SHANG PALACE Shangri-la Dubai - Myriad Flavours of Chinese Cuisine

Dining in Shang Palace Shangri-la Dubai is like going back to your favourite friend as it has been delivering its Chinese gastronomy for the Chinese and Asian community in Dubai as well as the locals alike over decades. Comfort food is what you need here.
mylifestylenews writes.

The semi-open concept restaurant nestled at the corner on level one is exposed to the soaring high ceiling with a curved panel of Chinese art silk wall and the dome-like roof shows the elegance of a Oriental Chinese Palace interior motif. Rather than a Cantonese restaurant per se, Shang Palace Shangri-la Dubai is more like a culinary combination from various parts of China, with Cantonese gastronomy taking the lead, followed by Sichuan, Shanghainese as well as a hint of other Chinese provincial delicacies influences. The classic menu befits the overall Shang Palace standard with a few surprises and we screened through the big menu and settled in with a few of our favorite picks to test the full gamut of cuisine after much deliberation.

<Baked Wagyu Beef Puff 
黑椒和牛酥 >
The amiable “head of the bull” presentation is rather too cute to destroy, but after all said and done, you have to eat them. This is a great addition, as the pastry is puffy, airy and light and is like a thousand layers. The meat filling is rich and flavoursome but could do with a tad more seasoning to pique the taste buds. A great starter to order from the Traditional Dumplings section. Don’t miss out!

<Cantonese Style Golden Garlic King Prawns with Dried Chilli 避风塘大虾>
You really have to love garlic to enjoy this dish! Big battered prawns are deep fried to a light crispy texture and topped with a mountain full of dried garlic flakes. A typical Cantonese style of all time favorite seafood dish and the prawns have been butterflied and shelled served in quite a generous portion. So there is no mess to worry about and just tuck right in. While the batter may have been a fraction too thick, this is a delicious dish packed with flavour and goes well with steamed rice.

<Deep Fried Tiger Prawns with Spicy Sichuan Sauce 四川香辣老虎虾>
Another prawn dish that is a must order if you are really into seafood selection. Jumbo King Size Tiger Prawns are well selected and deep fried to the right texture in spicy Sichuan sauce (more like a black bean sauce in moderate heat). Fresh, meaty and tasty are the only words to describe this generous serving.

<Steamed Fish with Chopped Chilli & Truffle Soy Sauce 鸳鸯剁椒双吃鱼>
The dinner continued with the taste of the sea with the steamed seabass with chopped chilli and truffle soy sauce which are done in separate ways to highlight the one fish in duo taste motif. The chilli sauce was a little salty which is quite the norm for its style of cooking, but yet to offer the pungency of the kick which is supposed to be the intended flavour and the truffle soy was also quite overpowering. It is not quite the way it traditionally should be done. A hit and miss!

<Sauteed Black Angus Tenderloin with Fresh Red Chilli & Kai-Lan Root 尖椒炒牛柳粒>
The quality diced mouth-full beef was tender and tasty, although it turned out the kitchen wasn’t happy with the quality of the kai-lan, so this was substituted for asparagus, which was equally delicious to accompany the beef and provided a good foil for the rich flavour. A classic Sichuan delicacy with a zing on palate!

 <Sautéed Honey Beans & Dried Chilli干煸四季豆>
Also known as snake beans or long beans for its light crunchy bite on the palette if it is sautéed well in a high speed fired wok fried with dried chili or bean paste sauce. Shang Palace Shangri-la Dubai’s take on this is up to its satisfactory level and accompanied with mini mushrooms and topped with aromatic deep-fried garlic which is an additional bonus in flavour.

<Half Peking Duck 
This ubiquitous dish was expertly presented and then sliced thinly to perfection in front of us. The skin is light and not greasy to enjoy despite the meat texture was slightly on the dried side yet equally tasty. The interesting change this time was in the accompaniments with the new add-ons of sesame sauce and mushroom truffle sauce in addition to the usual thick plum sauce.

Quite frankly we weren’t convinced, but the pancakes were at the right thickness and temperature. A round of applause also had to be given to the cucumber and ginger which were julienned to perfection.

<Stir-Fried Duck with Beansprouts & Bell Peppers 什锦鸭絲>
The remaining meat from the Peking Duck dish is always being recommended to be used up either stir-fried or making a clear broth from its carcass. We opted for the stir-fried shredded meat with beansprouts and bell peppers and somehow this did not resonate with us. The meat and overall dish tasted very bland and we had to add a few splashes of soy sauce to bring out its flavour. The beansprouts and bell pepper were also overly cooked and became too soggy and missing its original light crunchy palate.

<Fried Crispy Noodles with Lobster & Vegetables 龙虾脆面香>
The eye-catching presentation will give you a wow factor immediately when it is brought to the table. The lobster meat was shelled out nicely in the right bite size, well braised and sat around the bulky crispy noodles with the big lobster head topped on its head the final touch for this stand out dish. Another classic Cantonese style noodle dish that is champion in winning as ever.

<Wok-Fried Black Angus Beef Sirloin Strips with Ginger & Spring Onion Sauce
We couldn’t help but to order another wok-fried beef dish since the previous order was quite palatable. Unfortunately this dish turned out to be our least favourite dish of the night, due to the meat tenderizer being over-used yet didn’t get the tender texture right. The flavour is also too salty up front and overpowered the aromatic ginger and spring onion which shall be the reverse.

<Deep-Fried Banana with Honey & Pumpkin & Date Cake
The colorful presentation with the combination of deep-fried banana and the pumpkin and date cake looks inviting but not as exciting in taste as it is seen. The glutinous pumpkin and date cake was rather bland in taste, the deep-fried banana also did not offer the right airy deep fried texture despite it was done a-la-minute, the hand-peeled pomelo was dried and lacked sweetness which was another let-down.

Most of the time, many chefs do improvise with an alternate version by introducing their most traditional way of cooking and presentation to suit the local palate in which many may not know how to appreciate the best of flavours. If it is done properly, a fusion alternative could be another great invention, but failure to which, it could then turn out to be a disaster and being like the locals and many others by consuming food that they think it best suits their palate but definitely has lost its charm from its authenticity of flavor.

Overall, the food still hits the mark with a few hit and misses that need further attention to meet the brand’s consistency. With such a vast menu to juggle from a couple of different regional cuisines and delicacies, the challenge is high to upkeep a full scored standard especially featuring Chinese Cuisine in this region by limited supply of the actual and exact ingredients and produce. From a halal perspective, this is more than satisfying. 

Shang Palace Shangri-la Dubai delivers memorable dining experiences that always come with a discreet and attentive service and they don’t rush you in between courses either. Our servers, Simon and Troung, were very helpful and attentive and it was also good to see the Manager Alex still working the floor and interacting with the clientele. The ambience within the restaurant has that very unique overall Shang Palace feel to it, which we love; however, the pianist playing in the main lobby is a little bit jarring with the Chinese pop music being played in the restaurant, so food for thought.

Tried & Tested:
Location: 4/5
Design & Decor: 4/5
Food & Beverage: 4/5
Service: 4.5/5
Value For Money: 4/5
Experience: 4/5

Sheikh Zayed Road,
P.O.Box 75880
Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Tel: +971 4 405 2703

Reviews are based on actual day of visit and experience. mylifestylenews reserves the right of final decision in case of any disputes. All images are photographed by mylifestylenews team without any photoshop enhancement and are the property owned by mylifestylenews unless otherwise stated.

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