Missing Singapura : Paradise Dynasty at The Podium

It's been a year since we bid beautiful Singapura farewell. I got to say that I really do miss our life back in Singapore where everything is simply so efficient and definitely so so so safe. Back then, I've envisioned a life where Paul and I would be raising our baby in Singapore.

Take note, baby. Singular.

Guess, He has a different plan for us when He blessed us not only with one but two beautiful babies which also means me temporarily bidding the corporate world good bye and us, relocating back home to be closer to family.

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Aside from the over-all peace and security, I do miss the food and people in Singapore. Luckily though, one of my favorites has opened already two branches here in Manila! Hello Paradise Dynasty.

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Away from Mommy and Daddy duties 
To celebrate the birthday of our Pareng A, we took a break from our Mommy and Daddy duties to have dinner with our foodie friends. (side story: L wasn't very happy about this and ended up crying her heart out while screaming "mamam" for an hour at home huhuhu knowing that broke my heart. Therefore, no more nightlife for me at the moment. No thanks to Mom Guilt!)

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Dinner started with their Specialty Dynasty Xiao Long Bao (Php. 388) which is one thing that has made Paradise Dynasty so famous! It's a steam basket filled with 8 different colored xiao long baos, one stands for a particular flavor:
- White for Signature Original
- Grey for Garlic
- Brown for Foie Gras
- Red for Szechuan
- Yellow for Cheese
- Orange for Crab Roe
- Green for Ginseng
- Black for Truffle

Similar to before, I've always loved the Signature Original followed by the Cheese and Garlic. I still find the Foie Gras to be quite weak.

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We also tried the Charcoal Custard Lava Bun (Php. 188 / 3 pcs) famously known as the 流沙包. I haven't had this in a year and boy, do I miss it! I love how it was very flowy and the salted egg filling had a nice sweet and savory flavor to it.

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As you all know, Singapore is known for its fiery hot dishes and we sure had a lot of those that evening. Starting off with the Pork Dumplings in Hot Chili Vinaigrette  (Php. 168) I got to say though that spicy here in the Philippines means mild in Singapura so you will surely not scald your taste buds even after finishing the entire dish. I do appreciate the slight heat and the sudden spicy kick though. This was really good and I will definitely go back for more.

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We also had the Kung Pao Chicken (Php. 298) which is another szechuan dish. Tender chicken cubes wok-fried with huge cuts of chillies and cashew nuts. Once again, not very spicy in probably Singapore/Malaysian level but those who are not spicy eaters might want to proceed with just a bit of caution. Paul loved this one though as the chicken was very tender and you can really taste the flavor through and through. Not a lot of restaurants locally can do this well and I'm happy to share that Paradise Dynasty has definitely passed the test with flying colors.

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The Spicy Szechuan Crispy Chicken (Php. 298) is very similar to the Kung Pao Chicken only they take the spicy in their name seriously. Now, we feel more heat here and it's the kind of dish that's annoyingly so good but you'd feel sweat forming on your forehead as you take in more bites. Paul and I remembered this amazing Firecracker Chicken Nest dish that we had at Lokkee back in Singapore and noticed how similar this was to that. At least we can enjoy the same yummy dish now that we're back home.

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Speaking of sweat, this will surely make you sweat buckets so bring an extra shirt if you must. The Poached Beef in Szechuan Chili Oil (Php. 788) is what we call Mala Hot Pot in Singapore. It comes in a huge sharing bowl filled with slices of beef, Szechuan chili...and more chilli! You'll surely be able to take a whiff of the spicy chili and peppers and the bright red color definitely screams hot, hot hot! I loved it though. I appreciate the mix of spices added into the soup broth which can give you this numbing effect after a couple of slurps. It's so hot yet so good!

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Moving away from the fiery hot dishes, we also tried my favorite -- the Steamed Glutinous Rice stuffed in Red Dates  (Php. 238). I can't stop getting this! The sweet glutinous rice complemented the sweet red dates making this a good starter or dessert to your meal. As for me though, I've been sneaking one piece after the other all throughout my meal. Haha!

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Another highlight was the  Stir-fried Shredded Pork in Black Bean Sauce served in Chinese Crepe (Php. 388). As soon as this got to our table, I initially thought we were having noodles then I got slightly confused as to why we got some crepes similar to the ones used for Peking Duck. It was only when our server introduced this dish that I realized that it wasn't noodles! Oops! I loved it! The tender and very fragrant pork strips wrapped in a thin crepe. I actually went back for a second time and had this once again. Then again, it didn't disappoint.

To tame our tongue from all the spicy dishes, we had a couple of chilled ones to balance it all out: 

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First off, we had the refreshing Chilled Baby Spinach with Vermicelli (Php. 288) while the order is quite small, it's definitely still worth trying. It reminds me of the Korean ban chan that also served chilled spinach.

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Who can ever say no to Chilled Tofu with Century Egg (Php. 188) I may be a classic Taiwanese appetizer but went very well with the rest of our orders too.

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What I loved though was the Chilled Jellyfish and Seafood Vinaigrette (Php. 328). A bit on the pricey side, then again you get a very generous serving of jellyfish and shrimp.

Now, back to a couple more classic dishes such as the:

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Crispy Fried Crystal Prawns tossed in Salted Egg Yolk (Php. 588) which is a unique dish to the Philippine market. Of course, how can we ever say no to seafood + salted egg. Thats simply match made in foodie heaven. I love how crisp the prawns were and boy were they huge in size! One order gives you about 4-5 pieces of prawns.

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We also tried the Scrambled Egg White with Fish and Conpoy (Php. 328) too.

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Lastly for carbs, we tried the  Egg Fried Rice (Php. 238) a very simple straight-forward dish perhaps for those who doesn't want any frills.

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For dessert, we had the Red Bean Pancake (Php. 168) which I sadly wasn't able to enjoy as I was too stuffed from all the dishes that we feasted on. It looks very good though and judging from the empty plates on the table, looks like everyone liked it too.

I'm so happy that Paradise Dynasty has made its way to our shores. At least, I have a piece of Singapura here in our country. I can't wait to go back and have more of their Xiao Long Bao, Shredded Pork with Chinese Crepe, Chilled Jellyfish and Seafood Vinaigrette and the Sweet Glutinous Rice in Red Dates!

Check out Paradise Dynasty at the 2nd floor of The Podium Mall, ADB Avenue, Mandaluyong City. Call them at 682-3333 for reservations (I highly recommend you should!)

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