The Shang Palace at Makati Shangri-la has brought over Chef Anthony Dong from Futian Shangri-la in Shenzen for a 10 day introduction to Huaiyang Cuisine. Huaiyang cuisine is one of the four great traditions of Chinese cuisine which includes the more common Cantonese, Sichuan and Shandong. Chef Anthony Dong boasts of over 20 years experience in the culinary world as well as gold medal in the National Innovative Cooking Competition in China. Chef Anthony will be in Shang Palace from July 20 to July 30, 2014 only.
I’m very familiar with Cantonese cuisine but I think this will be my first time to try Huaiyang dishes so I did not really know what to expect.
My introduction to Huaiyang cuisine started with a plate of Jiangnan style Appetizer Combination. 5 pieces are Marinated Cuttlefish and Japanese Bean Curd, Marinated Minced Spinach with Green Mustard, Marinated Chicken and Sliced Abalone with Wasabi, Deep-Fried Fish with Five Spices, and Stewed Snail with Garlic and Chili Sauce. That piece of minced spinach ball packs a spicy mustard punch, good thing someone already made a mistake of popping the whole thing into their mouth. The best tasting one the deep fried fish with five spices, I could have sworn it was a piece of pork belly.
The most interesting of all the pieces was this translucent snail. The snail two slightly spicy pieces of abalone. I took a little bite, despite it being so beautiful, of the snail out of curiosity and it tasted like a chewier dimsum wrapper like the one from a hakao.
After displaying Chef Anthony’s creativity the next dish, Braised Bean Curd Ball in Superior Broth, showcased his skill with the knife. Those long and thin strips that look somewhat like misua are actually finely chopped strips of bean curd, the skill is in not having the pieces break. The soup was a light and tasty palate cleanser that prepared us for more flavorful dishes ahead.
The next dish was Deep Fried Shrimp with Oatmeal. This one looks similar to the cereal prawns in Singaporean cuisine. The presentation in this one is superior with the shrimp lying on top of piece of cucumber.
Here’s the shrimp split in the middle. The shrimp is coated evenly with a oats as well as a tinge of wasabi mayonnaise, giving it a slight spicy kick.
Next was the Braised Beef Cheek with Red Wine Pear. A beautiful red pear (wait a minute aren’t pear’s white), which changed color because of the red wine. Next mystery was the absence of the beef cheeks.
Slice open the pear and you’ll see the super tender beef cheeks hidden within. The pear is surprisingly still very crisp and with nice flavor from the red wine. This was my favorite dish, both in terms of creativity and taste.
Braised Bamboo Asparagus in Superior Broth. Asparagus spears are wrapped in bamboo shoots and topped with wolfberry/goji berry. The broth had a slight medicinal taste to it, most probably from the goji berry.
Rice comes last in a Chinese meal so guests can fully appreciate each dish and only eats the rice if they are still hungry. I’ll gladly eat the Fried Rice with Preserved Meat and Shrimp even if I was already full, it was that good, with the preserved meats lending their smoky flavor and the dried shrimps imparting its sweet and umami punch.
Dessert was a platter of Assorted fruits with gelatin. Balls of watermelon, honeydew melon and dragon fruit with a piece of heart shaped strawberry gelatin. Light and clean flavors to finish off the meal.
Experience a taste of the exquisite flavors and creative presentation of Huaying Cuisine by Chef Anthony Dong at Shang Palace from July 20 to 30, 2014 only.
Huaying Cuisine by Chef Anthony DongShang Palace 2/F Makati Shangri-la Hotel Manila Ayala Ave., cor Makati Ave., Makati City, Philippines Telephone Number: (632) 813-8888
Makati Shangri-la Hotel Manila Website
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