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Tea and delicacies to tickle tastebuds

Updated: 2014-06-27 23:33
By Xu Junqian (Shanghai Star)

Tea and delicacies to tickle tastebuds

Tea pairing set menu [Photo provided to Shanghai Star]

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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