>> At A Glance
* Restaurant name: Paradise Dynasty (Plaza Senayan branch)
* Cuisine: Chinese
* Address: Plaza Senayan Mall, 5th Floor, Unit Cp 512-513, Jl. Asia Afrika No. 8, Jakarta 10270 (also have branches in Surabaya, Medan, Bali, East Java, and North Sumatera provinces of Indonesia as well as branches in other Jakarta malls including Central Park and Baywalk)
* Opening times: Everyday 10.00 – 22.00
* Phone: 02157900146 (Plaza Senayan branch)
* Social media: website, Facebook, Twitter
* Overall flavour: 4.5
* Price for portion: 4 (click here to access the menu on Zomato)
Taking into account the high quality of the ingredients and moderate high-end feel of the restaurant, I’d say the price for portion is rather reasonable. Most main courses is around 70k IDR and any dish for sharing tends to be less, so it’s not exactly extortionate. Additionally, they often have credit card discounts (especially during Chinese New Year) and will give you 100k IDR voucher(s) after bills depending on how much you spent. It’s worth noting that the voucher can only be used when spending 200k IDR and above on your next visit, though.
* Service: 2.5
The Plaza Senayan branch is highly popular on weekends and public holidays, so don’t be surprised if there’s a waiting list going. That said, it’s usually still a manageable 10-to-15-minute wait. What may be a deal breaker is that, when it’s especially crowded, service can unfortunately be rather slow and neglectful. You might need to ask the waitress about the status of a dish a few times before they realise that they didn’t input the order in the first place. I’m not saying that this is always the case, but this has happened twice in the dozen or so times I’ve been here on weekends (this restaurant is one of my family’s go-tos).
The manager always rectified the situation quickly and professionally, though. He/she will apologise and offer the customer free birthday buns if the mistake is on their part, so I guess a silver lining exists, but the restaurant wouldn’t be my first pick if I’m pressed for time.
* Venue / ambiance: 5
What could be improved in service they make up for in venue/ambiance. The restaurant has a great familial atmosphere with elegant lighting, decor, and Chinese instrumental background music. Furthermore, whether it’s for lunch business meetings or family gatherings over dinner, the space is reasonably spacious with plenty of seating options. A few private rooms with rotating round tables are also available for booking should you want to avoid the restaurant’s hustle and bustle, although there might be a minimum charge when booking for special occasions. No wi-fi available.
* X factor: Signature Dynasty Xiao Long Bao
These are eight multi-coloured, multi-flavoured xiaolongbaos unique to Paradise Dynasty. I didn’t order it this time around, but I’ve tried it in the past and I’d definitely recommend first-timers to give the dish a shot. Although people typically share a serving of xiaolongbaos, it’s best to keep all eight to yourself this time to appreciate the entire culinary experience. As your chopstick sleeve will illustrate, the eight flavours in the order that you should consume them are original, ginseng, foie gras, black truffle, cheesy, crab roe, garlic, and szechuan.
* Overall experience: 4
>> Dish By Dish Review
Crispy Pork Bun
Stir-Fried Green Beans w/ Minced Pork
Ten Pork Xiao Long Baos
Porcupine Nutella Buns
* Crispy Pork Buns for 25.8k IDR: 4
The pork filling was sweet, mild, and honestly everything you could ever want in crispy pork buns. I’d personally prefer it if the bun is crispier, but the filling to bun ratio is spot on. This is quite an interesting way of serving pork buns as they’re traditionally white and fluffy, but it’s not necessarily original as I’ve encountered it in other dim sum places.
* Stir-Fried Green Beans w/ Minced Pork for 65k IDR: 3.5
This is a typical dish that people order at Chinese restaurants, and whilst it’s technically vegetable-based, it’s not necessarily healthy as it’s often way too oily for its own good. That being said, Paradise Dynasty served this dish with an acceptable amount of oil and a great proportion in the quantities of pork and green beans. The green beans were young, fresh, and crunchy, just the way I like it. Unfortunately, the seasoning on the minced pork was way too salty, even when consumed with rice. In short, the green beans in this dish were perfect, but the minced pork fell short.
* Ten Pork Xiao Long Baos for 78k IDR: 4
These xiaolongbaos were smaller in size than those I’ve tasted at other restaurants, and there was subsequently less soup and meat packaged into each one. Nonetheless, the ratio between the flour wrap, meat, and soup was perfect, and this led to a truly distinct, delicious burst of flavour when the xialongbao is consumed along with some soya sauce as well as shredded ginger. This dish, however, was a bit on the expensive side in terms of price for portion; including more xiaolongbaos or making them bigger would compensate for this limitation.
* Porcupine Nutella Buns for 36.8k IDR: 5
A twist on baozi I have yet to find anywhere else! Presentation-wise, carving the steamed buns into porcupines give the dish a cute and creative look that can easily attract children and adults alike. The attention to detail dedicated into shaping each porcupine is in itself commendable. Additionally, although they’re called Nutella buns, the filling actually consists of both melted Nutella and a thin spread of red bean paste. Many sweet baozis consists of either chocolate or red bean, so it was a nice surprise finding that both were incorporated in these ones. Designating the perfect proportion of ingredients into a dish seems to be Paradise Dynasty’s specialty, because again, the bread to Nutella to red bean paste ratio created a wonderfully addictive taste. To top it all of, the dough was soft and fluffy, making it a perfect complement to the warm red bean paste and melted Nutella.
* Birthday Buns for free: 3
This wasn’t a dish I was expecting to review, but it was given to us after a poor service experience. The vividly coloured, custard-filled buns were aesthetically pleasing, and they were the perfect balance between sweet and doughy. Assuming from the name, I’m guessing the restaurant also serves these buns to customers who are celebrating birthdays. Thus, if it’s your birthday and Nutella buns aren’t your thing, then you’re in luck because the birthday bun makes a decent dessert.
>> Other Opinions (on the Plaza Senayan branch)
* Various reviews on Zomato, TripAdvisor, pergikuliner (in Indonesian and English)
* On food/travel blogs called Jakarta in Food, thefoodxplorer , and objekwisata (in Indonesian)
* On food/travel blogs called Soompeat and Eshtravaganza (in English)
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