Tucked away on the seventh floor of the Sheraton Guilin, the Riviera offers a blend of Italian and genuine Mediterranean cuisine. The fact that the restaurant is located on the inner side of the Club Lounge, and away from the scenery provides an even better reason for dinars to sit at the outdoor rooftop veranda and enjoy the fine views across the Li River and the signature Elephant Hill. In the afternoons and early evenings, when the weather is not so hot and humid and when the river’s tide is low, people usually prefer to swim in the shallow waters. It’s a very laid-back atmosphere with the only the sounds of either the waves or children in the distant playing with the water. You can catch a beautiful glimpse of boats and bamboo rafts going up and down the river as well. While this can provide a lovely, yet relaxing ambiance for a dinner or lunch, for those who prefer to keep themselves a bit more distracted can also indulge themselves with various reading material in the adjoining Club Lounge.
You don’t need to spend a fortune to enjoy the pleasures of dining with luxury food while indulging in the stunning views across to the river Li. Yes, luxury in China does come with a price tag, but not as much as you would expect. The Riviera’s chef de cuisine Mark Xiao deserves the biggest gong of all for keeping in tradition with the Sheraton’s culinary philosophy while presenting western food right in the heart of a second tier city such as Guilin. Armed with a good appetite, you can commence the culinary journey with delights such as the potato and gorgonzola salad. For all this food-mad small city’s hawker centres and coffee shops, it’s the fine dining that is grabbing all the attention these days. The Sheraton Guilin has been fortunate to attract some of the best chefs from around the world. The 60-seat Riviera dishes up hearty Mediterranean fare- think of angel hair vongole-e-pesto with calm cherry tomato and pesto- in convivial, stylish laid-back surroundings. Back in the open kitchen, there is a touch of theatrical magic attached to chef Xiao. It’s almost as if he is on stage and performing his gastrological skills to amaze the audience. Xiao is definitely an artist more than a chef I would say- everything you see, smell, touch and taste here has been carefully conceived and curated by Xiao personally.
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