Summer Palace Restaurant at Island Shangri-La Hong Kong

There tends to be one moment, one feast, one shared experience in each destination we visit that stands out as being unforgettable. A taste of place that resonates. On my recent trip to Hong Kong my leisurely lunch at the Michelin two-star Summer Palace at the Island Shangri-La would fill these shoes.

I spent thirty minutes coddling my camera as I explored the nooks and crannies of one of HK’s most luxurious hotels. First time visitors are swept away by the hotels razzle dazzle lobby featuring a dizzying collection of ornate chandeliers which hang in clusters like ripe summer fruit. The spacious open air lobby lounge features a 130 year old Banyan tree, which cost HKD 24 million to conserve – a unique gesture in this bustling metropolis that typically lets nothing stand in its way. In the atrium, the arresting Great Motherland of China, the largest Chinese landscape silk painting in the world, is grand and inspiring.

Decadence is defined at the hotel’s signature Summer Palace where Chef Ip Chi Cheung presents the best of Cantonese cuisine with award-winning culinary flair. He tips his hat by focusing on seasonal favourites in a setting that evokes the grandeur of a rich Chinese heritage. The twinkle of gold contrasts harmoniously with the a rich burgundy rouge and makes one feel as though they have arrived at a celebratory feasting table in a royal palace.

I will never forget loitering in luxury that afternoon as I swirled each glass of wine, perfectly paired by the restaurants sommelier to each of the chefs whimsical dishes. Highlights of my visit to Summer Palace include an explosive dim sum trio, soft as a marshmallow beef cheek and a peking duck which was carved table side and served with wee pancakes and sweet hoisin. Baked fried rice with hairy crab roe and fresh mushroom redefined the concept of “the casserole” while a chilled sago cream with mango juice and pomelo proved that simple honest fruit deserves our attention.

The Feast:

Chardonnay, Saint Catherine, Napier, Paarl, South Africa

Santenay Rouge, Vieilles Vignes, Vincent Girardin, Burgundy, France

Clos l’Hermitage, Lalande de Pomerol, Bordeaux, France

Dim Sum Trio

steamed shanghainese pork dumpling with conpoy

steamed vegetarian dumpling with assorted fungus

deep fried mashed taro stuffed with shrimp

Stir-Fried Scallops with Asparagus and Fresh Lily Bulbs

Stewed Beef Cheek with Chef’s Special Sauce

Baked Fried Rice with Hairy Crab Roe and Fresh Mushroom

Peking Duck

Sweet Corn Soup with Diced Chicken

Chilled Sago Cream with Mango Juice and Pomelo

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