10 Ave d'Iéna, 16th
Tel 01 53 67 19 53
The main restaurant of the newly opened Shangri-La hotel is named for the flower found on the Hong Kong national flag. The setting, at the far end of the vast lobby, beneath an immense skylight and custom-made chandelier, makes quite a first impression. Mezzanine seating allows for some great people-watching over the wrought iron balcony.
My Yam Som O starter.
My friend and I were among the first to arrive in an almost empty restaurant at 8pm. By 9pm it was almost full. Start off with a glass of pink Bollinger bubbly. The menu is small but full of enticing dishes. There are no set menus, all is à la carte. The cuisine is a fusion of French and Asian, with specialties from Malaysia, Indonesia, and Thailand next to traditional French dishes like Terrine de Canard au Foie Gras and Noix de St Jacques (scallops).
My Curry Laksa main dish (I poured more sauce on it after I took the photo).
There were little chili peppers designating hot dishes, and since I know even the hottest dishes in France can’t put a dent in the hot sauces I grew up with in Arizona, I boldly ordered the Yam Som O, a Thai grapefruit salad shrimp and spicy peanut sauce for a starter, and the Curry Laksa with chicken, shrimp and tofu in a lemongrass and curry sauce as my main dish. They started out mild enough, but the cumulative effect was indeed quite hot, perfect for a chilly February in Paris. Both were superb, and my friend (from the Midwest) coveted my choice. Although her foie gras with a layer of green apple chutney was divine (I ended up eating half of it) and her Otak Otak dish of cod in papillote with a coconut, lime and basil sauce was also perfectly cooked.
These profiteroles were so good they get two photos: an action shot and a close up.
I had a glass of tangy white Riesling, which went perfectly with the spicy food. And I was smart enough to save room for the dessert. This time my friend and I got the same thing (probably because she was aware of my “no dessert sharing” policy): the mango sorbet profiteroles with chocolate sauce…next time I’m starting the meal with this! They were kind enough to leave the pot of melted chocolate so we could pour it directly onto our spoons to finish it off. We finished the evening with herbal tea and little chocolates, while discreetly checking out the crowd from our seats.
Finishing my wine while the tea steeps and another waiter zips past.
The wait staff seems to be everywhere at La Bauhinia, quick to remove an empty dish, refill a water glass, and refresh the flatware or lacquered chopsticks. They were never intrusive or overbearing, and made excellent suggestions for the wine.
My friend doing the same, while admiring the immense chandelier.
La Bauhinia is open daily:
Breakfast 6:30am –11am
Afternoon Tea 3pm-5:30pm
Dinner 6:30pm –11pm
COMING SOON: L'Abeille
The second dining room at the Shangri-La, the classic French restaurant L’Abeille, will be opening in mid-March. It has a more intimate atmosphere, and overlooks the hotel’s private gardens. Can’t wait to try it!