A few months ago I heard about the opening of a branch of the famed Paradise Dynasty Chinese restaurant chain out of Singapore in Costa Mesa's South Coast Plaza super regional shopping mall. Since South Coast Plaza is not exactly in my
normal geographic territory I didn't have an opportunity to stop by
until recently. Their slogan is "Legend Of Xiao Long Bao", and while the
XLB is excellent, what caught me unaware was how good the rest of their
I don't think you will ever get a consensus on the best
XLB around simply because different diners look for different things.
Some diners prefer thin skins, some prefer thick, and no restaurant will
do it both ways. Similarly some people prefer lots of soup, others
more moderate. And these days, the varieties of XLB go in all directions. With the famed Din Tai Fung also operating in South Coast Plaza, it is inevitable that people will compare the restaurants, and largely based on the XLB. And I don't think a consensus as to which is better for basic varieties will be found. However, for specialty varieties, Paradise Dynasty clearly is the place to go.
For sure, Paradise Dynasty's black truffle XLB is the most flavorful single examplar of XLB I have ever had. Nor have I had one with so much truffle flavor.
The prawn and Kurobuta pork dumpling in chili vinaigrette may be the best spicy won ton you’ll find anywhere, including the place at the other end of the mall.
Yes, this is sweet and sour fish, and you can get it anywhere. But not like this. Excellent batter, but that’s not unique. What distinguishes this dish is the fact that while there’s the crunchy exterior, the fish is soft and juicy. I have no idea how they pull that off. Oh, and there’s a touch of plum in the sweet and sour sauce.
Another best in class dish is the pork chop fried rice. It looks just like the same dish at Din Tai Fung, but even if it is a copycat dish I'd rather have this one. How do they make the pork so soft and juicy? You can order the pork chop as a separate stand alone dish.
The black sesame peanut topped glutinous rice ball is great, hot out of the oven.
Pan fried pumpkin cakes are so good.
And the chilled snow fungus in peach resin.
Paradise Dynasty is a significant addition to the local Chinese dining scene. A lot of people may assume it's some kind of Din Tai Fung wannabe, but it is certainly much more than that with a broader array on their menu of outstanding Chinese dishes. Special thanks to the head chef and the head dim sum chef!