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Tea and delicacies to tickle tastebuds

By Xu Junqian | Shanghai Star | Updated: 2014-06-26 10:45

Tea and delicacies to tickle tastebuds

Tea pairing set menu [Photo provided to Shanghai Star]

Tea and delicacies to tickle tastebuds

Turkish treat 

Tea and delicacies to tickle tastebuds

Red, white and green all over 

Which Chinese teas go best with which dishes? Xu Junqian helps take all the guesswork out of tea pairing at fine dining restaurant Shangxi.

It’s time to replace the crystal-clear wine glass with a bone china teacup when it comes to a beverage to pair with your sumptuous feast. And Shangxi, at Four Seasons Hotel Pudong, is the perfect place for a sip and savor.

Pairing tea with a variety of delicacies opens up a world of connoisseurship, offering a dining experience that is as enchanting and sophisticated as wine tasting, if not more.

Shangxi’s culinary team, led by Hong Kong chef Simon Choi, introduces an eight-course set menu with the art of tea pairing that hopes to offer you a taste of China, as the name of the menu suggests.

Appetizers arrive like a piece of visual art, with four petite dishes lining up beautifully on a long dark clay plate, like a sushi set.

The roast river eel, for example, is crowned with dots of pink sweet and sour sauce delightfully flavored with grapefruit. And the steamed pork dumpling sits gracefully in a bamboo basket tailored for it.

The delicacy of spring tea — Jasmine Dragon Pearl, offered with the appetizers, makes it an ideal pairing, offering the taste buds a thermal-spring-like warm-up.

The braised lobster soup with crabmeat is the first highlight of the meal. It is so thick and rich that it nearly gums up my lips with its sticky texture. I reveled in every last drop.

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