Time for Some Real Cantonese Delight: Shang Palace at Shangri-La Hotel Jakarta

From Xinjiang to Cantonese cuisine, from street vendors to the upscale five-star hotel and such, Chinese cuisine is one of the most flexible, worldwide known cuisine.

Speaking of a really good upscale Cantonese restaurant, and by “upscale” I mean in terms of very high quality food, highly skilled chefs plus also highly priced items (Now hey, prices are relative, remember? You or your office might need a recommendation to entertain VIP guests), you might want to add Shang Palace in Shangri-La Hotel Jakarta to your list.

To be honest when talking about recommended places to dine in Shangri-La Hotel Jakarta, it’s like comparing each restaurant to the infamous existence of Satoo, their all-around-the-world buffet style restaurant. But it’s not fair comparing foods in Shang Place vs. Satoo because in Shang Palace, it’s Cantonese all the way and the fact that every element of experience made you feel like in China.

Dominated with red, gold and dark brown accent and lots of antiques throughout its oriental décor, well I did feel like I was in China. It’s spacious enough that it could accommodate up to 300 guests – with 6 private rooms and Lotus Ballroom. Typical Chinese rounded-tables, polished eating ware, paintings, traditional guci – every corner just screams “Hey I’m handled with so much care so you should behave” and some people that are careless like me might find it a little bit intimidating. Lucky me, a friend of mine gave me an invitation to a 7 meal-course dinner + all-you-can-order dessert. (Thank you, Joris :)

THE FOODS:

 

Chilled Fresh Tiger Prawns with Homemade Orange Sauce (IDR 48k)

Started off with this cold appetizer, three medium-sized fresh tiger prawns sit on top of sliced mandarin oranges with lettuce salad in the middle, drizzled with homemade orange sauce. Very playful taste, hint of sweetness of the oranges and perfectly-cooked texture of the prawns just complement each other. I enjoyed them so much that I ate 2 portion of this myself.

Double-boiled Fish Maw Soup with Black Mushroom (IDR 98k)

It was actually my first time eating Fish maw, also known as fish's swim bladder . And wow, I got surprised by its texture. It’s super firm, with jelly-like texture that you’ll be wondering yourself which part of a fish could possibly have texture THAT good. It literally melts in your mouth – if it were Wagyu it’d be a 12++ grade, I tell ya. The broth is very light and the black mushroom adds more depth of flavor.

Homemade Bean Curd with Vegetarian Ham, Shimeji Mushrooms and Dried Scallops (IDR 78k) In case you’re wondering, there are tofu(s) everywhere beneath those mountains of topping :) I originally thought it was only assorted mushrooms until I saw the menu. Well every element stood for themselves, and the blanched green veggies on the side is a nice addition to balance the dish. Perfect for sharing.

Homemade Bean Curd with Vegetarian Ham, Shimeji Mushrooms and Dried Scallops (IDR 78k)

In case you’re wondering, there are tofu(s) everywhere beneath those mountains of topping :) I originally thought it was only assorted mushrooms until I saw the menu. Well every element stood for themselves, and the blanched green veggies on the side is a nice addition to balance the dish. Perfect for sharing.

Wok Fried US Beef with Asparagus in Black Pepper Sauce (IDR 208k) Now, the highlight of the whole meal was undoubtedly this dish. US beef cubes cut in generous thick chunks are wok-fried in high heat resulting in smoky, charred aroma, then coated with blackpepper sauce with asparagus. The sauce was not over-dressed, the asparagus was still crunchy, and the meat, OMG.. really really good. Prices won’t lie on this dish for sure. TOP DISH!

Wok Fried US Beef with Asparagus in Black Pepper Sauce (IDR 208k)

Now, the highlight of the whole meal was undoubtedly this dish. US beef cubes cut in generous thick chunks are wok-fried in high heat resulting in smoky, charred aroma, then coated with blackpepper sauce with asparagus. The sauce was not over-dressed, the asparagus was still crunchy, and the meat, OMG.. really really good. Prices won’t lie on this dish for sure. TOP DISH!

Steamed Grouper Fish with Light Soya Sauce

Two grouper fish were steamed and swam on top of light soya sauce, with generous amount of julienned shallots and Wang Sui leaves/cilantro. Simple, but honest dish.

Stir-fried Shanghai Style Noodles with Seafood and Shang Palace Premium X.O Sauce (IDR 128k)

For me the noodles were too soft to my liking, and presentation-wise, it’s not as colorful as the rest of the meal. But it’s still good though, the portion is very generous.

Live Crab with Chili Sauce In here we’d usually call it “Kepiting Saos Padang” :p They name it live crab because it uses live crabs displayed on this huge aquarium at the back of the restaurant. It’s quite huge, and although I find it lack of spiciness, this dish is great for sharing.

Live Crab with Chili Sauce

In here we’d usually call it “Kepiting Saos Padang” :p They name it live crab because it uses live crabs displayed on this huge aquarium at the back of the restaurant. It’s quite huge, and although I find it lack of spiciness, this dish is great for sharing.

THE DESSERTS:

We were closing the night with an extensive dessert selection. Personally, I love everything avocado and mango – they could never fail me. If you’re into warm dessert then their Poached Pear with Ginkgo nuts is a great pick.

Chilled Avocado Puree topped with Coconut Ice Cream (IDR 35k)

 

Mango Sago Cream (IDR 35k)

 

Chilled lemon Grass jelly with Lime Sorbet (35K)

Mango Sago Cream with Grass Jelly (IDR 35k)

Something with Poached Pear & Ginkgo in it. Warm dessert.

Some kind of red bean soup with glutinous rice balls. Warm dessert

Almond Bean Curd with Mixed Fruits (35K)

Almond Bean Curd with Mixed Fruits (35K)

Pan Fried Leek Pancake (IDR 38k)

MOONCAKE PROMO

As the mid-autumn festival is trending as part of the Chinese culture, Shang Palace is also serving these mooncakes until the end of September 2013. 2 packaging gift set is available starting from IDR 388.000,- (for more details you can contact them directly at 021 2922 9999). There are 11 original mooncakes flavor that you could choose of, but that night we only sampled these two below:

Double Yolk Mooncake

Double Yolk Mooncake

Pandan Mooncake

Pandan Mooncake

Overall it was a blast. Shang Palace really knows how to entertain their guests. Moreover, their Executive Chef Benson Fok really knows what he’s doing with the traditional Cantonese cuisine. And would I recommend this? It’s a yes. If you're looking for a fancy Chinese dinner with unlimited budget, I'm letting you know that here's an alternative. 

SHANG PALACE 
Shangri-La Hotel Jakarta
Level 1 Kota BNI JL. Jend. Sudirman Kav. 1 Jakarta, 10220
Phone: (021) 2922 9999