10 avenue Iéna, 16th
Tel 01 53 67 19 92
Shang Palace is the third and final restaurant to open in the gorgeous new Shangri-La Paris Hotel overlooking the Eiffel Tower. Not that you’ll see the Eiffel Tower from this upscale Chinese restaurant, as it’s located below the ground floor with no windows. It’s spacious and well-decorated, and I probably wouldn’t have noticed the lack of windows except my dining companions (it was a press lunch, so we’re all journalists) pointed it out. All experts in Chinese cuisine (whereas I am not in the least), they also pointed out every little discrepancy between how they thought the food should taste or look with how it tasted and looked at Shang Palace (which is odd, as Chef Frank Xu apparently has the right pedigree for high-end Cantonese food). Personally I thought it was delicious (well, except for the “Buddha Jumping over the Wall", but that was because I didn’t like the flavor, not because it wasn’t made well).
Other dishes included a Dim Sum assortment, barbecued meats, sautéed turbot, something called Beggar’s Chicken and a lovely dessert of chilled mango cream with pomelo and sago. Each course was served with French wines (and tea), and you get the option of using the chop sticks or actual cutlery. The French at the table were shocked when the fortune cookies were presented at the end of the meal, but I always think they’re fun. There are private rooms for large groups. Despite the grumblings at my table (French food journalists are hard to please), I think this is the best place to come with your Chinese-food-snob friend, and it’s a lovely restaurant and a much-needed addition to the Asian food scene in Paris. Get a reservation before they get their star!
Private rooms are in the back, separated by wooden screens.
The Dim Sum Assortment.
The Barbecued Meat Assortment.
The Buddha Jumping Over the Wall
I think this was the Beggar's Chicken.
Chef Frank Xu (on the right) and his four sous-chefs.
Endless opportunities for funny translation errors: the French just don't get it yet.