Paradise Inn, Singapore

SCRIBBLES

Category: Chinese Cuisine

This is the second restaurant I’m writing about that’s linked to the Paradise Group (the first being Paradise Dynasty), and I’m starting to feel like I should be paid for writing this (which I’m not, but hey Paradise, payment in kind (i.e. food) is just fine) 😛 Paradise Inn is another of my go-to restaurants, simply because it’s so unpretentious – just good Chinese food in a comfortable teahouse setting – and on some days, that’s really all you want.

Multiple locations including Suntec City, Thomson Plaza, 313@Somerset and Changi Airport T1

The Paradise Group Restaurants are everywhere and the standards are very high across its different chains. If you’re in any major mall, chances are there’s a Paradise Inn nearby.

Damage: $$

Paradise Inn is pretty pocket-friendly – I’ve been there dozens of times and I’d say on average it’s about $20+ per person. We typically order about a dish per head (i.e. 5 dishes for 5 people) or slightly more, and it’s always been about right.

To Go: Definitely

When my family wants Chinese food, this is a default option. It’s fuss-free, comfortable but not sloppy, and service has always been pretty good (except when they’re running at full-house – but even then they’re still relatively quick to respond). From our experience, the wait staff are always very courteous and willing to help, and with Chinese tea that’s always flowing, we always come away with full and satisfied stomachs with none of that greasy-oily feeling like from some other places.


A MORE DETAILED REVIEW

Since I’ve been to Paradise Inn so many times and have tried so many dishes on the menu, I can safely say most of the food is very good- but to help those who’ve not been or friends just visiting Singapore for travel, here are some dishes that I would strongly recommend.

#1 Imperial Pork Ribs

Paradise Inn Singapore Food Review Blog Top Chinese Restaurant Imperial Pork Ribs Pai Gu WangThis dish is a must-order, and we never leave Paradise Inn without it. Although it reads “Pork ribs”, it’s really just pork fillets- which makes it even easier to eat and value for money since there’s no need to pick tiny morsels of meat off the bone like the one at Whampoa Keng Fish Head Steamboat Restaurant. The sauce is a special savory sauce that has a slight sweetness to it, and encrusts the outside of the pork to give it a good caramelized and slightly crisp bite. I’ve tried the Coffee Pork Ribs too – it’s a bit similar in terms of the way it’s cooked, but is sometimes a bit overdone resulting in a slightly burnt flavour, so it really depends. If you ask me, I’d say go Imperial.

#2 Hot Plate Tofu with Preserved Cai Xin and Minced Pork

Paradise Inn Singapore Food Review Blog Top Chinese Restaurant Imperial Hot Plate Tofu Mapo Cai Xin Minced PorkI’d eat every last scrap of this. If you like tofu, minced pork, egg, and lots of sauce, this is going to be your baby. The tofu is smooth and soft, and comes surrounded by a moat of bubbling egg, topped with a delicious and intensely-flavored sauce containing generous portions of minced pork and mushrooms. The leftover sauce goes perfect with everything, and the this dish tastes especially great when piping hot.

#3 Stewed Pork Belly served with Lotus Bun (Kong Ba Pau) (Featured picture)

Known in the local dialect as “Kong Bak Pau“, this dish is not commonly served at most restaurants. It is also a dish that’s hard to get right – I’ve had some poorly done pork belly which is either too lean or too fatty or even too tough. Not only must the composition of the pork be right, the stewing process needs to be done correctly to infuse the pork with the rich dark soy sauce-based marinate. A good kong bak would have a fat layer that melts in the mouth easily alongside tender, lean, and juicy meat. Paradise Inn has a great one, and is a great place to get your kong bak pau fix without having to make a special effort.

JUMBO Seafood Restaurant, Singapore

SCRIBBLES

Category: Singaporean / Chinese – Seafood

JUMBO is one of my family’s all-time favourite seafood restaurants because it is convenient and serves very good quality food at a competitive price point. I’ve tried chilli crab at a variety of restaurants and still find myself returning to JUMBO because there is that special something about the delicious semi-sweet savoury eggy gravy. If you’re in Singapore and are looking to try our perennial favourite, JUMBO is a good bet.

