Asian fusion @ Shanghai Chic
Tucked away in the beautifully stunning Movenpick Hotel Ibn Battuta Gate, is the super chic Asian fusion restaurant aptly named Shanghai Chic. It’s one of eight restaurants which can be found inside the 5 star hotel.
Cherrie the restaurant manager greeted us upon arrival and was expecting our visit. The restaurant is made up of half moon booths as well as tables for larger groups. We were led to our seats where we were handed the menus and given a brief overview of how it works.
There are two options to choose from. You can chose to eat a la carte or go for the unlimited tasting menu for 199AED with soft drinks or 299AED with house beverages. Like hello? Who wouldn’t want to choose the unlimited tasting menu which means you can try as many items off the menu (in smaller portions) until you find what you like and then order it again. Or at least that’s what I thought I would do.
We place our first round order of food as well as some fresh pineapple juice for drinks. While we wait they bring us some appetizers of prawn crackers, roasted almonds and spicy cucumbers, although I tried not to waste too much space on these. The oriental music in the background is very fitting to the restaurant theme as is the large dragon painting which lines the main wall.
The chef surprised us with a special dish aptly named the “Swimmer Crab”. A deep fried crab cake topped with mayonnaise, fish roe and surrounded with segments of pomelo and spanish onions among other ingredients sitting perched on the top of a black pebble stone. A masterpiece that I didn’t want to eat or ruin, but I was so glad I did. The different textures and flavors made a harmonious delight on my palette. My tastebuds danced for joy. *Note to readers: you cannot eat the stone*
We thought the Swimmer Crab was impressive. Then came the various starters with the duck cigars causing the biggest stir. The details in this dish were just incredible. Served in a cigar box complete with faux ash. The crunchy crispy coating of the cigar was then filled with a marinated duck filling. Superb. I couldn’t help but hold it like a cigar while I ate it. I enjoyed mostly all of the starters we received although the steamed dumplings could of benefited from being a little warmer in terms of temperature.
How is this for presentation? The duck cigars WOW’ed us. Not only in presentation but in taste as well.
The head chef is as humble as he is talented. Coming to greet us and introduce himself we were in awe of his creativeness. Chef Pallay loves to bring something fresh to the table which shows not only through his food presentation but also with the ever changing menu which is updated every 3 months. They believe this keeps the regular clientele happy.
The kunafa prawns and foie gras gyoza showcased a nice mix of fusion cuisine. It definitely keeps the menu interesting.
Ok, so maybe we might of over ordered, but we tried everything that was brought to our table. Don’t let the small portion sizes fool you, you will get full. They also have multiple pork options on the menu too. I loved the addition of pomegranates on the sweet n sour pork, although my favorite and the most flavorsome had to be the pork belly as it was super tender and fatty. I would of ordered another round but we still had desserts to come.
We chose 3 out of the 5 dessert options to share including a so so mango pudding, indulgent banana fritters with a thick toffee sauce and a mini chocolate freak shake which was surprisingly good and our favorite of the 3.
Every dish which arrived throughout the evening was made with such love and attention while the service was friendly, personable and memorable.
I was so impressed with Shanghai Chic overall that I’ll be taking my visitors back for a dinner that I know will impress.
If you can’t make it for dinner one evening then Shanghai Chic also joins forces with some of the hotel restaurants to host a weekly Friday brunch as well.
Location: Ground floor, Movenpick Hotel, Ibn Battuta Gate
Phone: 04 5509252