There are a couple of shop spaces at the Suntec fountain circle that seem to have the worst fengshui, i.e. the restaurants that occupy it never seem to last past a year or so. Even new openings, despite the hullabaloo of their respective grand openings, are treated with trepidation and always seem to be barely occupied. Like the one space previously occupied by NYDC, and the one spot now housing Paradise Inn.
When this casual dining arm of the Paradise Group first opened a few months ago in the sprawling premises (which was only minimally renovated from when Tian Dian Wang was occupying the spot), I did notice that it was barely filled every time I was there to takeaway from Crystal Jade Kitchen. I was thinking how unusual it was for any Paradise Group restaurant to be doing such poor business, especially since the rest of their restaurants are always overflowing with capacity.
Little wonder Paradise Inn recently rolled out very value-for-money set meals, where the daily soup, 3 mains, dessert and drinks are priced at only $38.80 for 2 to 3 persons. There are also a variety of set meals for up to 10 diners. The restaurant consequently seems a lot more occupied ever since they started offering this promotion.
The 'Hua Tiao' Drunken Chicken ($8) makes for a nice appetizer with its refreshingly chilled temperatures and clear, simple flavours of the Chinese wine seasoning the poached chicken thigh. Too bad the chicken wasn't moist or tender enough.
Now, if there's one thing that makes Paradise Inn stand out from the rest of the Cantonese restaurant chains, it's their locally-styled double boiled soups. The Double Boiled Pig Stomach Soup ($14.90 per pot) with spare ribs and white pepper is my favourite for its stomach-warming, peppery tones and just pure comfort factor. Plus, it helps that this soup purportedly has slimming properties!
The best thing about the Braised Homemade Tofu in Claypot ($10.90) with golden enoki mushroom and minced meat is the silkiness of the plain beancurd. That said, this was an alright dish.
I never liked this preggy fish, but the Hubs loves the Deep Fried Shishamo ($10) for its smooth tiny roe. Unfortunately, this was battered too much and doused in way too much salad sauce.
The Imperial Pork Ribs ($10.90) were pretty commendable, moist and tender and coated lightly with a sweetish sticky oyster-sauce and tomato based sauce.
The Pan-fried Egg Omelette with Prawns ($8.90) was also alright, it had a very homecooked style to this, fluffy and simple. Unfortunately, this was laced, liberally, with spring onions, and so, I picked out every single piece of spring onion for the Hubs. For those men who say that Singaporean women are a spoilt, bunch who don't pamper their men enough, please re-direct them to moi. I even peel the Hubs' prawns!
Simply as a matter of preference, I would have preferred to leave out the onions in the Sambal Kangkong ($8.90). The sweet onions made this uniquely unpalatable to me.
The Chinese Style Pan-fried Beef Fillet ($14.90) is another pretty commendable dish, well-marinated meat, reasonably tender and nice charring of the fillet.
We didn't like the Sauteed Leather Jacket Fish ($14.90) in black bean sauce. Hated the coriander added to this, which totally spoiled it for us. Even the liberal sprinkling of chili padi couldn't musk the taste of the awful herb. Or that the fish had muddy overtones and was overcooked.
3 Temasek Boulevard
#B1-33 Suntec City Mall
Tel: 6336 5168
Open Mondays to Fridays from 11.30am to 3pm for lunch and 5.30pm to 9.30pm for dinner
Saturdays and Sundays from 11.30am to 9.30pm