Steamed durian xiao long bao? You bet!

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    Mao Shan Wang Durian Xiao Long Bao
    Mao Shan Wang Durian Xiao Long Bao, $10.80 for a basket of 6

    The first thought that came to mind when we heard about the new durian dumplings at Paradise Dynasty was, what on earth was it going to taste like? And when we found out that it was going to be served hot on a steam basket, we were even more intrigued. Imagine, hot durian.

    Traditionally, xiao long bao or soup dumpling is a delightful combination of rich and flavourful broth with succulent minced pork wrapped up inside a paper-thin flour skin. The dumplings are then steamed to perfection and served with slivers of sliced ginger and vinegar.

    The bold new dish created by Paradise Dynasty called durian xiao long bao (榴莲小笼包) is no different. Served piping hot, the dessert is filled with a puree of the famous durian variety, Mao Shan Wang. We applaud Paradise Dynasty for their courage to introduce the notoriously pungent fruit into their menu but we were not quite impressed.

    First of all, we had expected the dumplings to be overflowing with the yellow-fleshed Mao Shan Wang. But instead, we were greeted with a slightly chewy durian paste which resembled the plastic-wrapped old-school durian cake. According to the restaurant, adjustments had to be made to cater to local palates and to make it less overpowering. But hey, it’s a durian dessert, give us overpowering, anytime.

    Secondly, we also felt that the skin was too thick. We would have preferred it to have the same consistency and texture as the traditional pork dumplings.

    Lastly, why not serve it cold? It would definitely help to soothe the palate after eating some of the restaurant’s tongue numbing dishes like spicy chicken cubes and the newly introduced steamed bullfrog with diced chilli.

    Other than the durian xiao long bao, Paradise Dynasty also introduced four new Shanghai dishes. There is the braised duck’s tongue appetiser ($9.80), spicy and sour steamed bullfrog with diced chilli ($15.80), a stir-fry of asparagus, bamboo shoots and bacon ($13.80) and a very refreshing chilled Malva Nut Tree with pear bits dessert ($4.80). Thanks to the salty bacon bits, the stir-fried bamboo dish was very delicious. If you like spicy food, the steamed bullfrog dish is worth a try. The firm, sweet flesh of the frog meat went well with the moreish sauce.

    Braised Duck's Tongue with Oyster sauce
    Braised Duck’s Tongue with Oyster sauce, $9.80
    Steamed Bullfrog with Diced Chilli
    Steamed Bullfrog with Diced Chilli, $15.80
    Chilled Malva Nut Tree with Pear Bits
    Chilled Malva Nut Tree with Pear Bits, $4.80

    The durian xiao long bao (榴莲小笼包) and the four new dishes are available at all Paradise Dynasty outlets from 9 March to 31 May 2015.

    Paradise Dynasty

    Paradise Dynasty at ION Orchard
    2 Orchard Turn, #04-12A ION Orchard, Singapore 238801

    Paradise Dynasty at VivoCity
    1 Harbourfront Walk, #03-08A, Singapore 098585
    Tel: 6376 8103

    Paradise Dynasty at Changi Airport T3
    65 Airport Boulevard, #03-32 Terminal 3, Singapore 819663
    Tel: 6242 4372

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