Few restaurants today can boast of a history like Shang Palace at Shangri-la Hotel. First opened in 1971 in conjunction with the hotel, Shang Palace has gone on to become an international chain with 38 outlets all over the world. 50 years on, the restaurant remains the only F&B outlet to persist at Shangri-la Singapore – and they’re organising a series of gastronomic programmes to mark the momentous occasion.
Of these, one of the most exciting would be a series of dishes inspired by the very menu that was served to guests during the restaurant’s launch banquet back in 1971. To do this, executive chef Mok Kit Keung and his team scoured for information about the era – going as far as to contact old staff members of the kitchen, and referencing decades-old documents and handwritten collections of recipes. The result is a series of nostalgic dishes that hark from a time before calories were counted, and when flavour was king. One example: the Golden Coin chicken, a largely-forgotten banquet dish with wafer-thin slices of marinated and grilled pork fat sandwiching char siew and chicken liver.
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Chef Mok has also painstaking recreated several of the very same dishes served back during the 1971 launch: like a deeply flavourful double-boiled duck broth prepared with fresh coriander and tangerine peel; as well as stir-fried shredded pigeon with celery and pea sprouts.
Meanwhile, the restaurant has also specially commissioned three dim sum pushcarts from which they’ll offer 50 varieties of dim sum of the steamed, baked, and fried varieties. We’re particularly fond of the steamed siew mai stuffed with an entire quail egg; as well as the crystal dumplings that come with a wok hei-infused filling of stir-fried mushrooms and preserved olives.
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Be sure to save room for dessert. To say thank-you to its patrons, the restaurant is offering red bean soup with 50-year-old dried tangerine peel – an ingredient worth its weight in gold – at just $5 a bowl. And if you’re asking, yes, the 50 years do make a difference – the red bean soup is suffused with complex citrus flavours that elevate the dish.
The Shang Palace 50th anniversary menu is available from now until 30 June.
Shangri-La Hotel Singapore, 22 Orange Grove Rd, Singapore 258350. Tel: 6213-4473