Paradise Group, originally started in Singapore, has been making inroads to the local Chinese restaurant scene as a worthy competitor to the likes of Dragon-i and Din Tai Fung. Definitely a good thing if you ask me.
Last week, I had the chance to sample their Hakka Poon Choi (盆菜), a limited-time CNY special at Paradise Dynasty, Bangsar Village II. The session was organized by HungryGoWhere Malaysia.
Paradise Dynasty at Bangsar Village 2
My previous experience with Paradise group was at Paradise Inn, Sunway Pyramid. While Paradise Inn serves some of the best double boiled soup, classic tea, and desserts along side Chinese dishes, Paradise Dynasty concentrates on northern and southern Chinese cuisine with an innovative touch. There are dishes you find in one but not the other, though there are certainly many that overlaps.
The kitchen is only separated by a few pane of glasses from the public, where you can observe the crafty chefs preparing xiao long bao (小龙包).
modern interpretation of xiao long bao, hot and sour soup
We started the night with their signature 8-flavor xiao long bao (RM 24++). They come in multitude of colors with each consisting different ingredients in them.
- original (translucent white)
- foie gras (orange)
- black truffle (black)
- crab roe (light orange)
- cheese (yellow)
- ginseng (green)
- minced garlic (grey)
- Szechuan (pink)
I tried the black truffle, foie gras, and ginseng variety and found them to be pretty unique and rather well made. While the foie gras/truffle tastes weren’t particularly strong, you can still tell what they are even if eating with your eyes closed. A little gimmicky, yes, but one that works for me.
The hot and soup soup was thick and quite flavorful, though I’d prefer it to be slightly more spicy. I’m glad that this soup that was impossible to find just a few years ago is now quite common in Malaysia, it was one of the dishes I missed from US.
Hakka poon choi, this is what we’re here for
Then came the poon choi, (RM 388++ for 4-6 pax, RM 688++ for 8-10 pax) and what a handsome dish it was. The dish is served in a clay pot to retain heat, and we were explained that since the dish comes with thick abalone broth, having a heat source underneath the pot would burn the dish, which isn’t going to be a good thing.
how many ingredients can you spot here? there are 16 in total
There were 16 different ingredients in all, including abalone, goose feet, fish maw, sea cucumber, fresh scallop, prawns, dried oysters, mushroom, brocolli, and more.
We really enjoyed the dish, and my only minor complain was that the goose feet could perhaps be made just a bit softer, but I finished it nonetheless, it was positively wholesome.
By the way, they are also available for take-away.
crab meat with egg white, crystal prawn with salted egg, spicy chicken with dried chili
We also tried their crab meat with egg white and yolk, a pretty unique dish that is made from egg white, yolk, and some seafood but without any crab. However, it ends up tasting a bit like crab meat, which is rather interesting. As explained by the PR person, this dish was invented because the empress wanted to have crab but it was not in season, hence the chefs came up with this to avoid a head/neck separation incident. I don’t know how true is this but it does make a good story.
The other two dishes we sampled were crystal prawn with salted egg that was good enough to eat with shells and all, and a spicy chicken with dried chili dish (辣子鸡) that I can’t seem to stop putting in my mouth (only I wish there was beer).
KY & May Ying, with HungryGoWhere users and more
Lot 2F-17, Level 2
Bangsar Village 2
Bangsar, Kuala Lumpur
GPS: 3.13071, 101.67146
Tel: 03-2201 7022
A few weeks ago the three of us: Rachel, Kelvin, and myself were doing some shopping around the city that somehow brought us to Bangsar Village Shopping Centre. It was almost dinner time, so we were starting to look into potential places for dinner. After the unpleasant experience at Kim Gary, I would normally not look at another HK style restaurant, but the picture of the DongPo Pork (東坡肉) dish proved too difficult to resist…
glorious DongPo pork
Background on this dish:
DongPo Pork is said to be created by accident when the famous poet Su DongPo (蘇東坡) started to cook pork out of boredom, his friend came and challenged him a game of chess which took his mind away from the cooking until the fragrance of pork came out from the kitchen. Viola! the famous dish is created. According to one recipe, the dish takes about 4 hours to cook.
nice ambiance at an up-class shopping mall
The DongPo pork did not disappoint, it was truly a mouth watering dish especially for a pork lover. The texture is very soft and tender, you can easily pry the meat apart with your spoon or even just chopsticks. Broccoli offsets the texture and tastes of the pork fat and everything goes very well with rice. However, the 3 pieces of giant pork belly proved too much for my stomach, and I will recommend anyone to share the dish instead. I would have finished it if I had a bigger stomach.
the other dishes, including noodle and pork patties with salted fish
The other two noobs had some sort of noodle and pork patties with salted fish rice. They rated the dishes favorably, and we also had a plate of vegetable to share. I remember that the DongPo pork was RM 18 while the other dishes are comparable to any other HK style restaurants, usually priced at around RM 8-12. If you are a pork belly lover, don’t miss out this good stuff.
Bangsar Village Shopping Centre is located at Bangsar’s famous Telawi Road, just a stone’s throw away from the Laksa Sarawak stall that I blogged about last year.
Lot F9, 1st Floor,
No 1, Jalan Telawi
Bangsar Village Shopping Centre
Bangsar Baru, 59100 KL
GPS: 3.130435, 101.670088
Tel: 03-2287 8833
Last weekend I caught up with an old friend of mine, over sms she said she was gonna bring me to eat laksa at Bangsar. Now laksa is like handbags and shoes, girls seem to can’t have enough while guys are usually less enthusiastic it. I am one of those guys, but being a must-try-all person, I went with the flow anyway, despite the suspecious venue at Bangsar. I thought it might be at one of those modern restaurants.
Edit 2017: this place has moved, will update soon
Update 2019: they’ve now moved to Restoran Sea Park in PJ
the old school kopitiam, big bowl of laksa sarawak
After some twists and turns, we reached to the kopitiam that is situated in the housing area just opposite Bangsar Village. It was an old school place, which was a surprise. The young lady ordered the laksa sarawak for me.
Laksa Sarawak is slightly different from the Curry Laksa (also called curry mee), or Asam Laksa.It has a santan based curry soup, your choice of noodle of meehun, prawn, strips of chicken, shredded egg, bean sprout, and some mint leaves as garnish. Sambal and a piece of lime were given as a side too. Just look at the pics, *drools*
are you not drooling now? this stuff was great
Well, I gotta say I never knew Sarawak Laksa tasted so good. The soup was just creamy enough while not being too overly rich. I had initially thought the big bowl was too much but at the end it proved to be almost not enough. Definately one of the better hawker food I’ve had thus far in Klang Valley. As for the price, I wasn’t sure since I didn’t pay, but it was definately less than RM 5. Give it a try even if you’re not a laksa lover, you’ll not regret. I went there for brunch, I’m not entirely too sure if they sell till late in the afternoon though.
now this bangsar map is simply delightful, no?
GPS: 3.127575, 101.669487
open till around 3pm (thanks wye)
closed every wednesday (thanks PabloPabla)