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What Shang Palace lacks in harbour views, it makes up in beautifully ornate interiors. Located in the basement of the Kowloon Shangri-La Hotel in Tsim Sha Tsui East, the red-hued, carved wooden screens, antiques and art set the scene, making diners feel as if they’ve been transported to Imperial China. The décor is a delight to tourists looking for well-appointed Chinese-inspired interiors as well as Hongkongers looking to take a step back in time.
Classic Cantonese cuisine is on offer here, but what has awarded this restaurant with distinctions is chef Mok Kit-keung’s play on tradition. His crispy lobster and oatmeal dish is reflective of his east-meets-west ingenuity. By taking humble oatmeal and pairing it with lobster, the surprising pairing works – the oatmeal gives a richer, nuttier taste to the meaty crustacean. Equally rich is the well-marbled Kagoshima wagyu beef, which is stir-fried with sliced garlic and beautifully presented in a lightly fried nest. To balance the heavy dishes is a warming, double-boiled ginseng, abalone and black chicken soup – an intensely flavourful broth that is said to restore the health. Chef Mok’s pumpkin cream with bird’s nest and Alaskan crab meat served in a mini pumpkin is also interesting, though the creamy soup with generous hunks of crab meat could have fared better without the slimy film of bird’s nest floating on top. Shang Palace’s menu shows thought and invention, but requires strong appetites as many items are quite heavy. Before our sweet soups arrive, the pre-dessert is beautifully presented on an ornate silver tray that resembles a banyan tree with each branch presenting a different bite-sized sweet, including technicolour mochi, puddings and jellies. It’s a delightful end to a satisfying meal.
There’s a very lengthy wine list comprising numerous bottles from regions across the world. Dishes come with suggested wine pairings and staff are knowledgeable enough to recommend wines by the glass or by the bottle.
Service is kind and attentive from the moment we walk into the restaurant until we leave. Our cups and glasses are never empty, and courses are timed well, with both diners served at exactly the same time. The staff also display a fair amount of knowledge regarding all dishes and were on hand to offer recommendations on dishes, teas and wine pairings.
At just over HK$2,500 for two tasting menus and premium teas, a meal at this restaurant is on par with other award-winning institutions in the city.