Expensive as hell restaurant that tries to squeeze every last ringgit out of you
This ain’t your parents’ dim sum joint with surly aunties pushing carts. Paradise Dynasty at 163 Retail Park is a much more refined yum cha experience. The chain is very proud of its colourful flagship dish, the world’s-first eight internationally flavoured baos. Sounding like a kung-fu movie, the tagline “Legend of Xiao Long Bao” is almost always appended right after the restaurant name.
Ambience & Amenities
Paradise Dynasty is an inviting place with a clean, modern design scheme. Booths line the left side, and an entire wall of full-length windows brightens up the space on the right. The room’s centrepiece is a flock of birds flying around in a fake sky on the ceiling. Individually wrapped packs of wet tissues will be on every table, but these cost 80 sen per pack to use. They will be automatically added to your final bill unless you specifically say that you didn’t use them.
The service is especially bad for such an expensive restaurant. Every single server we encountered possessed incompetence that suggested it was their first week on the job or something. Every time they spoke, they mumbled so unconfidently and inaudibly that we had to ask them to repeat what they said multiple times. Certain items we asked for never came, and they kept trying to take baskets that still had food in them.
Paradise Dynasty wants to make it as troublesome as possible to clean up, so you are forced to use their tissues which cost money. There is no toilet or handwashing station inside the restaurant. Exit the restaurant and turn left. Go down the corridors where the lifts are to get to the nearest mall facilities.
All the food is in a classy menu book, and ordering is done via QR code. More than just dim sum, there are also classic Chinese dishes that are meant for sharing. Paradise Dynasty serves pork dishes and alcohol as well. Some drinks will not be in the online ordering app, but you’re supposed to order these from a server. Water costs RM1.50 per glass.
Click on menu pictures to enlarge
Be aware that when you sit down, the server will bring some black fungus and a bowl of beans to the table. It was done with a flourishing hand motion of “Welcome, please enjoy this,” so I thought they were complimentary. When we asked, it took three tries before the server hesitantly informed us that they were not free. The damn fungus alone costs RM16.90 a bowl. I don’t even like fungus that much and I almost got scammed into paying for it. We told them to take it away without issue.
The Specialty Dynasty Xiao Long Bao (RM30.90) is Paradise Dynasty’s signature item. It arrived with a card instructing us on the best way to eat them. We followed the card and agreed it was a good choice to finish with the spicy Szechuan. The different fillings hover in a flavourful broth with rendered fat that miraculously stays inside the bao even through handling with chopsticks. Mark and I shared every one of these eight baos, but these would be much better to pop into your mouth whole. The standout flavours were Foie Gras, Black Truffle and Szechuan.
The Stir-Fried La Mian (RM19.90) had a decent amount of ingredients, but the serving size was small. It was just enough for the two of us. Four or more people trying to share this would barely get a full bowl per person.
To round out our meal, we ordered the house Herbal Tea (RM7.50 per cup), Steamed Vegetable Dumplings (RM13.50) and Lava Charcoal Buns (RM14.50) for dessert. The “lava” inside the charcoal buns had translucent pools of oil. It was quite runny and we had to be careful that it didn’t leak everywhere while eating these buns.
Paradise Dynasty is not meant for a regular person like me. It’s meant for people with fat wallets for whom spending RM20 on water, napkins and food they didn’t really want is no big deal. Paradise Dynasty is just too damn expensive, and my overall experience was not a positive one.
The food was not mind-blowing and the portions are tiny for what we paid. None of the dishes makes me want to come back to this restaurant specifically to eat it again. I also hate that the restaurant brought dishes to my table that I didn’t ask for that were not complimentary. It felt like they were trying to trick me into buying more food than I wanted. I’ll likely never eat here again. I will, however, continue to stare entranced at the kitchen staff making dumplings every time I walk past.
Price for 2 Pax: RM108.80
Specialty Dynasty Xiao Long Bao: RM30.90
Stir-Fried La Mian: RM19.90
Steamed Vegetable Dumplings: RM13.50
Lava Charcoal Buns: RM14.50
Homemade Herbal Tea x 2: RM15.00
10% Service: RM9.38
6% SST: RM5.63
Address: Lot 1F-19 (1st floor, next to Freshan), 163 Retail Park, 8, Jalan Kiara, Mont Kiara, 50480 Kuala Lumpur
Opening Hours: Daily, 11am – 10pm
Alcohol Served: Yes