I just returned from a trip to China, where I ate a lot of good and bad food. The Shang Palace restaurant at the Beijing Shangri-La Hotel was good.
We started off with cold dishes, including this white eggplant in soy sauce I really enjoyed.
Lightly pickled red onions and cucumbers with wood ear mushrooms (the black blobs):
Shrimp with tomatoes:
Charred green beans and peppers:
Tofu with fatty pork:
More veggies with ground meat:
Shang Palace specializes in Cantonese cuisine but made a great Peking duck as well.
Peking duck is eaten for its skin – the insides are often thrown away. This skin is sliced from the prepared duck in very thin slivers to highlight the crisp texture of the slightly caramelized skin. Skin is already the most flavorful part of poultry but the way a Peking duck is prepared makes the flavor pop even more.
Usually the duck is sliced at the table right before serving for maximum freshness. Here’s what that looks like, starting with the intact duck:
Quickly, a cook starts slicing and the pieces of skin fly off.
The second duck was cut in a different way.
These are the finished presentations. The first one is basically all skin, while the second one has some white meat attached.
Traditionally, Peking duck is eaten wrapped in translucent and slightly chewy wheat pancakes as thin as crepes.
These condiments are presented to each diner for them to add to their wrap as they wish. The top row, left-to-right, has minced raw garlic, sliced raw cucumbers, and white sugar. The bottom row has sliced raw Chinese onions and an intense savory sauce.
I also had a lychee iced tea.
Carbs came last as usual; we had these noodles with slightly dry, seasoned ground meat and spicy oil.
Beijing, Haidian, 紫竹院路29号 邮政编码: 100089