Paradise Pavilion

Writers tend to have one too many gripes; it’s kinda in our DNA. And among them—one that’s lodged uncomfortably in the backs of our throats—is the proliferation of overrated, overpriced fine dining, and even mid-range establishments in the Raffles Place/Tanjong Pagar area.

So imagine our surprise upon having a meal at this months-old joint. This is the epitome of a smart, fairly priced business district eatery. Located within one of the newest and most sought-after corporate addresses, Paradise Pavilion exudes a warm, sophisticated vibe. With its inviting views of Marina Bay, we were bowled over by its ornate interior boasting plush seats, floral carpeting and mini chandeliers. The atmosphere was relaxed; quiet, in fact, for a mid-week night. Oddly, it seemed more European than a Chinese restaurant. Well, as long as the food works.

We started off with the stewed ee-fu noodles with shredded duck meat and vegetables ($12.80), which was an unfussy yet flavorful and fresh dish. We couldn’t pass up the opportunity for fried stuff and tried the recommended crispy fish with crunchy garlic ($12.80), which tasted better after being dunked into the light soy sauce and cut chili. Another fried number was the crispy fried scallop with squid Thai salad ($16), a truly tasty, tangy combination of Asian influences. But the pick of our visit has to be the stewed marbled beef with glass noodles (S$26). Generously portioned, this claypot entre had everything from succulent cuts to soft-textured and delicious noodles. To round off we had the distinctly Southeast Asian-style pumpkin with coconut milk ice cream and black rice (S$5), which was a veritable pleasure in terms of taste and texture.

With consistent, efficient and polite service to boot, this was a nice find—we enjoyed the eclecticism found in the décor and on our plates—and, as we passed on the Peking Duck (the restaurant’s apparently undisputed star) this time around, we’ll be back to tear into old Donald soon.

Can’t get enough Chinese food? Here are our favorite Chinese restaurants in Singapore.