If, like us, you travel to eat, you rarely dine at your hotel. (Except for maybe that free breakfast.. We’re all guilty of it.) But some of Shanghai’s hotels offer restaurants that are definitely worth a meal or two. And, perhaps, a drink.
The Kerry Hotel
Although The Kerry Hotel’s main draw is its proximity to the new Shanghai International Convention Center, its F&B offerings are a close second. At The MEET, raw Tomahawk steaks hang from the ceiling of the dry-aging room, weighing in at about 2kg on a 30cm handle of bone brimming with glistening marrow. Just a floor below, The COOK serves up all-day dining with 11 kitchens serving international and local cuisine. Try the noodle stand for the laksa, one of the best bowls of the steaming Malay curry soup in town. And finally, to wash it all down, sample one of the beers at The BREW. Try a paddle of Kiwi brewmaster Leon Mickelson’s award-winning suds, or just opt for a pint of the smooth Razorback Cider.
RMB 980. The MEET, 2F, Kerry Hotel, 1388 Huamu Lu, near Fangdian Lu. Tel: 6169 8888. Web: http://www.shangri-la.com/cn/shanghai/kerryhotelpudong/
Langham Xintiandi & Langham Yangtze Boutique
Ming Court is famous in Hong Kong for its delicious dim sum and two Michelin star status, so when the Langham XTD brought the dynastic restaurant to their Shanghai property, foodies rejoiced. At Shanghai’s Ming Court, they have two chefs on hand – one specializing in Cantonese, the other in local Shanghainese – to ensure each flavor is authentically executed. And their sprawling tea list is a great way to get acquainted with China’s most famous drink.
Ming Court: Langham Xintiandi, 5F, 99 Madang Lu. Tel: 2230 2288. Web: www.langhamhotels.com/en/the-langham/shanghai/
Sticking with the dynasties, sister hotel Langham Yangtze Boutique also brought T’ang Court, another two Michelin star restaurant from Hong Kong, to Shanghai. The ‘Father of T’ang Court’, Mr Kwong Wai Keung duplicated the award-winning menu, and they also conveyed service staff from their HK restaurant to fully recreate the Cantonese experience, but we had to turn a blind eye to the 25 varieties of shark’s fin soup on the menu.
T’ang Court. The Langham Yangtze Boutique Hotel. 2F, 740 Hankou Lu. Tel: 6080 0800. Web: www.theyangtzehotel.com
The Dining Room at The Park Hyatt isn’t just one of the best hotel restaurants in town; it’s one of the best, period. Towering over the rest of the city on the 87th floor, the provincial European restaurant not only provides delicious food, but one of the best views in town. Their hot smoked salmon is Shanghai’s best, hands-down, and the oven-roasted black cod is topped with bites of octopus slow-cooked until the cephalopod is rendered tender enough to slice with a fork. And don’t even get me started on a venison dish I had there last winter. The luscious meat came with a side of roasted morel mushrooms that still haunt my dreams.
87F, Shanghai World Finance Center, 100 Century Avenue, near Lujiazui. Tel: 6888 1234. Web: shanghai.park.hyatt.com
Jing’an Restaurant in The Puli Hotel quickly won accolades across town when it opened in 2010. Executive Chef Dane Clouston is famous for spending up to 13 hours in the restaurant a day, a borderline insane workweek for a hotel chef with a trove of sous chefs to execute. The foie gras with smoked chocolate is still on everyone’s lips, and the brunch is beyond decadent. The spread of charcuterie, seafood and salads dominates the room and could be a meal in itself, but Chef Clouston cooks to order. You get a choice of two mains and a dessert from the a la carte menu (plus Moet, if you’re feeling bubbly) to ensure you roll out the door.
Jing’an Restaurant. The PuLi Hotel and Spa. 1 Changde Lu, near Yan’an Zhong Lu. Tel: 3203 9999. Web:
Ever had a Shanghai Waldorf Salad with local crab? Dined on Red Velvet High Tea while a harpist plucked in the background? Gone on a brunch tour? The Waldorf on the Bund offers all of these and more at their six F&B outlets that carved out of the former home of the Shanghai Club. The Long Bar is a meticulous replica of the bar of the same name that was crushed by Japanese bombing during WWII – not to mention one of the most indulgent oyster bars in town. The Wagyu steak tartare “a la Reuben” at Pelham’s is a savory masterpiece, and Wei Jing Ge specializes in Huaiyang cuisine, one of China’s most legendary and delicate culinary arts.
Waldorf Astoria Shanghai. 2 Zhong Shan Dong Yi Lu, near Guangdong Lu. Tel: 6322 9988. Web: www.waldorfastoria.com