_There are not that many places in the southern Chinese city of Shenzhen where you can just be spoiled to a lavish feast and feel like an Emperor (or an Empress), except at China Lodge at the Grand Hyatt hotel in Shenzhen. Providing some of the finest views across to the whole of Lowu district, Shenzhen’s most happening place, China Lodge is a place to be if you want some privacy, intimacy and some luxurious food that brings the best of Cantonese, Chinese, and Western cultural fusions altogether on one table. When you consider the amount of massive space dedicated to each of the 14 luxurious private dining suites on the 35th and 36th floors of the hotel, you realise that this is not just a restaurant but a Mecca for serious eating. Allow the local boy, Chef Scott Xu, a native of Guangdong Province, to show off his innovation gastronomic skills. Chef Xu is someone who happens to possess some intuitive abilities when he is presented a few ingredients, and some kitchen tools. Maybe he wants to prove how good he is, but for sure, you’ll be left with a jaw dropping dining experience. With so much competition lurking around in China these days, the rush to be one of the best designers of a perfect dining plate is on in one of the world’s fastest economies. There is certainly no shortage of a beautiful presentation when it comes to good food.
Yes, it is costly, but then again you do exactly get what you pay for (maybe more). The key is that China Lodge prides itself in using one of the best ingredients, and the best cutlery to present it in- there are no real boundaries for diners in terms of showing off to their invitees. Each of the 14 suites accommodates anything upto 20 diners with guaranteed spectacular views from every suite. Each suite comes along with butler service, an en-suite toilet, a large television, and access to the internet. Some may even go as far as thinking that if you want to show off how much wealth you possess, or perhaps you want to treat your close ones to a truly 5-star dining experience for a special occasion, then China Lodge is the place.
Though purely a Cantonese style restaurant based on a native Cantonese concept, however the dishes created by Chef Xu contain a delightful fusion of Eastern and Western tastes. Take for example one of the starters such as the ‘goose liver, wok-fried with shelled shrimps, and chive flower’; or the ‘suckling pig cum in plum sauce’. For those of you that don’t know, suckling pig is a very traditional must have Cantonese delicacy dish where the skin of the pig should be crisp and the meat should be just perfectly tender for the tongue. With this particular dish Chef Xu has turned that traditional dish into a Western style concept by wrapping the suckling pig into a sushi style roll (but wrapped with lettuce and not seaweed!), and then decorated it with a sprinkle of plum sauce. It’s the same concept that goes well with the ‘goose liver dish’. The way you are meant to eat it is to put a spoonful of the ingredients (that’s the complete mixture of the shrimps, chive flower and goose liver), into a iceberg lettuce leaf. With each mouthful, that crunchiness texture should include a blending of all the flavours and juices of the goose liver and the shrimps. Both the goose liver and the shrimps are traditional Cantonese fare, however it’s the style of putting everything into one leaf that makes it a Western style dish, but in Shenzhen!
Some other specialities include ’king eel, steamed, with rice wine sauce’, and ‘whole tomato, braised, and mixed with cereal crops’. The king eel is special because the eel is fed with coconut flakes whilst in the farm, so the end result of the texture and taste of the meat has a lovely soft yet milky flavour to it. But wait till you try the bright red tomato filled with cereal crops. This hot dish is fabulously attractive from the inside, just as it is attractive from the outside. The brightly red boiled tomato (no colour preservatives) contains an extravaganza of cereal crops. Very healthy, and ‘out of this world’ delicious would be the words that conjure up once one takes a spoonful. All the dishes take into consideration various health issues that diners may have, and a personalised menu can be provided upon request to the individual dinar. Even the desert is not as heavy as one may imagine. Take the Mango pudding for example, which contains freshly cut mangos surrounded in a freshly squeezed mango sauce. Just scrumptious. So get ready to be amazed, and enjoy a truly magical experience whilst sitting on top of China’s Prices for a set menu start from around 700RMB (approx. £70) per person.
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