Midtown Shangri-La’s Chinese restaurant, Cheng Zhong, finally makes its debut. The wait has been intentional to make sure all the smallest details were ironed out to ensure a perfect opening. After all, the Chinese restaurant in a Shangri-La hotel holds a special place of honour, and Midtown Shangri-La wanted to deliver a fully-formed idea right from the start.
The menu is a mix of Cantonese and Hangzhou cuisine with traditional dishes given a modern update while still retaining their authenticity. Chef Yu first came to Hangzhou to start up the Four Seasons, and he has extensive experience in Jiangnan and Cantonese repertoire. His cooking style incorporates fresh, locally sourced and in-season products. A lovely example of this thought is the crunchy Sauteed Lotus Roots and Lotus Seeds served on a verdant lotus leaf. Chef Yu buys the lotus roots and seeds daily at sunrise from vendors on the banks of West Lake, just steps from Midtown Shangri-La. How’s that for eating fresh, locally and in-season?
Cheng Zhong is not inside Midtown Shangri-La, but is situated just next to it in the Kerry Centre shopping mall and connected to the hotel via a sky bridge. Being part of the shopping center, the main dining room of Cheng Zhong has a more casual, open and friendly atmosphere with very accessible prices of 100-150RMB/pp, while the private dining rooms will be more exclusive with prices starting at 300RMB/pp.
The crispy skinned Roast Goose is made with goose flown in from Guangzhou and costs only 58RMB/portion. The Qian Jiang Eel Braised with Garlic and Soy Sauce (268RMB/whole eel) was quite special, with large meaty pieces of fluffy custard-like eel in a sweet sticky soy sauce. Steamed Crab with Chinese Rice Wine (108RMB/each) were big and sweet crabs from Wenzhou steamed over a minced meat patty which caught all the juices and crab roe. Deep-fried Prawns with Wasabi Mayonnaise (88RMB/5 pieces) were so huge that they required two bites to eat.
You are getting fine dining quality food at mass market prices. If that’s not enough to entice you to go visit, Cheng Zhong will also have games to delight customers, such as solve a Chinese box puzzle or tabletop treasure hunts, to win free food. Dim sum is available at lunch.