Alongside their renowned eight flavoured xiao long bao, the menu comprises of specialty dishes from key culinary regions of China, including Shanghai and Sichuan.
The Setting: Stepping into Paradise Dynasty is not what you’d expect from “a casual dining restaurant”. Instead the opulent interior design captures the bygone era of Imperial China with a contemporary twist. Dark mahogany furniture, intricate lattice work, bronze lotus flowers, a water feature in the middle of the restaurant set against the stunning backdrop of a shimmering hand embroidered Emperor’s Dragon robe, welcomes guests.
The Food: There is no shortage of dishes on offer at Paradise Dynasty, but your experience wouldn’t be complete without ordering a basket (or two) of their signature xiao long bao ($88 for 8pcs). The slightly-bigger-than-average, colourful steamed treats are made using only natural vegetable colourants and come in several intriguing flavours, including a beautifully balanced garlic bao, light and subtle foie gras bao, rich and decadent black truffle bao, a spicy Sichuan bao and a, surprisingly, delicious and stringy three-cheese mix. While the colours are a bit of a novelty feature, the skin is paper thin and the broth light and not in the slightest bit oily. The chilled jellyfish and seafood in vinaigrette ($68) was light, refreshing and crunchy. The pork dumplings in hot chilli sauce ($46 for 6pcs) were succulent and fiery, while the spicy Sichuan crispy chicken ($72) didn’t live up to its name and really wasn’t very spicy at all. The radish pastry ($28 for 3pcs) was just as it should be – delicate, buttery and flakey. The stewed sliced fish with Chinese wine sauce was tender, although a tad bland, while the double-boiled chicken soup ($52) was comfortingly warming but a little too oily. For hardcore durian fans, the dessert menu includes a durian-flavoured xiao long bao, exclusive to the Hong Kong branch. We unfortunately weren’t fans of the warm, mushy durian texture, but relished the chilled aloevera and osmanthus jelly in honey lemon juice ($26), which was the perfect ending to a rather indulgent 13-course lunch tasting. The refreshing jelly also worked a charm in washing down the questionable durian flavour in our mouths!
The Verdict: The xiao long baos were pretty close to perfection, and the very reasonably priced menu offered a wide selection of traditional northern and southern Chinese dishes. This is the ideal spot to visit with out-of-towners.
6/F, Lee Theatre Plaza, 99 Percival Street, Causeway Bay