It seemed strange to dine in a hotel that had no dining venues. But such an experience was still pleasant and even exciting due to the hotel's cozy rooms, glamorous views and excellent service.
I was recently invited to a local serviced apartment hotel beside the Huangpu River in Pudong to try a new "lifestyle" being promoted there. I then spent several hours in its upscale riverside suite, sampling a beautifully-decorated beefsteak with De Bortoli wine from Australia and witnessing Typhoon Bilis arrive in the city on a Friday afternoon.
The food was not bad, considering it came complimentary with a 788 yuan (US$99)one-night package for a river-view suite. Chinese are usually enticed by such buy-one-get-one-free promotions and few would think to question a complimentary dinner, especially when a splendid food cart stet two pretty waitresses appeared at the door. Their service was just as warm as their smiles.
After all, the beefsteak topped with garlic and a herb mixture had a delectable flavour, though it seemed to be a little overcooked and not as tender and succulent as I had expected. Mashed potatoes and asparagus were side dishes which tasted fresh but weren't really impressive.
In addition to the steak and wine, a bunch of roses and candles decorated the cart, because such a package is especially designed for couples who want to spend a romantic night facing the illuminated Huangpu River and rows of magnificent European-style buildings on the Bund.
Although I didn't get to share that delectable dinner with a special someone, the fruit dessert was probably just as good as any romantic night out, made up of mouthwatering slices of watermelon, strawberries and kiwi fruit blended with yoghurt, refreshing and cool.
It seems that cuisine does not matter so much when you are in a 60-square-metre suite which contains nearly every imaginable type of furniture and home appliance, with spectacular views of the river, boats and futuristic skyscrapers.
Kingland Riverside Serviced Apartment
Location: No 588, Changyi Road, Pudong