Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Bite-Size Review: In-Room Dining at Shangri-La Hotel, Ningbo

I don't usually wax lyrical over two types of food: those that are served in trays 30,000 feet above ground (even the type found in First and Business classes) and those that are wheeled into your hotel room.  I still have not yet really experienced superlative cuisine in the friendly skies, but I recently had one of the best meals of my life served on a trolley, not two feet away from a king-sized bed topped with six oversized down pillows.  At a Shangri-La Hotel.  In, of all places, Ningbo.
Buddha's Delight or Loh Hon Chai - traditional mixed vegetable stew with fermented beancurd
The best thing about this hotel's menu offerings is that they highlight the best, and I presume, the most popular dishes from their restaurants downstairs.  So we're not talking about the usual medley of club sandwiches, cheeseburgers and fries, pasta carbonara, roast chicken, and Caesar salads here.  No, what one gets is the same quality yummers that one normally has to wear presentable clothing, sit upright and use proper cutlery in a public setting to enjoy.  So, in the comfort of my generously-spaced river view deluxe room one evening in April, I dined on my selections from the (abridged) menus of the hotel's signature Cantonese restaurant Shang Palace, the southeast Asian-influenced Yi Cafe, and the more cosmopolitan Lobster Bar & Grill.  And I didn't even have to wear my shoes.
Poached fillet of white cod
Double-boiled sea cucumber with fish maw soup.

The uninterrupted dinner view from my room,
overlooking the confluence of the three rivers through the city.

Shangri-La Hotel, Ningbo - 88 Yuyuan Road, Jiangdong District, Ningbo, Zhejiang, 315040, China
Telephone +86 574 8799 8888. www.shangri-la.com/ningbo
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