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March 23, 2017

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Tasty Nanyang-style cuisine in the heart of Lujiazui

SINGAPORE-BASED Paradise Group recently unveiled a new dining concept, Paradise Classic, in the tallest building in Asia, Shanghai Tower. This follows the launch of Paradise Dynasty, which is known for its legendary xiao long bao in eight international flavors.

The new concept is dedicated to an array of Nanyang-style Chinese cuisine, with some classic delectable dishes from Chinese community in Southeast Asia.

In the 1920s, there was an influx of Chinese immigrants to Southeast Asia (Singapore, Indonesia and Malaysia) who mixed available local ingredients and cooking styles to re-create their respective Chinese cuisines. With this, a unique, sometimes more flavorsome, cuisine known as Nanyang-style Chinese cuisine was born.

On my recent afternoon visit, the restaurant was fully occupied by the corporate types from the surrounding Lujiazui offices. Paradise Classic is a preferred lunch venue in the area with its decent food and good pricing.

Following the recommendations, I started my meal with the popular chicken soup and Paradise Starter combination (pickled tomato, guava and pumpkin). The chicken soup proved itself as a crowd pleaser. Boiled for long hours, the slow-cooked soup was simply delightful. The combination of pickled tomato, guava and pumpkin seasoned by preserved plums, rock candy and fruit vinegar made for an excellent start. After the refreshing, sweet and sour tastes and crunchy textures, I was ready for the later dishes.

I ordered the Espresso Chicken — also superb — with juicy, tender fried chicken wings giving away hints of coffee aroma. If you like crispy textures, choose the Crispy-fried Dried Fish tossed with a sweet-and-spicy sauce that balances the sweetness and spice accompanied with crispy texture. This is a popular Nanyang-style appetizer that takes years to perfect.

I was excited to find Crisp-fried Crystal Prawns tossed with Salted Egg Yolk on the menu. This is one of my must-have dish when traveling in Singapore. Singaporean Chinese love to use salted egg yolk for cooking. This salted egg yolk dish didn’t disappoint and was perfectly cooked.

Other specialties at Paradise Classic include Stir-fried Pork Ribs with Bitter Gourd, Steamed Fish Head with Spicy Bean Sauce, Stewed Silver Needle Noodle with Salted Fish in Claypot and dessert Trio Layered Osmanthus Pandan Cake. The usual Chinese cuisine ingredients are paired with Southeast Asian spices such as curry, shrimp paste and pandan leaves to showcase the dishes’ unique flavors.

The restaurant has a seating capacity of close to 200 diners, including one private room.

paradise classic

Opening hours: 11am-10pm

Average price: 120 yuan

Address: B2-3, Shanghai Tower, No. 501, Yincheng Road M.

Tel: 5830-8386


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