Second Helpings: Gui Hua Lou @ Pudong Shangri-La, East Shanghai

What: Huaiyangnese cuisine in a luxurious environment
Where: 1/F, Pudong Shangri-La, East Shanghai, 33 Fucheng Lu, near Lujiazui Huan Lu. Tel: 6882 8888. Web:
Why: For new signature dishes prepared by established Executive Chef Gao
Huai Yang cuisine is an ancient cuisine style, which is seen as one of the Four Great Traditions that influenced Chinese cuisine. Huai Yang cuisine includes dishes from Huai’an, Yangzhou, Suzhou and Shanghai and is characterised by stewing, braising and steaming over a low fire for a long period of time. The Shangri-La restaurant, and its Executive Chef, is famed for producing some of the best light, fresh and sweet dishes, following these ancient methods, in the area. Many of the dishes include seafood or offer vegetarian fare.
Starting this month, the restaurant is including a selection of new signature dishes that have been added as a result of Chef Gao’s continual improvement of his culinary artistry. Standout dishes include traditional Huaiyangnese dishes such as sautéed shredded eel with pine nuts (RMB 188) and deep fried bean curd with broth (RMB 128) as well as braised Boston lobster with eight treasures rice in abalone sauce (RMB 498).
Huaiyangnese cuisine is also characterised by its exceptional knife work, which was on full display in the beautifully presented cold dishes that we selected; mixed mushrooms in oyster sauce (RMB 32) and poached river shrimp (RMB 66).
Our favourite dishes were the braised bird’s nest with crab meat (RMB 288 per person), a luxurious and indulgent warming dish that felt extremely nourishing, and the baked cod with miso (RMB 128), which was set upon a bed of egg whites with perfectly balanced flavours.
This is a high-end restaurant, which would impress any foodies who are in the know about Chinese traditional cuisine. The excellent service, which one always expects from this hotel brand, sets it apart from others, while the luxurious interior design and beautifully delicate tableware makes dining here a special occasion every time.