

I loved that it was chewy and not too sweet. It was quite addicting.


It was a lovely preview  into the  wide selection of dishes  available in the menu of  Paradise Dynasty. Clearly the Legend of Xiao Long Bao  not only creates the most beautiful and special xlb but also concocts the most divine dimsum, appetizers, hot dishes, rice and noodles and desserts in the metro.

All in all we were served two kinds of xiao long bao, two kinds of dimsum, 5 appetizers, 5 hot dishes, 2 szechuan cuisines, 1 lamian and two desserts which this foodie along with other like-minded friends enjoyed tremendously. 

Price is surprisingly friendly on the pocket considering how intimidating Paradise Dynasty's facade may appear to the casual diner , the posh locale, the quality of ingredients, the top notch service and the beautiful ambiance.

Special mention to our server Dani who was very patient with all my requests , and Mr. Rain who generously answered all our questions with verve and gusto. His positive vibe is infectious. 

Thank you Paradise Dynasty for having us and Ms. Maxine for the invite.

Definitely returning with the piggery in tow 

Legend of  Xiao Long Bao
2/L The Podium ADB Avenue
Ortigas Center, Mandaluyong

Business hours
Monday to Friday
11am - 3 pm Last order 230 pm
6pm to 10 pm  Last order 930 pm

Saturday & Sunday
10 am to 10 pm Last order 930 pm
Paradise Dynasty Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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