There are some restaurants or cafes or coffee shops we go to because of one specific dish. You know the ones. The things you just have to order every single time you visit. The dishes you can’t fathom dining at these places without ordering. The dishes you crave. The ones you’ll even visit a place for even if everything else is less than amazing. The ones you think about at random times of the day. The ones you dream about when you should be paying attention in an oh-so-important but really, dreadfully boring meeting. Yeah, you know exactly what I’m talking about and I bet you’re thinking about some of your own personal favourites right now.
One of those dishes for me is the pork trotter vermicelli at Paradise Inn, the quick service chain owned and operated by the Paradise Group. If you’ve had it, I’m sure, like me, you’re a fan. If you haven’t, imagine a fatty, moist, tender, succulent, braised pig trotter, tossed with thin noodles, and spiked with just the right amount of shitake mushroons, spring onions and blanched green veggies. It’s a fabulous, fatty fantasy in a bowl.
The other food at Paradise Inn is pretty good. I especially like the hot plate beancurd served with preserved “cai xin” a lot. It’s a simple dish that’s executed perfectly by the chefs at this chain. The service could be better though — we’ve had mixed experiences at the different outlets we’ve visited. Some have been good. Other times we’ve had to wait just a little too long to get our orders taken and to get our food.
But for a big heaping portion of pork trotter vermicelli, I’m happy to wait.
Paradise Inn has five locations in Singapore (Funan Digital Mall; West Coast Plaza; Singapore Flyer; City Square Mall; and 313@somerset).