With such stunning views of the southern Chinese city of Shenzhen, it almost impossible not to think of how beautiful life can be at over 1,300 feet while sipping a fine glass of Riscal Roble 2008 and tucking into your pumpkin and cheese soup. But then again, this is not your average restaurant, but one that deserves more attention that it gets. Located at the 99th floor of the St Regis Shenzhen hotel, the Elba serves fine Mediterranean cuisine with a view to please even the most gastronomically challenged.
Since the St Regis Shenzhen opened in December 2011, Elba has become a popular hotspot for Shenzhen’s business yuppies, and the increasingly newly found rich who want to do nothing more than show off. The ambiance may not be too lavish; however all of those changes the moment the flavours of the colourful dishes start to dance your tongue. Elba is definitely big, bold and brash, however it did come across that the pedestrian cooking was a letdown, especially for a high end eatery that wants to prove itself among the bustling completion in town.
Basically if I was a diner here I would want to be pampered right from the moment of my first spoonful to the last. To be frank Elba is the kind of place only its mother could really love. It's like a late adolescent who's just discovered fashion and luxury lifestyle. It's loud and brash and pleased with itself. Location is fantastic, but the interior quality of the food lacks the glamour that it works so hard to get across.
The wine list is strong and has some first-class choices at astoundingly low prices. I also ate some pleasing things from the long menu, which roams from raw bar to hot kitchen to something called "wood stone.” If you are in a rush then opt for the lunch business set meal, which includes a starter, main dish and a dessert. Some of the fine choices for the set lunch menu include battered cod fish, or pumpkin and clam chowder.
Service was ‘okay’, but somehow dysfunctional. It took two requests to get them to stop attempting to fill my wine and water glass. Whether the fact that I was dining with the hotel manager made them nervous, I have to have give them the benefit of the doubt on that one. One thing I will say though is that good authentic Italian cuisine is very hard to find in China. However, if you want to taste a bit of Italy before you get there, then try Elba. Hey there may be better Italian restaurants in the whole of China, however for the time being Elba does a superb job in being one of the best in Shenzhen.
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