By Shereen Shabnam
My favourite destination in Dubai for Chinese cuisine is the signature restaurant for Shangri-La Hotels worldwide, Shang Palace which now has a refreshing new look and a reinvented menu with innovative twists.
After my regular workout recently at the Shangri La Dubai, I was famished and expected my usual dishes but was equally pleased with the new menu which still had my old favourites.
The updated and refreshing look of the restaurant blends modern with tradition featuring warm tones of deep red offset with cooling greys to create a welcoming and relaxing dining ambience.
The Chinese characters making up the name Shang Palace means ‘aromatic scent’ and ‘palace for royalty’, respectively. Both are deemed particularly appropriate for the level of cuisine and service that Shang Palace provides and echo through the exquisite furnishings and art works. I particularly love the traditional Chinese lamps, vases and other fine touches creating a unique and authentic experience.
Highly recommended from Shang Palace is the peking duck, assorted dim sum and Cheung Fun. Peking duck is one of the most renowned and popular dishes of Chinese cuisine that was once an imperial dish made for only the Emperor and his guests. Introduced during the Ming dynasty, Peking duck has been a delicacy in China for over 600 years, where chefs from all over the country fought for the opportunity to come and create this dish especially for the Emperor.
Dim sum, which means to ‘touch the heart’, and served savoury or sweet, deep-fried or steamed is truly an art form, taking years of practice to perfect the skill. The dim sum fillings are evenly blended and distributed and is dipped in a selection of sauces – The chef gets it perfect each time bringing back warm memories of the nine years I spent exploring Chinese cuisine in Singapore and Malaysia.
Shang Palace also honours traditional Cantonese cuisine with Cheung Fun, a thin rice noodle roll that is filled with protein. The art of this dish is that it should be slightly transparent to slightly reveal the filling and the edges have to be lined up to be even. The dish looks pretty but not as superb as the dim sum which I prefer much more.
The new menu stays true to tradition featuring the most popular cuisines in China plus fusion dishes such as crispy shredded beef with sesame, wok-fried scallops with truffle and chicken with dried chillies.
My current favourite dishes at Shang Palace includes the crispy prawn with mango mayonnaise, beef tenderloin with black pepper sauce, wok fried Garoupa fish, honey beans and stir-fried seasonal vegetables.
Recently I also ordered some desserts at Shang Palace which I normally avoid – each item was divine. I tried the chocolate sphere with vanilla ice cream and fell in love with egg custard. The ice cream with mixed fruits in baked bread is also a lovely dessert if you can manage some space although the dishes are so good, I am usually full before I get to the dessert.
Guests can enjoy the renowned and authentic Asian hospitality that is synonymous with Shang Palace worldwide. With an all Chinese culinary brigade and a restaurant steeped in tradition, you feel instantly welcomed into an authentic dining experience.