I was recently invited and tried some very exquisite Cantonese Food at Canton Paradise at 112 Katong Mall. The latest dining concept by the Paradise Group, Canton Paradise offers Cantonese favoutires and also Shunde specialties. If you are wondering where is Shunde, it's the area at the Pearl River Delta at the Guangdong province, known for their delicate cooking styles.
Executive Chef Hu Shu Sheng, a native from Guangzhou in China, works closely with Paradise Group Executive Chef Fung Chi Keung and CEO Eldwin Chua to conceptualise Canton Paradise’s menu.
I was new to 112 Katong and got lost and wondered where Canton Paradise was. I went up floor by floor until I reached the top floor. I decided to google for the address. It's located at Basement 1. I was happy I had a good tour of the whole mall though.
The deco of this place is very nice. On one side is the purplish lit wall with what I call an organised kind of mess which I thought was nice. We don't usually see purple restaurants do we?
I had a very safe cold watercress to drink and was soon tempted by the Gula Melaka Milk Tea 黑糖冰奶茶($3.80) that my fellow diners were all trying!
Not a bad twist to the usual Milk Tea. Something only Peranakans like my Father in law will have secretly mixed in their kitchen behind the mum's back!
The first dish that we tried was the Baked BBQ Honey Pork Bun 脆皮叉烧包 ($4.50)
Yes, it taste almost similar to the famous Michelin starred Tim Ho Wan in HK! I was in HK just few weeks ago too, and yes, they are almost similar, looks wise, this one just a bit paler and the meat less reddish. Taste wise, they are both distinct. Not fair to compare when each chef has their own recipe.
It's something that eating only 1 piece is not enough. I am a char siu lover, so anything with char siu, I love them. It's char siu bits with more sauce inside a bun.
Fried Pumpkin Coated with Salted Egg Yolk and Mixed Nuts 秘制坚果炬南瓜 ($7.80)
A rather unique creation. Pumpkin's naturally sweet, they deep fry it to give it a crunch. The salted egg yolk over the crispy pumpkin gives it some saltiness. It's good but don't eat too much, cholesterol will shoot up!
In Singapore, there are two types of char siu lover. One that only select the leanest of all meat and the other only goes for the fattest to enjoy the taste of it. Which type are you?
BBQ Pork Belly with Honey Sauce 秘制肥婆黑叉烧 ($15.80)
If you like the fatty parts of meats, this you got to try. Fatty pork belly marinated with honey caramelized. So tender and so flavourful. Portions are a little small, but the calories in it is enough. Does the photo above tempt you?
Canton Crispy BBQ Pork 脆皮叉烧 ($15.80)
This dish is totally wicked and sinful. I was told it runs out fast daily, so if you want to try it, reserve the dish when you make reservations here.
It's the top part of the BBQ pork without the meat. You know when you order BBQ Pork, if the pork is not cooked till it's dry, you have layers of pork and fats that gel like? The chefs here have prepared this dish in such a way that it's crispy on top and when you bite it, you get the gel part of lard oozing cholesterol into your mouth. It does not taste that oily though. Was told it takes a few hours to roast this!
Heavenly to some, and totally disgusting to some. Lard lovers, this is yours.
Steamed Kampong Chicken in Canton Style 水晶真味山芭鸡 ($15 half / $28 whole)
This dish looked so simple, but it taste really good. Firm and yet tender is how I describe it. The dish is prepared quite delicately. Compared to their pork dishes before, this was lean chicken. Kampong chicken has the least fats. Oh yes, this is one example of delicate Shunde cooking style.
The Kampong chicken here is not some Pulau Ubin chickens. These are free range chickens from Australia.
If you enter the restaurant, you would have seen this huge steel containers that has soup boiling in it for hours and hours.
A choice from the 3 daily soups ($6.80 per person / $16.80 per pot)
Cantonese soup. These soups here will get the approval of my Cantonese mother in law. I should probably bring her here to see if it will win her seal of approval, I think it probably will. Boiled for hours, you just need to drink the soup, the other ingredients are sacrificed themselves and nutrients and goodness seeped into the soup.
This soup we had was the Hami Melon with Pork Ribs and Fish Maw Soup.
Hong Kongers working in Singapore or Cantonese from KL working here, or those without Cantonese mothers/mother in laws to boil soup for you, add this as one of your places to get your soup fix.
Steamed Lingzhi Tofu in Supreme Soya Sauce 清蒸灵芝山水豆腐 ($8.80)
The chef makes his own tofu here from scratch. Made from soybeans (not sure where it's sourced from) and Danone Aqua Mountain Spring water. Why Danone? Not sure. :-)
Wok-fried Pork Belly with Salted Fish 咸鱼花腩煲 ($14.80)
For a while you might think the food is getting more and more bland. Wait there's this wonderful wok-fried pork belly with salted fish. It's a nice claypot dish that goes well with steaming hot rice. You can wallop a whole bowl of rice just with this dish!
Wok-fried Bean Sprout with Vermicelli and Salted Fish 乡下佬炒银芽 ($12.80)
We were offered this dish to taste to showcase the dishes from their Classic Canton Selection. Very nice dish. Another dish that goes well with rice. The dish was so fragrant when it was served. It made you want to just dig in.
Poached Sea Bass with Pickled Cabbage in Fish Stock 辣辣地酸菜沸腾鱼 ($28.80)
They have a Szechuan portion in the menu. To show case this part of the menu, we were served this super fiery soup! If you can take extreme extreme, yes another extreme heat, order this. Get the fire truck on standby!
This was a huge bowl of soup and can easily serve 6-8 persons.
Look at the dried chilli and the szechuan peppercorns in the photo earlier. It gave the dish extreme heat and you probably get light headed after drinking this. The soup was tongue numbing, yet when you taste it, you keep wanting to try more! The fish was so tender and sweet, and from the 'kiam chai', saltiness. It's a very appetizing soup!
Warning, not for the faint hearted.
Custard Glutinous Rice Ball with Grated Oat 金沙汤圆 ($4.80 for 3 pieces)
Fancy more salted egg yolk? Try the glutinous rice balls that's filled with salted egg yolk custard.
An interesting creation that has grated oats on top.
I was extremely full to enjoy the desserts. I remember it being a saviour to my numbing tongue though.
Chilled Red Bean & Yam Jelly 芋头红豆糕 ($4.20)
I can't comment on this too after a numbing tongue. I remember this was even better than the custard to nurse my overworked papillae.
The food's of high quality and the chefs are creative. On average a meal would be around $20-25 per person. The prices are on the moderate range. Their staff seems attentive too, not only to our table, you can look around and notice it.
|CANTON PARADISE 乐天小香港
112 East Coast Road
I12 Katong #B1-15
Tel: +65 6344 8201
Hours: Mon-Fri: 11am – 10pm / Sat, Sun & PH: 10.30am-10pm
Note: They have recently opened Canton Paradise at JCube.