11 Dempsey Road, Singapore 249673, Tel: +65 6479 3435

JUMBO is prominently located at the end of a row of restaurants right in the centre of Dempsey. There is usually ample parking and JUMBO  has its own smallish carpark, although it can get quite crowded on Friday and the weekends.

Damage: $$ – $$$

I was there during Chinese New Year and we ate up half the sea. The bill came up to about $60 per head, which is extremely good value in my opinion, and we came away completely satisfied and stuffed.

To go: Often, whenever there’s a seafood craving to be fixed!

JUMBO has not yet disappointed me – I’ve tried probably about 70% of the dishes on the menu and and all the dishes have always been really good. Service is usually quite quick, and I like that they employ some mature staff who are very personable and helpful.


A MORE DETAILED REVIEW

This review comprises a run-down of some of JUMBO’s best and most popular dishes.

#1 Chilli Crab

Jumbo Seafood Restaurant Singapore Chilli Crab Man Tou fried buns Food Review BlogThe top-seller at JUMBO, without a shadow of a doubt, has got to be its Chilli Crab. Those of you who’ve been around for a bit will remember that Gordon Ramsay challenged JUMBO on its chilli crab and won by the public over a while back. I don’t know about you (and I wasn’t there to taste Ramsay’s take on the dish) but JUMBO‘s is still my go-to for chilli crab. The crab is usually fleshy and fresh, and the gravy is just the best – just the right consistency and sweetness, noticeable but non-jarring spiciness from the chilli, and lots of egg beaten into it. I especially love the taste of peanut, which gives it a unique light nutty flavour and sings counterpoint to the rest of the sauce, and yet complements it perfectly.

Drunken Prawns

Jumbo Seafood Restaurant Singapore Chilli Crab Man Tou fried buns Food Review Blog drunken prawnsThe Drunken Prawns are incredible value for money – we had about 15 prawns (mostly large) swimming in a huge bowl of brandy-infused broth for $21. When we were served the dish, we thought perhaps they got our order wrong because it didn’t seem “small” at all, but the check proved otherwise. The taste of the brandy in the prawn itself isn’t as strong as the same dish at Long Beach Seafood Restaurant, where they would pour brandy into a bowl of live prawns and show you how they jump about in the bowl before your very eyes, but still a good dish especially with the amount of broth that comes with; it’s practically a soup.

Salted Egg Golden Prawns

Jumbo Seafood Restaurant Singapore Chilli Crab Man Tou fried buns Food Review Blog Salted Egg Golden Prawns

Sorry JUMBO, I HAD to steal this picture from your corporate site. I just could not explain the awesomeness of the Salted Egg Golden Prawns without a picture to go with. Every time I visit, we try so hard not to order this dish in a bid to try something different but always end up caving. The prawns come de-shelled, which means you can have every bit of that delicious grainy creamy salted egg yolk sauce that they come dunked in. Unbelievable. Yes, please.

Sauteéd Cod Fish with Special Sauce

Jumbo Seafood Restaurant Singapore Chilli Crab Man Tou fried buns Food Review Blog sauteed cod fish special sauce

With this dish, you can never have enough. The Sauteed Cod Fish with Special Sauce ($28) features large chunks of succulent cod fish lightly encrusted with a slightly crisp caramelised special sauce (which is indeed so special I can’t really figure out what went into it besides probably some dark soy sauce) – are you salivating yet?

Chinese Spinach with Salted Egg Yolk and Century Egg

Jumbo Seafood Restaurant Singapore Chilli Crab Man Tou fried buns Food Review Blog chinese spinach salted century eggI love this vegetable dish – I’m not sure I’m talented at describing vegetables (soft? limp?) but the gravy is really tasty; you can taste the texture and creaminess of the salted egg yolk in it. I was so sad when they sold out on this dish at my previous visit. Do try it!

OMG – why did I do this to myself? I am so hungry now.