_ Anchored away neatly on the 5th floor of the Waldorf Astoria Club in Shanghai, China is the splendid Wei Jing Ge restaurant. Effectively a contemporary Chinese eatery, the Wei Jing Ge features an assortment of keen authentic Chinese dishes that will simply blow your mind away. The one key thing I really liked about Wei Jing Ge is the ambiance, and the feeling of being secluded in an richly historical building situated right in the heart of Shanghai’s most nostalgic location. When you are dining at Wei Jing Ge, the only thing that will remind you that you are in modern China is the view of the futuristic Pearl Tower and its surrounding building in Pudong visible from one of the ‘Tiger Windows’. The windows are called ‘Tiger Windows’ because in the 1920s and 1930s Shanghai people used to jump onto the window like a tiger would! The entrance is flanked by impressive delicate ancient maiden chinaware, looking around the main room, the restaurant is indulged in silk-draped contemporary elegance decorated with spiritual lotus and traditional Shanghainese style ornaments.
Wei Jing Ge does not fail to let you down when it comes providing splendid authentic Chinese cuisine. Shanghainese, Cantonese, Sichuanese and other typical Chinese dishes are all offered. The Chef-de Cuisine, Sam Yuen, brings along over 25 years of solid culinary experience into the kitchens floor. His culinary wizardry will not only leave the guests with a ‘Wow!’ factor but will exemplify to the dinar what a true Chinese meal should be like.
With so many dining options available in Shanghai these days there are definitely a few things that differentiate Wei Jing Ge from other restaurants such as its period Shanghai 1930s style interior design that complements the rich heritage of the Waldorf Astoria Club to create a luxurious dining environment, and the extensive wine cellar that boasts over 500 bottles of handpicked wines by the resident sommelier. In addition to the main dining area that can hold 96 seats, there are also six private dining rooms each with around 10 seats. The central corridor features contemporary back lit walls that showcase Chinese ‘treasures’ and interesting finds.
Dining at the Wei Jing Ge is as close as you can get to experience what it may have been like to dine at the Waldorf Astoria Club back in the hey days of the Shanghai of the 1920s. The restaurant may not have been open in those days but the feeling created in the current restaurant is meant to resemble the glamour of the colonial period of Shanghai.
My dining experience included a feast of the finest hairy crab in Shanghai. Hairy crab is available but once a year, and autumn is the season famous for the hairy crab, especially when it harvested from nearby lush lakes around Shanghai. The feast is presented in front of your eyes, with a male crab and a female crab coming in as a package. It’s an experience of a kind to have a real crab in real style at the Wei Jing Ge. The hairy crab goes perfect with a small glass of fine Shao Xing rice wine.
The perfect finale to a meal at Wei Jing Ge has to be the Walnut soup. Rather strange as it may sound, but its actually very delicious and healthy. Soft and chewy pieces of crushed walnut are resting at the bottom of the bowl, while the thick, creamy, and richly flavour soup is ready to swim down your throat. Just make sure you don’t get too tempted as it can be a but hot at first. But with each spoonful, the taste becomes more and more irresistible. Almost too good to believe. Then again, you cannot expect anything less from a top quality eatery such as the Wei Jing Ge. It may just leave you gobsmacked. ;-)
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