48-49 Mosque Street
Tel: 6226 2958
Opening hours: 12.00pm - 2.30pm, 5.30 - 10.30pm
I don't think this place needs much of an introduction cos it's been written about many times in other food blogs. Despite it being opened for only a year, it's been named as one of the Top 50 restaurants in Singapore by The Straits Times. When Ling suggested trying this place for our Christmas gift exchange, I was all for it cos I wanted to find out what the fuss was all about. I've tried the food at Eldwin Chua's first set up in Defu Lane; Seafood Paradise a couple of months back. It came highly recommended by a colleague but except for the honey pepper pork ribs and the butter crab, the other dishes were a little disappointing. Thus, I was hoping that Taste Paradise would turn out to be a better experience.
I liked the decor at Taste. The dark wood somehow made the place feel more welcoming and cosy. Service was pretty good; waiters were friendly and on hand to give personal recommendations. Although the food was a little bit on the pricey side, I felt that it was a pretty good meal we had. The only complaint I had was that we were seated near the air conditioner and because of the cold air that was blowing, our food turned cold pretty quickly. Anyways, I had good company, good gifts and good food that night. Couldn't ask for more. Here's a rundown of what we had.
Note: There was only 3 of us! This might take long so please bear with me.
This was given to us when we settled ourselves down at the table. Apparently a free appetizer to start us off. I couldn't catch the name when the waiter introduced it. Neither could I guess what it was. Except for the sweet dragonfruit, this really did nothing for me.
We finally got into the swing of things with our first dish, the well-known XO fried carrot cake. I liked this dish a lot. The carrot cake was soft with bits of Chinese sausage in it. The XO sauce was really the one that gave the kick because it made this dish so fragrant and tasty. Thumbs up for me!
Nothing exciting from this dish. Although tasty, I didn't really like that they thickened the stock with corn starch. I probably should have order this veg dish with the stock and 3 types of eggs except I didn't think that my dining companions fancied century eggs. The fried garlic did add a little lift to the dish though.
This was my favourite dish of the night. Partly cos I've always been a big fan of anything that has tofu in it. To me, this was the best dish of the night for a few reasons. The first reason I've already mentioned. Secondly, the tofu was homemade thus soft and smooth. Thirdly, the sauce had a generous amount of crab meat in it and it was wonderfully tasty; matched perfectly with the tofu. Lastly, the large salted egg yolk right in the middle gave me a lovely surprise when I bit into it. My happiness levels at that point rose together with cholestrol levels. Doesn't matter to me anyway. I can easily polish off a whole plate of this on my own.
This dish was pretty delicious too. Some of the dishes at Taste Paradise are served by one person's portion. The baked cod with chef's recipe was one of the items on the recommended list. It sounded good so we decided to order a portion to try it. The cod was fresh and wasn't overdone. I loved the buttery flavour of the dish. It was also beautifully presented with the 2 types of roe on the top. Was definitely a good combination between taste and the asthetics.
This dish really stood out in the menu for Ling and Jac because of the word "cheese". This dish was sort of like an East meets West thing because it had a thin piece of bacon wrapped around prawn paste and cheese. It was then cooked in a sweet sauce. You couldn't have gone wrong with bacon and cheese but interestingly enough, it worked with the prawn paste too.
We ordered this cos Ling is a huge fan of ee-fu noodles. This version is different from the usual dark coloured one that we usually have at wedding dinners. Same noodles but cooked differently. This was fried delicately with generous amounts of dried scallops and golden mushrooms. It was very light-tasting and was quite a fitting end before we got to the sweets.
We were pretty stuffed towards the end of the dinner but couldn't leave before trying some of their desserts. I guess Taste got it right by placing dried ice below the dessert. It definitely made the presentation more dramatic and more importantly, caught our attention when it was being served to the nearby table. Ling and Jac had the mango pomelo dessert with coconut ice cream. I had a little taste from Ling and thought it was pretty good. I'm guessing she thought so too cos she finished it even before I was halfway through mine. I had the dessert special which was avocado with walnut ice cream. The avocado cream was smooth and not overly sweet. Yummy. Strangely enough though, it tasted a little like McDonald's hotcakes. I wouldn't have noticed it until Ling mentioned it. Weird huh..
Although I do feel that the food at Taste Paradise is pretty good, I'm not so sure that I'm willing to pay such hefty prices again for Chinese food. However, if I can get past that, I might be back again. Just because I'm in love with that tofu dish.