When thinking of xiao long bao, many people quickly think of the Din Tai Fung restaurant in the South Coast Plaza shopping mall. However, in the same mall is Paradise Dynasty, which offers another xiao long bao experience with a variety of unique flavors.
The restaurant is located right next to Bloomingdale’s on the square. It offers a large seating area and generally does not require a wait time on a weekday. The workers are friendly and the bartender was very knowledgeable and had excellent customer service. One of the most popular menu items is the Dynasty Xiao Long Bao.
Paradise Dynasty is the first restaurant to offer an eight-flavor xiao long bao dish on its menu. The special xiao long bao dynasty features eight original flavors for its soup dumplings. It comes with one of each flavor – original, szechuan, garlic, cheese, luffa squash, foie gras, black truffle, and crab roe. It is priced at $13.80 and each flavored dumpling provided a unique taste experience that is not usually expected for xiao long bao.
Each order of the specialty dish comes with a tasting card that recommends a sequence of eating each flavor. The order of flavors goes: original, luffa squash, foie gras, black truffle, cheese, crab roe, garlic and ends with the szechuan dumpling.
The original xiao long bao is a characteristic flavor when eating a soup dumpling. It had so much flavor and was a great starting point for the whole tasting experience. Biting into it prepares the guests for the rest of the journey.
Following the original xiao long bao, the luffa squash is next on the list. Luffa squash is a vegetable that is related to a cucumber and offers a slightly bitter taste. The green color of the dumpling baffles people, but the taste experience is quite mild. The flavor of the luffa squash shines through, but doesn’t overpower the rest of the broth and pork. It serves as a good step towards unique flavor offerings.
Next is the foie gras xiao long bao. Foie gras has a rather distinctive smell and buttery taste. Mixing that with a soup dumpling actually goes together really well. The foie gras flavor prevails in the dumpling, but the broth and pork even out the flavor. Of all the meatballs, foie gras seems the most normal color compared to the original.
The black truffle follows the ball of foie gras and, like its deep, dark color, offers a deep truffle flavour. The first bite into the dumpling explodes with truffle flavor. Eating a small dumpling with a truffle broth gave a strong and savory flavor to a xiao long bao.
The cheese dumpling offers the most unique flavor. With its yellow color, xiao long bao cheese offers a creamy experience that is usually never paired with a dumpling. Despite this, it tastes pretty good. The broth is not so soupy, but a little thick, and the cheese flavor sweetens the flavor of the meat. Surprisingly, it offered quite a nice taste experience.
If anyone has a craving for seafood, xiao long bao crab roe is delicious. The crab shines very prominently and nicely. If someone is looking for a seafood flavor, the crab roe flavor offers it.
The garlic xiao long bao that follows the crab roe serves as a nice break from the seafood. It gives off a strong garlic flavor, but it’s not overpowering either. For garlic lovers, xiao long bao garlic is delicious.
The final dish is the red Szechuan xiao long bao. The bright red color may seem intimidating, but the flavor it offers is excellent. It’s not overly spicy, but there’s a kick to it and all the flavors blend together in a bold way. It is not that different and unique in taste compared to cheese and foie gras, but the taste is delicious.