Tardy Dynasty, No Paradise, Only Kitsch

Singaporeans are such mindless followers. Include yours truly who was talked into trying those multi-colored xiaolongbaos at Paradise Dynasty, ION Orchard.

Can’t miss the place – lots of suckers crowding around outside trying to get in.

I have never seen a more garish Chinese restaurant than this – hey, give me a Chinese temple anytime ok?

The restaurant website says “Be wowed by the restaurant’s plush dining ambience that is intricately designed to capture the bygone era of Imperial China in a contemporary fashion. The expansive 206-seater is adorned with textured wood pillars and wall panels made from 100 year old timber and dressed in rich deluxe colors for a stunning contrast. The restaurant’s dining space is further enhanced by the mood lighting of the customized imperial court lamp chandeliers and the golden sculptural centerpiece, a befitting backdrop for a Qin Dynasty Emperor’s throne.”

Talk about hyperbole.  It’s amazing the kind of bullshit copywriters come up with.

The whole décor reminds me of those kampong Ah Bengs made good – the moment they could crawl out of their squalor and afford a HDB, they go nuts with the décor and there you have it – a kitschy, plasticky Paradise Dynasty!

The food is also nothing to write home to mum about – the restaurant is basically a Din Tai Fung wannabe – complete with the former’s “no reservation” policy and waiting or LED numbering system. Will somebody please tell restaurateurs that this is so uncool? Workers in hospital gowns and masks put up an act together with the serving staff who walk about in macabre Chinese funeral clothes and carrying walkie talkies. The ambience is that of a funeral parlor.

And those multi-colored xiaolongbaos?

Give me Ding Tai Fung any time. Even Nanxiang in Shanghai is deemed acceptable compared to these gimmicky tricks.

The three-egg in one appetizer? (Chilled Assorted Eggs Loaf in Yang Zhou Style.) Another sad gimmick. Tasted absolutely awful – chalky.

Plus the restaurant has to decide what it wants to be – Northern Chinese, Southern Chinese, noodle house? Szechuan restaurant? High end kopi tiam? What???!!! Be something!

No wonder they have eight flavors of xiaolongbaos in one basket – they’re utterly confused themselves, if not schizophrenic.

Not impressed at all.

Suckers, knock yourselves out please.

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