There are many dialects within the Chinese community in Singapore. Most Singaporean Chinese are of Hokkien descent, while most Chinese restaurants in Singapore specialise in Cantonese cuisine.
Our favourite dim sum and mouth-watering roasted meats hail from Hong Kong, a Cantonese speaking country. Teochew cuisine is relatively common too – Paradise Teochew is one of the many restaurants that you can find yummy Teochew fare.
Being a Teochew myself, I know little about my culinary roots. All I know is that we love our glutinous rice, and we are fans of making colourful kuehs.
However, there is so much more to Teochew cuisine than just glutinous rice and Png Kuehs.
The Teochew cuisine is built upon minimal seasoning, which allows the natural flavours of the ingredients to permeate through the dish. At Paradise Teochew, these traditional culinary concepts are taken into utmost consideration when cooking.
For lunch, we had a variety of dim sum, braised meats, Teochew porridge, oyster omelette, and traditional Teochew desserts, such as tau suan and orh nee.
For those who are wondering, yes, the Teochews do make dim sum too, such as Steamed Dumpling in Teochew style ($5.80/3 pieces), Steamed Glutinous Rice Roll in Teochew style ($5.20/3 pieces) and the cutesy Steamed Custard Bun in Piggy Shape ($6.20/3 pieces).
The Steamed Dumpling in Teochew style reminded us very much of Soon Kueh, other than it being wrapped in a thin crystal dumping skin. On top of the regular ingredients found in Soon Kueh such as mang kuang (stewed turnip) and hei-bi (dried shrimp), the crystal dumpling is also filled with peanuts, which give a slight textural crunch to the dumpling.
We were told that the thickness of the dumpling skin shows the skills of the chef, as it is harder to ensure that the ingredients stay encased in dumplings with a thin skin. The dumplings at Paradise Teochew had a thin and translucent skin that we could see the multicoloured hues from the filling.
We thoroughly enjoyed the Steamed Glutinous Rice Roll in Teochew Style, which we felt was a cross between a png kueh and a pau. The filling in the rice rolls is similar to what you can find in a png kueh. Instead of enveloping it in a bright pink, tasteless glutinous rice skin, the rice rolls at Paradise Teochew are wrapped with a sweet pao skin, which was in stark contrast to the savouriness of the filling. This made the dish a whole lot more appetising.
Something that the kids will love is the Steamed Custard Bun in Piggy Shape, which is filled with buttery goodness and crunchy pine nuts. Not to be confused with a liu sha bao, this sister bun has a firmer liquid filling that doesn’t flow out – making it easier to eat, especially for the little ones. We enjoyed the addition of pine nuts to the bun filling, which gave a nice crunch and nutty flavours.
Paradise Teochew does a great version of braised meats. We had the Teochew style Braised Trio Combination Platter (from $28), which had duck meat, bean curd, pork belly and intestines. There was no residual dirt in the intestines, and the meats were braised long enough to have the flavours of the braising liquid absorbed into them.
The star for us was the humble and modest Minced Pork and Conpoy Teochew Porridge ($7.80). It may look unassuming, but the porridge is filled with wholesome ingredients, such as a combination of minced prawns and meatballs, Japanese conpoy and dried salted fish. We loved the richness of the broth, which radiated a natural savouriness and sweetness that came from the incorporation of conpoy and salted fish.
To go with the porridge, we ordered the Teochew style Pan-fried Oyster Omelette ($18), which came with a killer homemade chilli sauce. The omelette was crispy on the outside, chewy on the inside, and was studded with fresh, plump oysters. Grab a large chunk and dip it into the chilli sauce, which is mildly spicy and tangy.
For desserts, we had the traditional Mashed Yam with Gingko ($4.50), or known as Orh Nee in dialect. We loved that the yam paste was really made from an actual yam, and not rehydrated from powder. The yam paste was flavourful and not too sweet, hence it didn’t become overly cloying or jelak.
Paradise Teochew is conveniently located in the heart of town and dishes out delicious and authentic Teochew cuisine. So why not make time for an intimate dinner and heartful conversations with your loved ones at Paradise Teochew?
Address: 6 Scotts Road, #03-04 Scotts Square, Singapore 228209
Phone: 6538 0644
Opening Hours: Weekdays: 11.30am to 3pm (Last order at 2.30pm), 6pm to 10.30pm (Last order at 10pm) Weekends & Public Holidays: 10.30am to 3.30pm (Last order at 3pm), 6pm to 10.30pm (Last order at 10pm)
For Chinese food with a modern take, Taste Paradise has got it covered.
Taste Paradise strives to offer classic Chinese food with a modern twist – using western ingredients such as Foie Gras in their food and incorporating modern plating techniques.
Modern plating styles can be seen in the likes of the Crisp-fried Edamame Tofu with White Truffle Sauce ($8). The golden brown tofu was crispy on the outside and soft on the inside, but we felt that the truffle sauce was too strong that we couldn’t taste any edamame flavours. Well, that’s great news for truffle lovers! The tofu is nicely plated on a white plate, with a beautiful edible painting of flowers on the side. Totally Instagram-worthy!
Apart from fusion dishes, Taste Paradise whips up classic Cantonese favourites as well. The Classic XO Carrot Cake ($9.80) features premium XO sauce and you can taste the distinct flavours of conpoy in it. Albeit a little on the dry side, this dish has a good amount of heat; perfect for those who love spicy food!
