Finding a typical Chinese restaurant in Dubai that serves a full menu of Chinese cuisines from various regions of China is easy, but to get it right, it would be a great challenge especially when Cantonese Dim Sum is offered at the same time on the already full on menu. The Shang Palace in the Shangri-la Dubai may possibly suffice for your homesick cravings for its home-styled cooking. mylifestylenews writes.
Nestled at the corner on level one, Shang Palace has a semi-opened concept setting which half of the restaurant is exposed to the soaring high ceiling and with a deliberate intention of an indoor alfresco balcony overlooking the extended lobby along the bustling Sheikh Zayed Road with a possible view of the Burj Khalifa. The other part of the restaurant is more of a classic Oriental Chinese restaurant setting that more adequately fits the name Shang Palace with a curved panel of Chinese art silk wall and the dome alike roof shows the elegance of a Palace interior motif yet with a cozy and modern lounge waiting area by the entrance against a wood carving wall screen in ancient Chinese windows motif.
Lanterns are hung at the entrance of this elevated domed dining section giving a clear reflection on the well-polished parquette flooring. The cubicle floor to ceiling cabinet displays several Chinese vases and antique like statues and ornaments highlighting a sense of a Palace’s chamber. High back cushioned chairs in red and yellow provides additional privacy that allows you to keep your secretive conversation low among your own table.
Rather than a Cantonese restaurant per se, Shang Palace Dubai is more like a culinary combination from various parts of China, with Cantonese gastronomy taking the lead, followed by Sizhuan, Shanghainese as well as a hint of other Chinese provincial delicacies influences. The Master Yum Cha menu on the weekend allows you to get a taste of each region with selected specialties from the “Eat as Much as you can” concept dining menu for AED180 per person inclusive of soft drinks, water and jasmine tea or AED285 per person with house beverages (beers & wines). The menu is such a steal with a wide variety from steamed & fried dim sum selection to Chef’s recommendation dishes, noodles and rice as well as dessert. We started off with some classic steam and fried dim sum:
<Homemade “Cheong Fun” with BBQ chicken>
The thin and smooth steamed dough rolled with marinated chicken paste and sweet corn as its fillings does well with a bed of light soy sauce. This dish is best to enjoy at once for its smooth texture of the dough before it turns hard when it cools down.
<Cantonese-style Roasted Duck>
Tough duck meat that was not being roasted to the light and greasy skin and yet lacking in flavor and juiciness in the meat.
<Crystal Prawns Dumpling>
A huge disappointment. The prawn filling was dried and bland, almost tasteless and the casing of the skin was tough. For a classic must order dim sum dish, this needs to be improved.
<Scallop Dumpling with XO sauce>
It is quite delectable with medium size scallops wrap around in the shape of ingot and garnished with tiny fish roe.
<Chicken Dumplings with Shrimps>
A delightful dish - meaty, juicy and comes in the right size.
We then moved on to a light change of palate for having the <Homemade Wanton Soup with Mixed Seafood> as well as <Seafood and vegetable Congee>. Both dishes were not as satisfying as it should have been prepared. The Wanton Soup tasted rather from a can of chicken stock with relatively thick Wanton paste where the watery congee is more like a cost saving dish that was really not meeting the Cantonese version of culinary standard. We moved on by trying the <Pan-fried Radish Cake with Spicy Sichuan Sauce> that was buried with a thick starchy gravy and losing the charm or the lightly burnt pan-fried palate. <Fried Crispy Squid with Hoisin Sauce> & <Deep-fried Chicken Fillet with Honey Wasabi> were rather soggy and lacking of the crispy deep-fried texture they should have and yet both combination of sauces doesn’t really stand out from this somewhat Asian fusion creation. We passed.
We thought of moving to a different culinary region by ordering something more stimulating dishes would help to change a little of our taste bud but <Handmade Beef Dumplings with Spicy Sichuan Sauce> only leads to another disappointment. The taste was mild despite we requested it to be as spicy as its original taste and with mashy minced beef filling that is not so not inviting. The <Stir-fried Shredded Duck Breast with Peppers In Oyster Sauce> was reasonably well prepared even the duck meat was a little on the tough side.
After a 15 minutes break by enjoying our strong Pu-Er tea, we decided to sample the Chef recommendation by ordering the <Wok-fried Chicken in Sweet & Sour Sauce> that is quite tasty despite the chicken was over-coated with flour.
<Deep-fried prawn Spring Rolls>
A nice light bite. Thin rolled spring roll deep fried into very crispy bite and needing no other dipping but to enjoy on its own.
<Home Style Stir-Fried Tofu>
A classic comfort food and it was quite well prepared in Shang Palace for its delectable bean curd texture and taste.
<Deep-Fried Dough Sticks>
A surprise winner, light and almost oil free from the surface, fluffy, airy and a crispy light bite.
<Wok-fried Beef Tenderloin in Black Pepper Sauce>
Strong black pepper sauce in flavour accompanied by wok-fried onions and capsicum despite beef being coated and tenderized.
We loved the <Steamed Sole Fillet with Ginger Spring Onion> that was steamed to perfection and the ginger and spring onion were the right combination in a good Cantonese way of steaming a fresh fish.
<Sauteed Honey Beans with Dried Chili> is the star dish in Shang Palace. High speed fired wok fried gives the light burnt texture of the bean and brings out the best flavours of the pungent dried chili as well as the bean paste sauce. You have to encore this dish and goes best with some steamed rice or fried rice. We order the <Yang Zhou Fried Rice with Mixed Vegetables & Seafood> which seems to us that the rice was pre-prepared and lacking of the instant a-la-minute wok flavor where the rice was moist and not in separation.
As for desert we had the soggy mini <Egg Tart> that was garnished with blueberry jam which is out of the norm from its original version but <Red Bean Paste Soup> was something that would enlighten you to end the meal.
Overall, the quality of food was quite satisfying with a few hits and misses. As for having a Chinese meal that is prepared more than 60% close to what you can get at home to satisfy the craving of some home cooked meals and from a halal perspective, this is more than satisfying. Service is worth mentioning as the entire wait staff and their team were attentive and non-stop moving around from table to table to ensure everyone has an enjoyable dining experience to discover.
Tried & Tested:
Design & Decor: 3/5
Food & Beverage: 3.5/5
Value For Money: 4/5
Sauteed Honey Beans with Dried Chili
Sheikh Zayed Road,
Dubai, United Arab Emirates
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