Tasting the Waldorf Astoria

Updated: 2012-02-27 15:02

By Yang Yijun (China Daily)

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Tasting the Waldorf Astoria


Overwhelmed by too many choices? A little bored with the usual starters, mains and desserts? Break the mold and order differently.

Pelham's, the fine dining restaurant at the Waldorf Astoria Shanghai on the Bund, has launched a new "tasting menu", with innovative dishes and more flexible food pairings. It offers a choice of four-, five-, six- or 12-course meals, in which diners can make their own selections from any section of the menu in any order.

Meat lovers can order as much steak and lamb as they desire, while those who have a sweet tooth can try all the desserts on the menu.

The restaurant's new French chef, Clment Pellerin, presents a contemporary-styled menu infused with classic French haute cuisine perfected over a decade working in France's finest restaurants. The 30-year-old culinary prodigy worked with some of France's finest restaurants, including L'Atelier de Joel Robuchon and two-Michelin-starred Paris establishments, La Tour d'Argent and L'Astor.

I began my meal with Oyster Pearl for starters and it set the tone for the entire meal. A huge "pearl" made of sugar topped an oyster, making it like an epicurean piece of art. The flavor of fresh oyster was enhanced by champagne foam and the pieces of "pearl", which is easily shattered by a touch of the spoon.

Another winning starter, Boston lobster, is wrapped in a strip of cucumber and enhanced by a cucumber smoothie, which complemented the seafood and cleansed the palate for the next dish.

I chose a lamb loin for my main course and it was especially appealing with its sweet onion puree and garlic and thyme jus.

Dessert, too, was a work of art. The caramelized mille-feuille with vanilla cream, fresh berries and jelly, was so exquisitely presented that I almost hated to break it apart.

Other recommended dishes include porcini risotto with mushroom essence, roasted duck breast in honey-fig sauce and seared Wagyu sirloin with celeriac and truffle sauce.

The menus are priced at 488 yuan ($78) for four courses, 588 yuan for five courses, 628 yuan for six courses and 1,888 yuan for 12 courses per person. Additional courses are priced at 130 yuan per person. All prices subject to a 15 percent service charge.