With the increase in the number of diners going for vegetarian options, Taste Paradise has included a full page of vegetarian dishes in their menu. Expect items such as Double Boiled Bamboo Fungus Soup with Morel Mushrooms ($18), and Stir-fried Kai Lan with Vegetarian Scallops ($18).
For dessert, we had a very peculiar and beautiful looking Sweet Temptation ($14.80). In a large bowl filled with ice are shot glasses of chilled aloe vera and lemongrass jelly in sour plum and lime juice, shots of mango puree and avocado purée, and pieces of seasonal fruits. There’s a particular order to consume the dessert, starting with the light tasting aloe vera and lemongrass jelly, to the stronger, mellow tasting avocado purée, and finally, the fruits.
Some other notable dishes at Taste Paradise include their version of Crackling Pork Belly ($13.80), where each piece of pork belly is pressed to remove any extra oil. Another dish would be the Crisp-fried Prawns in Passionfruit Sauce ($28). Very rarely do we see passion fruit used with seafood, much less coming from a Chinese restaurant.
Reinventing classic Chinese favourites by adding a modern plating style will hopefully draw a younger crowd. Many of the younger generations are not so inclined to eat Chinese food as they may think it to be boring or bland. Hopefully, they will come to realise that there is so much more to it than just stir fries.
Address: 2 Orchard Turn, #04-07 ION Orchard, Singapore 238801
Phone: 6509 9660
Opening Hours: Weekdays: 11am to 3pm (Last order at 2.30pm), 6pm to 11pm (Last order at 10pm) Weekends & Public Holidays: 11am to 4.30pm (Last order at 3.30pm), 6pm to 11pm (Last order at 10pm)
Another gem from The Paradise Group, Paradise Dynasty brings Chinese Sze Chuan cum Shanghainese flavours to the table.
The restaurant has a modern take on the classic cult favourite, Shanghainese Xiao Long Bao. Served in a bamboo basket, the Speciality Dynasty Xiao Long Bao ($14.80/8 pieces) features 8 different coloured baos of interesting flavours – ginseng, foie grass, black truffle and even cheese.
With every order of the Speciality Dynasty Xiao Long Bao, diners will get a small dining instruction card, teaching you how to eat the Xiao Long Baos, as well as which colour takes priority over the other.
The eating order starts with the original flavour, before moving on to more intensely flavoured ones, and eventually the spicy red Szechuan Xiao Long Bao. Another great thing to note is that the food colouring used for the Xiao Long Baos are all from natural ingredients, such as beetroot and carrots.
For mains, we had the La Mien with Sliced Pork in Signature Pork Bone Soup ($10.80). The broth was flavourful and garlicky, and the pulled noodles were not soggy. Topped with kelp and half a boiled egg, this humble one-dish meal warmed our hearts and stomachs in the rainy weather. Paradise Dynasty has an open concept kitchen, so diners can see their noodles being pulled by the chefs, who pull the noodles as skilfully as an expert pulling teh tarik.
If you’re looking for some dishes to share, you can consider the Spicy Szechuan Crispy Chicken ($14.80) and the Scrambled Egg White with Fish and Dried Scallop ($13.80).
The Spicy Szechuan Crispy Chicken reminded us of popcorn chicken with a whole lot of heat. Nestled in a pile of chopped dried chilli, the bite-size pieces are really spicy. Crispy on the outside, the meat is still nice and juicy on the inside. A word of caution to the spice enthusiasts, this is addictive!
We absolutely loved the Scrambled Egg White with Fish and Dried Scallop. Topped with an egg yolk in the centre and a drizzle of black vinegar, the dish looks like soft-boiled eggs from the corner Kopitiam. However, dive into it and it is so much more than that. The spongy egg whites, sweetness from the scallops, natural saltiness from the fish and slight acidity from the vinegar came together exceedingly harmoniously – we fell in love with it instantly.
If you’re more of a dim sum person, Paradise Dynasty has got you covered too. We had the Radish Pastry ($5.20/3 pieces) to share. Although the filling was on the bland side, the buttery and flaky crust made up for it.
Adding a playful modern touch to a classic favourite such as Xiao Long Bao is a bold move, but Paradise Dynasty sure made the otherwise dull-looking Xiao Long Bao pretty and delicious.
Address: 2 Orchard Turn, #04-12A ION Orchard, Singapore 238801
Opening Hours: Weekdays: 11am to 10pm (Last order at 9.30pm), Weekends & Public Holidays: 10.30am to 10pm (Last order at 9.30pm)
Maybank Cardmembers get an additional 2.5% P$ rebate
There are many other dining options under Paradise Group. Check it out here.
The Paradise Group has come up with the Paradise Gourmet Rewards (PGR) Membership, where diners can get exclusive benefits, privileges and dining rebates when dining at any Paradise Group restaurant. With so many rebates, there is not a reason why diners can’t have a taste of the broad spectrum that Chinese cuisine has to offer.
Some of the exclusive membership privileges include a 10% rebate (in the form of P$) from the food bill at any Paradise Group restaurants in Singapore (except LeNu and One Paradise). Collect the P$ and redeem them on the next visit to any Paradise Group restaurant or catering orders with One Paradise.
What’s more, Maybank Cardmembers get an additional 2.5% P$ rebate when billing to your Maybank Credit or Debit Card. That’s even more ways to save up for the next treat at Paradise Group!
To apply, diners can sign up as a PGR Member at all participating outlets (except LeNu). The membership fee is $30, and there will be a preloaded P$30 stored value in the member’s account. For diners who sign up online, they get $32 stored value in their account.
This post was brought to you by Paradise Group.
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