After closing for seven months, Taste Paradise at Ion Orchard has reopened with a new look as well as new menu. Their kitchen is now helmed by a pair of executive chefs – Chan Chung Sing and Chan Wing Kwong, both hailing from Hong Kong.
The highlight of Taste Paradise’s new menu is their Signature Braised 10-Head Dried Abalone in Abalone Sauce (S$228 per piece). The bouncy / chewy texture of the mollusk is achieved by repeated rehydrating, simmering and braising that takes more than a week to complete. I thoroughly enjoyed slathering the addictive “secret sauce,” created through a blend of pork bone / chicken on the abalone.
The Signature Charred Honey BBQ Kurobuta Pork (S$20) comes from the shoulder of US kurobuta pork. It is prepared Hong Kong style with a gorgeous red hue and just the right combination of savory and sweet, the latter coming from malt. There is even slight char that imparts a smoky flavor. Here, I had it accompanied with the Crackling Pork Belly (S$18) which possessed an irresistible crunch juxtaposed against the juicy, fatty meat.
I was quite intrigued by the Double-boiled Sea Whelk with Kampong Chicken Soup (S$78 pet pot, suitable for 4 to 6 persons). It is a clear soup and the servers told us that they did not put any additional salt or seasoning to the broth. Despite this, the soup was immensely flavorful and nourishing, achieved through the simmering of kampong chicken, chicken feet, pork ribs, dried scallops and sea whelk for up to 8 hours.
I love a well-done steamed fish dish and the Steamed Live Dragon Tiger Grouper with Garlic and Beancurd Skin (S$13 per 100gram) did not disappoint. This is the type of seafood that I would imagine go perfectly with rice, especially with the prominent garlic shards that came with the stir-fry. The fish was fresh as attested by its silky-smooth texture.
Their Baked Live Prawn with Vermicelli in Black and White Pepper (S$10 per 100gram) was also a crowd pleaser. Brimming with wok hei, the vermicelli is braised with concentrated chicken broth and crushed peppers, with the individual strands soaking up the rich flavors. Big and juicy Swa Lor prawns are used here and deep-fried over high heat to lock in the juices.
The Stir-Fried Japanese A4 Wagyu Beef Cube with Spring Onion in Black Pepper Sauce (S$98) is a Chinese take to the Japanese beef, cooked to Cantonese sensibilities with sliced spring onion and onions. The mildly spicy black pepper sauce neutralizes the flavor somewhat but the main draw of this dish is the tender and juicy meat.
Carbohydrate dishes are usually fillers when it comes to Chinese restaurant but I have to say I was impressed with the Poached Rice with Assorted Seafood in Lobster Broth (S$52). This, too, was a comforting treat especially during a cold December evening. There was a generous amount of scallops and crab meat swimming in a deeply umami and luscious lobster-based broth. Crispy rice added a bit of texture to the poached dish and one can also make out a bit of a wok hei there.
Their insta-worthy Sweet Temptation (S$14.80) is a dessert to try if you are here to impress. It basically combines their dessert specialties into one dish, with each diner getting a small tasting sample each of avocado puree with espresso ice cream, mango sago, aloe vera and lemongrass jelly as well as slices of fruits.
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