We ordered simple and affordable dishes as we know we could never go wrong with our selection.
1. Hot Plate Tofu ( Medium size $15.90 ) – The dish came with a sizzling sound and indeed, the silky tofu was embedded between the gravy, preserved vegetables, minced meat, mushrooms and egg. As a whole, this dish was well presented and being slightly spicy, it was just good for our taste buds.
2. Coffee Pork Ribs ( Medium size $15.90 ) – The meat though well marinated lacked the coffee flavor and we felt that the meat was also a bit dry and tough to chew.
3. Shrimp Paste Chicken Wings (Medium size $15.90) – This ordinary dish could be found in most hawker centers or coffee shops. Though easy to make, the ones we tasted here do not have that pungent shrimp paste. The outer skins are fried crispy but the meat is moist and tender.
4. Stewed Pork Belly served with Steamed Bun ( $2.20 per piece ) – This signature dish was the best that we have tasted. Each stewed meat came with one layer of fat followed by one layer of lean meat. Being health conscious, we were contemplating whether we should remove the in-between fats but their elderly staff encouraged us to try without removing the fat. True enough, it was a melt-in-your-mouth feeling. For the first time, all of us woo...ar..shiok!! Surprisingly, we could not differentiate the meat and the fats when we took the first bite.
This place also serves different kinds of double boiled soups like pork ribs with water cress, black chicken with spare ribs and ginseng,etc, Besides these nourishing soups, it also offers some interesting flower teas like chrysanthemum, jasmine, osmanthus, rose. It is indeed refreshing to drink these aromatic floral teas after all the fried and oily food.
Overall, we were quite happy with the food and most importantly, prices must be reasonable if Paradise Inn wants to attract more families to dine there.
The Paradise group is expanding rapidly nowadays, extending on its brand name to create various eateries in an attempt to cater to practically everybody and anybody who eats Chinese food. Paradise Inn is one such entity, being marketed as an affordable restaurant, tea house and dessert house all rolled into one.
We had a go at the Bedok Point outlet of Paradise Inn, which sported large windows framed by wooden partitions and interesting looking wood cage lamps. Bright sunlight flittered in, giving rise to a cheery atmosphere sans the heat.
Thai Baby Kailan with Salted Fish - This dish came across as rather slip shod as the Kailan failed to absorb the gravy and came across as lightly sourish and raw. And the little bits of salted fish weren't salty enough to make much of a difference.
Prawns with Salted Egg - I'm a big fan of this dish but somehow Paradise Inn's rendition left much to be desired. For starters, it didn't look freshly prepared and the amount of oil was a turn off. Adding to the woes was the rather watery salted egg coating and thicker than ideal batter. However, taste wise it was still decent.
Sweet and Sour Pork - Restaurants tend to use quite a bit of fat meat in their sweet and sour pork dish and Paradise Inn was no exemption. The miniscule amount of meat tended towards the fatty side and the flour was too thick in my humble opinion. Average at best.
Mini Wok Tofu - Seafood Paradise has the exact same dish, just under a different name (and with significantly more ingredients) that's all. The tofu was soft but not exactly smooth and lacked the hint of smokiness that the one at Seafood Paradise offered. The portion of meat floss atop was found wanting as well. Still very palatable though.
Honestly, $65 for a 3 pax lunch isn't really expensive but quite a few of the dishes are similar to that of Seafood Paradise, albeit with a decrease in portion size and utilisation of inferior ingredients. Food overall is still decent though and so is the service. However I am not comfortable with the dilution of the Paradise brand name, one that I've always associated with above average quality food (save for the less than stellar experience at Taste Paradise Ion). Is the Paradise group really biting off more than it can chew? Only time will tell.
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