Shang Palace is the signature restaurant of Shangri-La Colombo which opened to the public a few months ago. True to their Shangri-La's international reputation, this is excellent Chinese food, at a price to match.
Named after a Chinese dynasty, the Shang Palace serves traditional regional Chinese cuisine from Sichuan, Dongbei, and Canton.
As our appetizer, we tried the Prawn Bean Curd Roll with Chives and Cheese (Rs. 900)! As you can probably tell, the prawns were perfectly cooked with a chewy texture, combined with gooeyness from the melted cheese. The whole thing was wrapped in a light bean curd sheet which did not overwhelm the dish as a flour-based batter would have.
For our mains, we started off with a Yangzhou Fried Rice (Rs. 850) which consisted of chicken, prawns, and egg. It was as delicious as a fried rice could get. It wasn't oily and the rice was seasoned well with a generous garnishing of peas and onions. The spring onions especially added that tinge of spiciness we always look for in a meal.
The Kung Pao Chicken (Rs. 1100) was our favorite. There were quite a lot of well-cooked chicken cubes and an equal amount of roasted cashews. They were soaked in a succulent spicy and tangy sauce with a mild sweetness running through. It's definitely worth the price.
The Stir Fried Asparagus (Rs. 1,200) while exorbitant, gave a fresh undertone to a heavy meal. The asparagus was delicious, albeit a little too oily. While it is not the best lotus stems we have had, it was a close second. The flavors came through well, with authentic seasoning.
For dessert, we got the Shang Palace Dragon's Breath Mango Sago with Coconut (Rs. 900), that's a mouthful. Holy moly! We melted into our seats. It was one of the best desserts I have tried, and I have tried a lot. The ingredients are pretty simple, the sago is made with diced mango, sliced pomelo, sago, coconut milk, evaporated milk and milk. It was the perfect balance of flavors with the sweetness of the mango and the citric flavor of the pomelo. The mini marshmallows on top were a sweet addition. Everything in that dish served a purpose and it was well executed.
They have the usual beverages menu with cocktails, mocktails, iced tea, coffee etc.
The Shangri-La Iced Tea (Rs. 450) was cool, refreshing and overall delish. The massive orange slices and the cinnamon sticks popped the flavors and elevated the average iced tea you would find in a cafe. Vishvi really knows how to pick 'em.
The Cappuccino (Rs. 400) was the only underwhelming part of that evening. It was really frothy with a very weak coffee flavor. There were no redeeming factors, every sip was more disappointing than the first.
Service and Ambience
The service was exceptional. The two waiters for our afternoon were friendly, attentive and very efficient. They were all smiles and polite, attending to our every need. Our glasses were always full and the food was served hot and cleared as soon as we were done. Everyone was fluent in English and knew their way around the menu. They also have an open kitchen with a special section where you can observe how their dim sums are being made.
As it is with many Chinese restaurants, the three-part color coordination can be seen here as well. Along with comfy furniture and a peaceful atmosphere. The best thing about this place is the spectacular view.
The gorgeous city line, with beautiful greens all around and the massive blue sky, there is no better way to enjoy a 5-star meal.
Our total bill came to about Rs. 7,000, inclusive of tax and service charges which is what we were expecting. You're paying for not just the food but for an overall delightful dining experience, which I must say, they delivered.