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Chinese food has been a part of Filipino culture for as long as trading between the two countries were first recorded. In fact, the reason why our world-famous adobo looks deliciously rich is because traders from China brought soy sauce into the country. Imagine how pale our (unofficial) national dish would look like if we only used salt, along with vinegar, garlic, and black peppercorn.

As if our exclamations for Chinese food were heard, our good friends from Paradise Dynasty invited us over at their Podium branch for a lunch that transported us to imperial China.

Here are the Chinese food specialties we wish we tried earlier in our foodie life:

1. Lettuce Roll with Homemade Sesame Sauce

These lettuce rolls with homemade sesame sauce may seem like a simple dish, perhaps something you could make yourself at home. Its crisp texture and freshness, however, will refresh and prepare your palette for all the food that you are about to devour. We ate a roll every time we’re trying out another dish and our dining experience have never been better. That sesame sauce is a perfect dip, too!

2. Xiao Long Bao

We love our siomai and siopao, but we never, ever skip xiao long bao. Make sure to poke this dumpling to taste the soup first. Paradise Dynasty, in particular, is home to the world’s first 8 international flavoured xiao long bao. They have it in flavors such as original, ginseng, garlic, crab roe, foie gras, cheese, black truffle, and Szechuan.

3. Scrambled Egg White with Fish and Conpoy

If you’re craving for some comfort food, the Scrambled Egg White with Fish and Conpoy is perfect for you. It’s got the taste of an egg drop soup, just a tad bit more fishy. It is said that this dish was created upon the request of a certain empress in imperial China who was craving for crab. The royal cook couldn’t find any, so they used egg whites and fish to mimic the texture and taste. It seems like they were successful in staying out of trouble.

4. Stir-fried Shredded Pork in Black bean Sauce served with Chinese Crepes 

Black bean sauce tastes amazing on everything (Zha jiang mian, everyone?), including stir-fried pork shreds. Wrap them up in crepes and you’ll feel full in no time. We were told that this is an absolute crowd-favorite in Paradise Dynasty so we couldn’t let this slip our taste buds. We think yours shouldn’t, too.

5. Poached Sliced Beef in Schezuan Chili Oil 

From the smell and the color, we knew this is not for the faint of heart. This soup is filled with slices of poached beef, veggies, and Schezuan chili. You can choose to eat this less spicy, spicy, or very spicy. We got to try it less spicy and it’s got just the right kick.

6. Spicy Szechuan Crispy Chicken

From the moment you take a bite of the Spicy Szechuan Crispy Chicken, you can hear that satisfying crunch. This is also perfect for those who have low spice tolerance. It’s got the strong aroma of Schezuan chili without the burning sensation. Pair it with egg fried rice to experience an explosion of flavors in your mouth.

7. Radish Pastry

Paradise Dynasty’s Radish Pastry had us from the first bite. As expected of radish, the filling was on the bland side. The buttery and flaky crust, however, made the treat an instant favorite. There are three radish pastries per serving but we can definitely have more.

Paradise Dynasty is located at S Maison, Conrad Hotel in Pasay and The Podium in Mandaluyong. 

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