Grand Optical

Chinese Corner: Wei Jing Ge

Restaurants on the Bund can seem predictable; too often, the stunning scenery is expected to score most of the points for these fine dining establishments. With nary a bay window to soak up the famous river views, Wei Jing Ge outplays its promenade-promoting neighbours with its Chinese modesty. After all, the restaurant is located in the Waldorf Astoria, a building whose history can be summed up with a ride in its elevator, the oldest in Shanghai. Depositing you on the fifth floor where Wei Jing Ge sits, diners feel like they’ve stepped back into a long-forgotten Shanghai attic. The décor conveys class but nothing screams extravagance, and then there’s the food.

Boasting three cuisines, Cantonese and Huaiyang – both of which rank on China’s Eight Great Traditions – as well as Shanghainese to please local palates, the restaurant’s diversity makes it a crowd pleaser. The sour pickle dish whets the appetite for more popular choices, like sliced cold chicken and shrimp dumplings – two options that prove simple dishes are the best way to showcase the experience of a kitchen. Demonstrating their ability to go off book, the chefs combine Chinese yams with salty duck eggs, a preparation method usually reserved for crab dishes. Their adept pan-fried codfish soaked in foie gras sauce and deep-fried yellow croaker confirm their cooking chops extend well into the realm of seafood. Even the fried rice, chock full of shrimp and scallops in the Fujian-style, is a delight. A full-on sensory experience that extends from the décor to the dining, Wei Jing Ge is another impressive restaurant for the Waldorf.

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