Dear fellow tasters,
Last Sunday, I was acting as a plus-one for a friend, Sinta Lucia, who was getting an invitation to a food tasting event organized by goorme.com at a newly-opened casual dining Chinese restaurant at one of Jakarta’s premium shopping mall, Plaza Senayan. The restaurant is called Paradise Dynasty and located at level P5, just across from the cinema, right in the neighborhood of high-end restaurants, bars, and clubs such as Marché, Oyster, Avorio, X2, Rustique, Sushi Sei, and many more. For background info, Paradise Dynasty is a brand from Singapore which is brought to Jakarta by Boga Group, the same group that already manages successful chain restaurants in Indonesia, some of them are Sushi Tei (we love Sushi Tei, don’t we all?), Rakuzen, Bakerzin, and Pepper Lunch. Well, certainly I couldn’t say no to a free lunch, so there I was, sitting in a beautiful oriental ornamented and decorated dining area surrounded by fellow food and other bloggers who were a bit more excited about taking the food pictures rather than eating them (well, including me actually).
The food tasting started with a brief introduction by Paradise Dynasty’s PR lady, followed by an explanation on their signature menu, foremostly about their world’s first eight-flavored ‘xiao long bao’ and how to properly eat and sequentially degust the eight types of xiao long bao. Of course then, theory came to practice, which was the best part. Each of us was served a basket of the colorful soup dumplings and here was my say about the different types of xiao long bao (ordered by the recommended sequence):
Original (white) – still steaming, this tasted very delicious and by far the best original xiao long bao I’ve tasted
Ginseng (green) – a bit similar to the original, but with a subtle ginseng flavor
Foie gras (brown) – the foie gras made it taste a bit salty but my friend and I agreed that probably foie gras and xiao long bao marriage might not be the best of idea
Black truffle (black) – black truffle is considered quite highly prized so I guessed it was understandable that all I could taste was a hint of the earthy flavor
Cheesy (yellow) – totally scrumptiously cheesy
Crab roe (orange) – the crab roe taste was a bit shy
Garlic (gray) – really garlicky and yummy
Szechuan (pink) – last one but not the bit least, a spicy surprise that tickled the tastebuds
Overall the eight-flavored xiao long bao was unique, quite tasty, and definitely very recommended. One thing noted which was also mentioned by the person sitting to my right was that by the time we got to the last pinky xiao long bao, it was already cold that we didn’t really have to follow the proper xiao long bao eating ritual. Well, I guessed it was also a part of our fault that we spent too much time taking pictures of the cute dumplings.
Afterwards, I was actually feeling a bit full but we were still offered to order whichever menu that we wanted to try. I only ordered one appetizer and some desserts but I did manage to take some pictures and taste a bit of this and that from here and there. Some fellow tasters ordered different variations from the signature silky freshly handmade ‘la mian’ menu. Others also ordered from the Shanghainese dim sum selections, and other northern and southern Chinese cuisines featured in Paradise Dynasty’s menu. I didn’t really get to fully taste the la mian but I would say that the noodle was luscious and smooth, and I pretty much liked the one with the pork bone soup. As for other menu, I would just say a few that really got my tongue and belly’s attention, such as the yummy pan-fried Shanghai pork bun, the spicy deep-fried diced chicken in Szechuan style, the delicious baby bamboo shoot in oyster sauce, and the massive tasty deep-fried pork ribs.
For desserts, I ordered three items to share with my lovely friend. They were the chilled mango pudding and two unique signature desserts, the soufflé egg white balls stuffed with red bean and banana, and the chilled aloe vera and osmanthus jelly in honey lemon juice. Phew, that’s quite a mouthful. The mango pudding was sweet and nice and my friend really liked it. The soufflé ball was served warm and tasted a bit like choux à la crème but softer. My favorite was the last one. Not sure what osmanthus is (according to wikipedia it’s some kind of flowering plants so I guessed it’s the tiny white flower thingy), but the dessert drink was very refreshing.
Thus, concluded that afternoon’s superb food tasting lunch. As for the service from the waiting staffs that day, I couldn’t feel more grateful although I hope in the future the order waiting time can be managed and improved more. I would also like to say thank you to Paradise Dynasty and goorme.com for having me there, although only as a +1. Gosh, sorry if I blabbered away with this post but I hope you can enjoy reading it and looking at the tasty shots, but if you’re wondering how they taste like, you better hurry up there and start ordering away. Right about now would be splendid, no?
The taster’s notes:
Favorite dish – the eight-flavored xiao long bao, pan-fried Shanghai pork bun, and chilled aloe vera and osmanthus jelly in honey lemon juice
What to try next time – might try the la mian, steamed tianjin buns, radish pastry, chilled assorted eggs loaf in Yang Zhou style, glutinous rice dumpling in fermented rice wine, did try a piece of the delicious red bean pancake but forgot to take a picture so might order it next time