On Chinese cuisine, I have to admit that I am not an expert on this, and that would explain why I am checking with Wikipedia before telling you about Xiao Long Bao from Paradise Dynasty. So firstly, Xiao Long Bao (cara baca Indonesianya, siao lung pau), it’s a type of steamed bun, and it’s translated as Steamed Soup Dumplings. Not like ordinary dumpling (atau pangsit), they are unique as they contain broth inside, or soup. What’s even more special from Paradise Dynasty, a new restaurant located at 5th floor Plaza Senayan, is their Signature 8 Flavored Xiao Long Bao. The available flavors are: Original, Ginseng, Foie Gras, Black Truffle, Cheese, Crab Foe, Garlic, and Szechuan.
Each type has their own colored skin, and initially I found their color in picture very striking. At the restaurant, however, the colors are not that solid like those in the pictures. They look pretty and appealing enough to eat. My review of their taste, following their recommended order of tasting:
– Original: Delicious for hungry food. And served hot indeed. I ate this first bao with little ginger slice and sauce-as offered-, and found the taste nicely blended in my mouth. Noted though, that I didn’t taste the very original taste then, since I added ginger and sauce.
– Ginseng: Again I ate this second bao with ginger and sauce. And I couldn’t taste the ginseng taste because of it. Perhaps it’s best not to add the ginger slice and sauce to every bao of yours. No special memory for this bao.
– Foie Gras: Eaten without additionals, I couldn’t really identify the uniqueness of this bao. The pork soup remains quite dominant since the very first bao to this one.
– Black Truffle: This bao did manage to impress me a bit. I tasted different shade of pork soup thanks to the truffle mix. Can’t really define it, but compared to previous baos, Black Truffle is… richer, but not over tasty, to my opinion.
– Cheese: The one I’ve been waited for. Didn’t manage to taste the cheese on my first bite, but the taste of rich cheese lingers in my mouth very well. This is the first bao in the order that stand out quite far from the rest of the bao.
After tasting the cheese bao, I just started to realize I should have cleaned my taste buds before tasting next item.. (saw someone else did that) So I drank the provided Chinese tea to neutralize my buds before eating next bao.
– Crab Foe: Could taste the crab even in the broth. This is a refreshing taste as the others are very ‘pork-y’. Aside from the broth, I could also taste the crab (though mixed with pork meat) in the filling.
– Garlic: Very strong garlic, and not so meaty.
– Szechuan: Apparently this last one was the most outstanding, in terms of flavor, as it is indeed quite spicy. Thank goodness that it’s not that chilli hotness, since I don’t like chilli. So I found this one still delicious and hot enough for my taste. A bit oily inside, perhaps from the ingredients. But it’s all good.
I noticed though that about the fourth of fifth xiao long bao, the bao wasn’t that hot anymore, so you actually don’t have to be extra careful of the heat once you find the temperature cool enough for your mouth.
After waiting for a while, I had my second dish, which was La Mian with Pork Bone Soup served with Deep Fried Pork Ribs. The La Mian didn’t taste as strong as the soup – which is not salty but very.. tasty (gurih). It even caused my lips to get a bit sticky after tasting the soup, proving it’s tastiness (imho). Adding vinegar or sauce could be an option when eating the La Mian. Don’t get greedy when ordering La Mian since one portion is actually big enough for two people, especially after each of you had your own portion of flavored Xiao Long Bao.
I had Strawberry Juice aside of the Chinese Tea, and the juice also acted as my refreshing and closing drink, so that I didn’t order any dessert. I had a bit of their Souffle, from a friend’s order, anyway. It tastes almost like Kue Sus but with light skin and more fillings inside, complete with raisins.
What’s most recommended, I say, would be the experience of 8 Flavors Xiao Long Bao. It contains pork, of course. So for you who doesn’t eat pork, they actually have halal La Mian menu, and halal Xiao Long Bao, but only limited flavor options: original (without pork), ginseng and cheese, if I’m not mistaken. If you’re interested to give a visit, here’s the contact for Paradise Dynasty in Facebook
. For you who visit Plaza Senayan a lot, it’s located just across the entrance of the Cinema. You won’t miss the entrance next to their kitchen with glass walls. And lastly, I heard they have a promotion to celebrate their opening. So why don’t you check it out? :)
*All pictures taken with iPhone 3Gs