Meaty, warm and soupy. Who doesn’t love a good Xiao Long Bao? Especially those freshly-cooked pork soup dumplings that just burst with flavor when you put it in your mouth. Just give me some black vinegar, and I can single-handedly finish a whole order by myself.
I’ve had my share of Xiao Long Bao from different restaurants both locally and internationally, but I have never tried a flavored version. That’s why I was curious with the Specialty Single Flavor Xiao Long Bao of Paradise Dynasty in their Podium branch. It’s unique (and I’m a sucker for food that comes in quirky flavors) and colorful. Visually, it was lovely. And taste? Wow, where do I begin?
So, the flavor of these 8 soup dumplings are as follows: original in the center, green for ginseng, brown for Foie Gras, black for truffle, cheesy yellow, orange for crab roe, gray for garlic and finally, red for Szechuan. And in case you’re wondering, each dumpling is colored with natural colorants. Nothing artificial here! Oh, and before I forget, there’s a corresponding order for eating this gastronomic delight.
The experience is designed to give you a different flavor experience in each bite— a sampler of sorts for their Xiao Long Bao offerings. The clockwise order is designed to start you off with a mild flavor that gradually gets stronger and stronger. But the important elements of any good Xiao Long Bao still remain: meaty, warm and soupy.
While I did enjoy majority of the flavors, especially the original (nothing beats the classic, that’s for sure!), garlic, truffle and crab roe, I just didn’t like the Foie Gras one as much. But then again, that’s just my preference. Never been a fan of goose liver. Though to be fair, they really did capture the taste of flavor of how Foie Gras should really taste.
And for those who can’t handle spicy food, don’t worry! The Szechuan dumpling just gives a ghost of the taste sans the heat, so you can enjoy it with ease.
Now what do I love about their Xiao Long Bao? It’s surprisingly holds its form really well. I’ve tried several variants that just burst open and spill the moment I pick it up with my chopsticks. Skin wasn’t too thick either, and it was filled with just the right ratio of meat and soup— not too dry, and not lacking in any way at all. Plus, these dumplings come in mild flavors that don’t stick for too long, which allows you to enjoy the next one without any lingering aftertaste.