For a shopping mall right smack in the middle of Little India, I was surprised to see that there were very few of our foreign friends from the Indian subcontinent milling about City Square Mall. This mall, heavily centred on family togetherness, is very much like United Square and attracts a lot of families. So one has to contend with many rambunctious kids running amok in the mall.
We had dinner at Paradise Inn, the casual dining offshoot of The Paradise Group. The food here is homestyled, but a little pricey for its smaller-than-expected portions. Crystal Jade Kitchen would probably be a more value-for-money alternative. However, it does distinguish itself on one winning point, its wide choices of double-boiled herbal soups.
We started off with the Hot and Spicy Beancurd "Ma Po" Tofu ($8 for small), smooth and soft beancurd in a luscious gravy of spicy bean paste and minced pork. Pickled vegetables were added for that sour bite.
We also got the Steamed Silver Cod with Spicy Bean Paste ($18 for small). This is different from Tien Court's version. Where Tien Court's bean paste was very crispy and nutty, Paradise Inn's bean paste was soft, spicy and salty.
We can't dine here without getting the soups. The Double-Boiled Spare Ribs Soup with Winter Melon and Conpoy ($16.80 per pot) was a delicate, non-MSG-tasting, essence of pork bones, dried scallops and winter melon. We happily slurped this comforting soup up.
180 Kitchener Road
#B1-01/02 City Square Mall
Tel: 6509 9337
Open daily from 11.30am to 10pm (last order at 9.30pm)