While some hotels take the
fancy route, gearing towards high-spending international travelers, it is
heartening to know that a balanced approach is also being leveled.
There also exists numerous business hotels, offering quality accommodation
and services aimed at the business traveler with a more limited budget but with
the same needs. The Radisson Hotel Pudong Century Park is one such property
catering to the business crowd. Located just minutes from the Shanghai New
International Expo Center, the hotel takes full advantage of its convenient
Yar Chi Ting, Radisson's Cantonese restaurant, offers more reasonably priced
fare but skimps on none of the taste. Chinese kitchen executive chef Simon Choi
hails from Hong Kong, and with 14 years of experience on the Chinese mainland he
is clearly a veteran of the trade.
The 47-year-old, who also enjoyed stints in Taiwan and the Philippines, said
he enjoyed working in Shanghai most of all as the local clientele was more
willing to accept modern takes on traditional food.
It has often been said that there is no innovation in Chinese cuisine, with
young chefs merely reproducing what has been taught to them at a young age. Choi
is different, however. He clearly understands his ingredients in terms of taste,
form and texture. This heightened understanding allows him to whip up some
interesting interpretations of Cantonese food, presenting something different,
but still providing for the tastes diners have come to expect.
The deep fried eggplant with shrimp filling was a nice start (18 yuan/
US$2.25). The mixture of textures was a nice touch not only in priming the
palate but also in announcing that the meal would be an uncommon experience.
The crab meat and vegetable broth (32 yuan) was served as dual-colored
elements, forming a yin-yang symbol. The soup was delicious and the crab meat
was of the in-season hairy variety. The dish was part of the special hairy crab
menu available till late this month.
Another standout was the sauteed Mandarin fish ballotine stuffed with crab
and vegetable (138 yuan). The steamed fish was not overwhelmed with sauce, while
the crab added a touch of luxury to the otherwise simple dish.
For dessert, chef Choi prepared crab roe and pork puffs (18 yuan). The
delicate, flaky pastry and succulent meat made it the typical dim sum dish
without the hot and noisy Hong Kong dim sum environment.
In fact, the restaurant cannot be faulted on its design.
The main dining room was comfortable and the natural lighting a pleasant
solution to the question of serving food during lunch. The restaurant offers a
78 yuan all-you-can-eat weekend dim sum promotion from 11:30 am to 2:30pm. This
is a clever way to draw in the nearby residents who do not feel like cooking on
their days off, nor feel like venturing too far away from home.
Yar Chi Ting
Address: 4/F, 1199 Yingchun Road