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STAY goes as Azur brings new je ne sais quoi to Beijing

By Ye Jun | | Updated: 2016-08-08 16:54

STAY goes as Azur brings new <EM>je ne sais quoi</EM> to Beijing

Chef Mauro Colagreco. [Photo provided to]

The closing of STAY French restaurant came as a sad shock to Beijing's lovers of fine French cuisine.

But Shangri-La Hotel Beijing has acted quickly to fill the void by opening a new French eatery that they promise will be the very best of its kind in the capital.

Azur opened at STAY's old premises, on the first floor of the Shangri-La Hotel Beijing, on July 29. The restaurant is supervised by two-star Michelin chef Mauro Colagreco, who runs his own award-winning restaurant, Mirazur, in Menton, South France.

Colagreco opened Mirazur in 2006 and was awarded his first Michelin star after just 10 months of opening the restaurant, according to Shangri-La Hotel Beijing. The chef got his second Michelin star in 2012.

Stephan Kapek, the hotel's general manager, said the hotel is proud to present such world-class cuisine to customers.

He added that Mirazur is currently sixth on the 2016 World's 50 Best Restaurant Awards list, improving on last year's 11th placing.

Kapek promised that the restaurant will offer "an intimate and warm dining environment with cosy nooks and the best service".

Hotel manager Eric Mommejac compared Colagreco with STAY's chef Yannick Alleno. He said that, having been born in Paris, Alleno's cuisine is more in the traditional and classic French style, whereas Colagreco, with his Italian-Argentine heritage and his period of studying the culinary arts in France, has a greater range.

Take one dish, crispy suckling pig, with corn texture, for example. In traditional South American dishes, corn in usually paired with duck, whereas crispy suckling pig is usually accompanied by mashed potato. But in fact, crispy corn flakes and corn cream pair really well with suckling pig, in terms of both flavor and texture.

Other signature dishes include a fresh French gillardeau oysters with shallot whipped cream and Williams pear declination, and "The Forest", a visual treat featuring quinoa risotto, mushrooms, potato, parsley foam, as well as a refreshing dessert named "Narnjo en flor", with saffron cream, orange sorbet and almond foam.

The dishes are designed to be pieces of art on plate, and are both delicious and healthy.

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