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Paradise Teochew launches 'innovative' dim sum menu for a limited time

The restaurant’s Innovative Dim Sum menu is available from now until Aug 31. But is it all that innovative? We took a taste test to find out.

Paradise Teochew launches 'innovative' dim sum menu for a limited time

Steamed Black Truffle Char Siew Bun. (Photo: Paradise Group)

Perhaps no other meal epitomises the weekend more than a dim sum spread – at least in the Asian (or Chinese) context. “I’ve not had dim sum in forever!” remarked a colleague; indeed, neither had we.

So it was with great excitement when an invitation to sample Paradise Teochew’s seasonal dim sum offerings – available from now until Aug 31 – was extended to us.

Never mind that the hosted session fell on a weekday. It was, in our minds, a prelude to the weekend. Ushered into a private room, our host explained the ins and outs of the restaurant’s Innovative Dim Sum menu.

Ooh… “Innovative” – we were intrigued. What newfangled, experimental variations of classic dim sum dishes did the chefs have up their sleeves?

As it turned out, the dishes weren’t so much innovative as they were rare and – in some instances – traditional, so traditional that they’ve largely disappeared off contemporary menus. The chefs probably felt they deserved a comeback, and rightly so.

Of the five menu items, the Deep-fried Prawn with Toast (S$7.50 for three pieces) and Steamed Siew Mai with Braised Quail’s Egg (S$6.80 for three pieces) fell into this category. Classic Hong Kong dim sum dishes, both.

To be fair, there was some innovation in the presentation: The Deep-fried Prawn with Toast was served canape-style, with the crustacean resting atop a sliver of golden-brown bread. A departure from the typical sesame shrimp toast one might find on other dim sum menus. We relished the contrast between the firm flesh of the prawns and the crispness of the toast.

The Steamed Siew Mai with Braised Quail’s Egg was preceded by a sip of apple tea, our enthusiastic server explaining that the idea was to bring out the delicate flavours of the quail’s egg. A nice flourish, we felt.

There was nothing novel about the Steamed Cheong-fun with Sesame sauce (S$4.80) – it was as classic as classic could be – but that did not detract from our enjoyment of its delightful silky smoothness. Lashed with a generous helping of hoisin sauce, this childhood favourite proved deeply gratifying.

Steamed Cheong-fun with Sesame sauce. (Photo: Paradise Group)

You could say that there was some innovation in the last two dishes – Pan-fried Siew Mai with Foie Gras Sauce (S$6.80 for three pieces) and Steamed Black Truffle Char Siew Bun (S$6.80 for three pieces). The addition of black truffle and foie gras counted, we suppose.

In any case, why split hairs over a name. What’s important was the taste, and in that aspect, both did not disappoint. The foie gras sauce was barely discernible on the siew mai, but nonetheless it was very savoury. A fresh shrimp roe topping lent perfect crunch.

The black truffle, on the other hand, was distinct; it imparted a light fragrance and rich umami to the char siew. Coupled with the pillow-soft bun, it made for a very toothsome treat indeed.

Paradise Teochew is currently running a promotion where diners enjoy a 20 per cent discount on their dine-in bills and 30 per cent off their takeaway orders

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Source: CNA/ds