Thursday, November 29, 2012

Michelin Starred Cantonese Fine Dining in Paris: Shang Palace

Luxury is a word often associated with Paris. From Louis Vuitton on the Champs Elysee to the glamorous grand magasins, Bon Marché, Printemps and Galeries Lafayette, not to forget the grand hotels and palaces. But luxury is not limited to the luxury goods you can purchase in these great stores, it also comes out in the food. Okay not every Parisian establishment will take you on a culinary journey you will not soon forget but with 77 Michelin starred restaurants you have to give the capital its due respect.

I must say that I do not tend to go to Michelin starred restaurants - well at least not in Paris and it is usually better if my husband who is a chef, doesn't actually tell me it is a Michelin starred place so as not to see my eyes bulge out when I consider the price. Whoa! But without actually knowing it was a starred establishment, I had wanted to venture over to the Shangri La  hotel which I had heard so much about to see this wonder for myself.

The hotel can boast being the only hotel to have two Michelin starred restaurants -  A French one, l'Abeille run by chef Philippe Labbé and a Chinese one, Shang Palace run by chef Frank Xu. We settled on Shang Palace curious to find out what one can expect from a gastronomic Chinese restaurant.

But enough talk, let's get on with the food:

Shang Palace offers Cantonese style dining. They asked us from the beginning of our meal if we preferred French style or Cantonese style, meaning either each person to their own plate or sharing, family style. Of course we went with Cantonese.

Wonton Soup
I love wonton soup and I have yet to discover a restaurant in Paris that has it on the menu, so though it was not part of the menu we had selected for that evening, I requested it all the same. I have never tasted wonton soup like this. The chicken broth flavor is very well pronounced. The first thought that came to mind was, I could practically taste the bones, it was that rich.

Buddha jumping over the wall . . .
Bouddha qui saute par-dessus le mur (Buddha jumping over the wall) - This soup is said to have tempted Buddha who was a vegetarian. The smell of it caused him to jump over the wall. It contains the rare abalone shellfish. For me the soup was a tad too flavorful for my personal taste but Eric loved it.

The waitress recommended an Oolong tea to accompany our dishes - This of course was after our coupe de champagne.

«Lo Hei» salmon, shredded fruits, vegetables, sliced jellyfish and sesame dressing. Before . . .

. . .  After
Steamed sea scallops with vermicelli and minced garlic sauce

Work-fried sliced beef with black pepper sauce

Wok-Fried snow beans with with fungus, fried taro and sweet potato 

Wok-Fried minced pigeon meat with diced vegetables in lettuce leaves

Wok-Fried minced pigeon meat with diced vegetables in lettuce leaves

Fried rice Chef style

The entire experience was excellent. The food was amazing and the portions were incredibly generous and maybe even a bit too much. The service was impeccable - only error being that I received the menu that was meant for my husband (the one with prices - unless of course she knew it was I who wears the pants - wink wink).

Waitress carving up the Peking Duck
Will have to try the Peking Duck next time
At the end of our meal the waitress asked me if I wanted to take home the remaining fried rice. It was too good to resist and here I was thinking don't even ask because this is too ritzy an establishment. Now I know. Just wish I had asked for all the other great things we had.

If you have to ask the price - I'm sorry to say, you can't afford it. No seriously there are two dinner menus offered, one at 98 euros per person and one at 128 euros per person. I don't think we will be doing this often but it was definitely worth trying. It was quite a lot of food and we did not manage to finish it all. A++

Shang Palace
Shangri-la Hotel
10 Avenue d’Iéna, Paris, 75116
Tel:+33 (0)1 53 67 19 98 

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