Yi Long Court 逸龍閣 at The Peninsula Hotel Shanghai

Having filled myself with Shanghainese food during my stay in Shanghai, I accepted an invitation to dine in The Peninsula’s very own Cantonese fine dining restaurant, Yi Long Court 逸龍閣. The kitchen is led by award-winning Michelin Star Chef Tang Chi Keung, formerly of The Peninsula Tokyo as well as Chinese Executive Chef of The Peninsula Hong Kong.

The restaurant features Art Deco surroundings of a typical rich Shanghainese merchant’s home in the early 1920s, fireplaces, comfortable (although low) sofas alongside long windows – making the restaurant feel loft-like alongside typical furniture of older China.

The restaurant serves traditional cuisine as such Pan-fried Scallops stuff with minced shrimp as well as regional dim sum favorites but we opted for others.

Every dish was a remnant of your typical Cantonese dish, here served impeccably, of course.

Some sweet sesame nuts to start.

And we always get our XO sauce ready: chopped dried seafood (fish, shrimp, abalone) in spicy (but not always) sauce (cooked with garlic, chili peppers, oil and onion). This is a typical condiment on the side of main dishes but can also be used in cooking to enhance flavour, especially in fish, meat and bland foods such as tofu and noodles.

The name XO sauce comes from fine XO (extra-old) cognac, which is a popular Western liquor in Hong Kong and considered by many to be a chic product there. In addition the term XO is often used in the popular culture of Hong Kong to denote high quality, prestige, and luxury.

Thousand year-old egg with peppers

It was surprisingly not overpowering nor had the uncomfortable smell they usual have. It was equally beautiful with some herbs within the egg whites.

Chilled jellyfish with sliced pork trotter

Tofu skin wrapped pork and mushrooms

This is usually just steamed, but here it was served crispy yet the inside melted in your mouth – I had 3!

Hot and Sour soup – not overpowering at all, as the name would suggest. Very smooth and not too sour with crunchy mushrooms.

Steamed red snapper with soya sauce, ginger and scallion – as traditional as it gets

Braised Lobster with Ginger and Scallion

Crispy Chicken which had a crispy exterior (skin) and a very moist and tender interior. It even smelled a little smoky. 

Pan-fried Lotus with Minced Pork

Kai Lan aka. Chinese broccoli – typical Cantonese vegetable, which tends to be stir-fried with garlic. 

There weren’t a lot of people in the restaurant (but what do you expect with the 1000s of restaurants in Shanghai) but the atmosphere was serene and calming.

If you have a larger party (of 8 to be exact), you can book the Chef’s table with views into the kitchen.

Last year, master food critic Sheng Hongfei placed Yong Li as one of the 10 best restaurants in Shanghai. For Cantonese fine dining, I can see why. At The Peninsula and its restaurants; what you see is what you get: opulence, grandeur, impeccable service and perfect surrounding decor to  the most detailed point.

If you’re looking for fine dining Cantonese food, this is the place to come to in Shanghai but be ready to shell out some serious cash – and perhaps wait until you pass by Hong Kong to experience true local food. Enjoy pork steamed buns and dumplings in Shanghai instead!

Yi Long Court 逸龍閣        

Address: 2/F, The Peninsula, 32 Zhongshan Dong Yi Lu, near Beijing Dong Lu
中山東一路32號2樓,近北京東路                  

Subway: Nanjing E. Rd
Tel: 2327 6742            

Website: http://www.peninsula.com/Shanghai/en/Dining/Yi_Long_Court/default.aspx

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