This is one of our top lunch spots since it opened at Star Vista and there is no need to queue. :) Last week we had lunch here with Maifen, who has since flown off to Italy for two weeks(!!) – I needed to pass her the book on translating Italian hand gestures (rude or otherwise) I got for my birthday this year and she had to pass us some nespresso capsules for LZ’s dad.
I also gave her a very useful table of translations of simple phrases such as “where is the bathroom?” or “I do not speak Italian” as well as all the words that she may encounter on a menu so that she can tell if she’s ordering octopus or veal or seabass etc.
Anyway the Mandarin name of the restaurant translates into Little Hongkong, although the actual English name of the restaurant is Canton Paradise, as part of the Paradise Group.
They do an amazing, almost creamy congee here. The flavour I like best is the one with century egg and pork, although I have been eying their fish slice porridge for some time. This is the usual staple, although sometimes we get their Hongkong noodles with charsiew which is also very good.
Since we were a party of three, we got some XO fried radish cake to go with. I must say the one that guangyan ordered for us in Boston’s chinatown is better, although the XO fried carrot cake at Peach Garden here is pretty good too. You can hardly see the XO in this version. (For non-Singapore readers, ‘XO sauce‘ does not refer to the cognac, but rather a kind of paste made out of dried shrimp, scallops, chili, and garlic. It’s basically like an umami bomb.
The rest of the meal pretty much revolves around the dimsum. They don’t have carts, but you do mark out which dimsum you want on a checklist and they come pretty quick.
Here is the char siew su which I am extremely partial to. The pastry is super buttery/lardy and just flakes apart in your mouth. The one at the Nex Crystal Jade is also pretty good.
The fried shrimp dumplings served with a sweet, lemony mayonnaise/salad sauce.
The siew mai – little cups of minced pork and shrimp topped with roe. They’re pretty difficult to make, as one of my housemates at Cornell discovered when she tried to make her own. Closed dumplings are much easier to make.
The xiaolongbao here is nothing to shout about, even though the Paradise Group has an excellent history of making xlbs (Paradise Dynasty, Taste Paradise), it’s just not their forte in Canton Paradise. We’re going to have more xlb tonight at Din Tai Fung! :D