Tuesday, December 5, 2023

A Decadent Dining Without Being Pricey at Paradise Dynasty


A decadent.  

I had this wish when I was younger to live a life of indulgence, having studied at DLSU and seeing my classmates spend away their weekly allowance for a simple shirt and me, coping with a meager daily budget.   I thought that one is decadent when he or she can buy everything and does not even bother with the price.  I, on the other hand, have been used to a non-luxurious life but have tried my best to buy the good stuff and suffer the consequence later, not having enough left.  

Sure one can change through time but the dream to live a life of luxury is still in place.  Then I thought, that luxury can have different meanings to anybody.  I'm still not rich, but I'm living comfortably, and I make sure to stick to my budget. 

This foodie momma chose to focus on self-worth as opposed to a net worth kind of lifestyle.

Let me call myself, for the time being, a decadent, as my experience dining with Paradise Dynasty definitely was truly indulgent when it comes to service and food quality without being costly. 

Let's begin with nonetheless than the world-renowned 8-flavored Specialty Dynasty Xiao Long Bao.  

There's no need to exaggerate words to describe each Xiao Long Bao, I went right in and got the black one which is the black truffle. 

It is suggested that you eat them while they're piping hot for an amplified experience.  There is the suggested way, however. 

First, pick it up with a chopstick on its ring, the crimped one that defines the crown, then quickly slide it into a spoon with enough pickled ginger and black vinegar.  

Allow to cool a bit for a few minutes before putting the whole thing, you can either puncture a wee whole or nibble the crown and sip a few broths that might flow through and into the spoon,   Sip away and then lovingly allow the broth and the dumpling together with the vinegar to slide into your mouth.  

One steaming basket is actually good for one person if you really want to experience the greatness of this wondrous creation, or can also be shared with a group.  They do have a card that suggests how to enjoy eating these according to their color to delight the palate all the more.

The original Signature XLB is equally fascinating even with its simplified version.  

Another interesting menu item not to be missed is the Charcoal Custard Lava Bun.  It was a  first for me to have one, the only charcoal-infused bun I ever had.  Poking the bun to allow the smooth, golden-colored,  custard filling to flow, adds fun to the table.  I love how smooth, and pillowy the bun is without the chalky texture of the charcoal, with the gooey, warm, sublimed sweetness of the custard sauce melds perfectly with it.

Before I could grab another Custard bun, my eyes got invited to the vibrant Spicy Szechuan Crispy Chicken.  The crunchiness of each chicken tender is retained even after being coated with the spicy sauce.  To be honest, when I had this the first time (some years, years ago)  I did get intimidated, by its fiery red color and with chilies strewn around the plate, but  I eventually managed to like it, the beauty of an acquired taste. 

From intense to mellow, Chilled Tofu with Century Eggs deserves a fond moment, especially after chowing down a spicy dish.  If you think, a silken tofu won't go with the stingy iconic Chinese ingredient, think again.  Another one on my best simple dish one has to have in a lifetime.

If you're on a particular diet, Paradise Dynasty has an overwhelming menu spread that has everything for everyone.  If you can't have rice, then this Stir-fried Broccoli with Garlic might be for you.

Crispy Fried Crystal Prawns Tossed with Salted Egg Yolk, a crowd-favorite.  If you haven't had salted egg chips, then you're missing the good foodie life.  It's what came to mind when I had a bite of this.  It has this addicting feature, the pleasant sweet, juicy taste of the Crystal prawns coated in a savory batter, fried and flavored with the same salty egg yolk flavoring I've experienced with the best chips I had, or even better.

They have several La Mian or Chinese hand-pulled noodles on the menu too, but we got to try the Braised Pork Belly.  The smokiness of the Pork Belly adds a good punch to the comforting pork bone broth with the black fungus adding texture and richness to the whole dish.


What's even more interesting is the backstory that goes with every dish, like the one for the Scrambled Egg white with Fish and Conpoy. 

This seemingly simple egg dish dates back to 1850's, China's Qing dynasty under the reign of a concubine, Empress Dowager Cixi.  It was when the Dowager had a craving for crabs but they were away from where it could be sourced, so the cooks had to imitate the texture and the taste with something close, the ingredient being egg whites.  It eventually became the Empress Dowager's favorite.  

That's how close we can get to decadence. 

The conpoy, on one hand, made all the semblance when it comes to taste.  It's actually, a sauce heavily flavored with dried scallops, which gives it's umami and taste likened to seafood.

Chinese dining wouldn't be complete without a Sweet and Sour dish, and of course, Paradise Dynasty has its own version.  For me, what makes this dish delectable is the addition of pineapple slices.   

Another addicting piece, forgive me if I've used the same word again.  Munching on these Deep Fried Pork Ribs left me lost for words, as they truly were.  

I love food that are flavorful yet aren't overwhelmingly salty or spicy, with every dish complementing each other.  The garlicky, crispy goodness gives it its charm.  

We had chicken, seafood, and loads of pork.  The Chinese golden feast is almost complete but not without a beef of choice.  

Make sure to add the Stir-fried Beef with Kai Lan the perfect combo for the Fried Rice in Yang Zhou style.  For some reason, I keep on remembering the Chinese lady on TV when I was small,  cooking dishes on a wok and this dish is one of her classics, as this velvety savory sauce clings to the beef dearly, I can visualize the rudiments of cooking this the traditional  Szechuan way.  

Paradise Dynasty deserves a good round of applause for bringing elevated, traditional Chinese dishes into our country, they have been acclaimed amongst gourmet and food-lovers alike, and have kept their good standing since they opened.   

Definitely, the best place for a company or family dinner.  Make sure to call for a booking appointment so you and your group can be served inside their VIP room. 

Such great food and company surely deserve a spot in every writing material.  Thank you so much for this decadent lunch Xchosa and Paradise Dynasty team.

Do visit their website https://paradisedynasty.ph/ to see their full menu and their current promotions.

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