This is the first restaurant of the Paradise Group in Indonesia and sure enough no effort is spared to make their first foot hold “The Grandeur of Chinese Dining”.
The shop-front of Taste Paradise at Plaza Indonesia is modern, classy and evokes a sense of sophistication typical of fine dining.
Step in and walk pass the reception counter, you are received with grandeur.
Sit down, look up, and you see opulence.
As they say, the devil is in the detail, so tableware and cutlery matters. China Blue plate, bowl, spoon, spoon and chop-stick rest, with a finely glazed dragon motif and “paradise” logo.
The stripe patterned tablecloth in bronze cleverly brings out the China Blue tableware, and at the same time creates the sunburst effect that elevates the grandeur further.
I appreciate the attention to details.
This lunch was arranged by renowned travel blogger Ng Sock Peng (mylovelybluesky.com). A faithful follower of her blog came to know she was in Jakarta and invited her to come for a food tasting. We gladly tagged along.
Master Chef Zeus Wong hosted us for lunch. Do not be fooled by his young-looking and unassuming appearance, Master Chef Wong has been a chef all his life. He started his career as a trainee in one of Singapore’s most reputable restaurant before moving to join another restaurant group to further his cooking skills. After joining the Paradise group for a short few years, he was task to spearhead the start-up of Taste Paradise in Jakarta.
Baked BBQ Pork Bun （烫手雪山包）
This is a variant from the popular and commonly seen Bo-Luo Bao（菠萝包）also known as Polo Bun or Pineapple Bun. Chef Wong has given it a new name, literally translated as Snow Mountain Bun （雪山包）. In my opinion, it is a refined version and a lot better. The bun is smaller, the topping is spread more evenly on the entire bun, making it very crispy; the bun is softer, and the char-siew is moist and full of flavour. A bite gives you that melt-in-your-mouth feeling. Excellent!
Siew Mai （鱼子蒸烧卖）
Siew-Mai is the must-have dim-sum but only good restaurant serves you good Siew-Mai. If the restaurant fails the Siew-Mai test, then it is not a good restaurant and the rest doesn’t matter anymore. The Siew-Mai here is a supple mixture of fresh pork and prawn, steamed upon ordering.
We also had Steamed Chicken Claw with Black Pepper Sauce （黑椒汁蒸风爪）, Steamed Rice Roll with Fresh Shrimp （鲜虾滑膓粉）, and Mini Egg Tart （稣皮旦挞仔）. Excellent dim-sum!
Char-Siew & Roast Pork（烧腊双拼）
Good char-siew cannot be too lean. It must have a good mixture of 30-40% fat （半肥瘦）, slightly charred at the edges, and the sauce caramelised. When you chew it in your mouth, it gives off an aroma of burnt caramelised meat that’s unforgettable!
The skin of the roast-pork must be crunchy and cracking, not hard, and the meat should have 40-50% fat, no more than 50% and when eaten, it should not feel oily. A dish that has no room for cheating, and it relies entirely on skill and quality meat.
Pan-fried Mashed Pumpkin with Shredded Yam（香脆金瓜芋丝）
This is a not-so-common dish probably due to the tedious amount of work. The pumpkin and yam in the centre are first steamed, and made into a paste and layered; the shredded yam then sandwiched the layers and deep fried quickly over very hot oil. The shredded yam on the outside is crispy and the inside is soft and moist. The aroma of yam and the sweetness of pumpkin are pure and unpolluted.
If you look at the ingredients, this is a very simple dish: yam and pumpkin. But to make a simple dish par excellence, that’s where the real “kung-fu” comes in.
And you think it must be very expensive to dine here. Yes?
Surprisingly it’s very reasonably priced. In fact it’s 25% to 40% cheaper than similar restaurants in Singapore! Factor in the grandeur and excellent service, it’s value for money!
We were served:
- Siew Mai （鱼子蒸烧卖） 25,800
- Baked BBQ Pork Bun （烫手雪山包）23,800
- Chicken Claw with Black Pepper Sauce （黑椒汁蒸风爪）20,800
- Steamed Rice Roll with Fresh Shrimp （鲜虾滑膓粉）25,800
- Mini Egg Tart （稣皮旦挞仔）IDR 18,800
- Pan-fried Mashed Pumpkin with Shredded Yam（香脆金瓜芋丝）18,800
All Prices in Indonesian Rupiah. Exclude 10% Service Charge and 10% Tax.
Lunch was arranged by renowned travel blogger Ng Sock Peng, winner of the Singapore Blog Award 2013, Best Travel Blog.
Address: Plaza Indonesia South Gate 4 Fl # 01 JL M.H. Thamrin kav 28 – 30, Central Jakarta, Indonesia