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SHANG PALACE

With indoor seating, private dining room and outdoor deck overlooking lush green gardens, Shang Palace at Shangri-La's— Eros Hotel New Delhi serves Sichuan, Cantonese and Yunnan cuisines. Of late I had been hearing great things about the new menu orchestrated by dimsum master Chef Ye Haijun, Chef Kong Fanyi who specialises in Chinese barbeque and wok chef, Chef Fulei… and the culinary fantasy I had harboured turned out to be better than I had envisioned.

 

Here's how it all began. My friend and I decided to catch up over luncheon on a rainy winter afternoon and we were  surprised to walk in and see how busy the restaurant was! The manager led us to our table where the hotel's F&B Head Neeraj Tyagi met us and soon we were pouring over the exhaustive menu. Alas! There were no easy choices as everything seemed sumptuous, so we placed ourselves in the chefs' hands who noted our preference and lunch began with Chef Ye Haijun's dimsum selection. Now dimsum literally translates as "to touch your heart" and that's what these delicacies did. Up first, 'Lobster and Water Chestnut Dumpling with Beluga Caviar' was beyond sumptuous. Next, the chef sent out ’Scallops Har Gao with Chives' — artistically compelling and flavourful. In fact, everything we had seemed to emit flavour and freshness and we ate from basket to basket including 'Mushroom Cheung Fun', 'Prawn Dumpling with Qiandao Caviar' and 'Prawn Cheung Fun' ending with a soup dumpling. Now I had been warned it may be too hot to handle in a bite… but I did attempt and while it was fiery there's nothing I've had quite like it! And while there were more enticing steamed treats to relish we had to pace ourselves for the next course.

 

Once we moved on to heartier dishes we were amply rewarded. Our first entrée from the barbecue menu was 'Crispy Roasted Duck with Beluga Caviar' — one of those satisfying dishes that made it hard to contemplate anything else. Chef Kong Fanyi's version was simple, sumptuous and direct with a generous portion of roast duck, fine caviar and cucumber in a pancake. Hot Stone Pot Rice tossed table-side with crispy potato, pickled chilli and Yunnan chilli chutney is another winner. The chef served it with 'Lamb in Sichuan Chili Broth' and 'Stir Fried Minced Pork' with fresh chili and vegetables. I loved the aroma when the dishes were served and spooned a portion of each onto the pot rice on my plate. The first forkfuls were heavenly and I quickly went in for seconds!! I also discovered that no matter how full I am there's always room for dessert particularly when Chef ordered 'Decadent Chocolate Fudge, Mango Chutney, Cardamom Ice Cream' and 'Caramelized Pineapple Almond Pudding, Malibu Ice Cream, Banana Confit' — it was a feat of dessert engineering and we happily spooned it all up.

 

Reminiscing over the luncheon, the maxim "build it and they will come" applies to the Delhi outpost of Shang Palace. There are several all over the world, some michelin stars. What I found remarkable is emphasis on quality, freshness and attention to detail right from the design aesthetic and maintaining culinary tradition to presentation of the dishes. Treat yourself to a meal here and you'll soon discover the difference between regular and exceptional. Thank You, Chef Ye Haijun, Chef Kong Fanyi and Chef Fulei. I know I will be back soon!

— JASMEEN DUGAL

 
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Shangri-La's Eros Hotel, 19 Ashoka Road, New Delhi

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