Innovative take on Cantonese fare

(Shanghai daily)
Updated: 2006-11-14 09:44

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 location.

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
Tel: 021-5130-0000


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