Summer Palace at EDSA Shangri-La

Avocado salad roll, chilled assorted mushrooms with crabmeat, and barbecue taro roll

Last year, I was so privileged to be invited at the exclusive Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts media appreciation night. Dubbed as "Paris in1920's", the event was full of glamorous people, tremendous entertainment, delectable cuisine and overflowing wine and Champagne. Best of all, exciting prizes were raffled off, and I was so fortunate to win a chef's birthday lunch at Summer Palace (EDSA Shangri-La). How cool is that!

So, a month later, I had a sumptuous Chinese lunch at Summer Palace, at the Peonyi private room to be exact.

The menu was simple and easy to understand. No hard-to-comprehend Chinese characters or terms, and by having a glance at the menu card, we're pretty sure we would go home with tummies full to the brim!

Spinning off our lunch was a trio of appetizers comprised of avocado salad roll, chilled assorted mushrooms with crabmeat, and barbecue taro roll. The artful plating was interesting. Among the three, my favorite was the barbeque taro roll. It reminds me of Shang Palace's (Makati Shangri-La) taro puff --which made me appreciate taro (or "gabi" in the vernacular) more -- only without the crisp batter and my favorite Chinese hot sauce. For the record, I didn't like taro that much until I had my first encouter with taro puff.

Next came the braised spinach soup with minced beef (and pumpkin soup for my aunt and mom who don't eat beef). The poached quail egg on top of the shredded spinach and minced beef appeared so cute! The soup was ok, although, for some like me who doesn't appreciate spinach except when it has any kind of cheese with it, you might find this too "leafy".

Braised spinach soup with minced beef
The mains followed soon, beginning with fried spareribs in vinegar sauce. The meat was a bit tough since it was fried and not slow-roasted, but nevertheless tasted good with its sweet-tangy sauce. It could have been a perfect partner for seafood fried rice with XO sauce, which came in super late (read: the fried rice was served after we finished all the mains).

Fried spareribs in vinegar sauce
The second main dish, braised homemade beancurd with crab meat and crab roe, turned out to be my favorite. I couldn't stop digging my fork into the soft beancurd. The sauce was a savoury light sauce with crab meat and roe, and two stalks of asparagus (again, for the record, I only eat less than 10 kinds of vegetables, and asparagus is part of that list).

Braised homemade beancurd with crab meat and crab roe
For dessert, we were served cream of pumpkin topped with vanilla ice cream and crispy roll. I always like the idea of mixing cold and hot, sweet and salty -- a reason why I so love choco lava cake, turon ala mode, and salted caramel macarons de paris.This dessert is divine. The crisp vermicelli adds a nice texture to the pumpkin puree, and the vanilla ice cream balances the sweetness of the puree and the tinge of saltiness in the vermicelli roll.

Cream of pumpkin topped with vanilla ice cream and crispy roll

The private room, Peonyi, at the Summer Palace, EDSA Shangri-La

After the tummy-filling lunch, we had another round of jasmine tea while having a great conversation. Overall, our experience was good (except for the fried-rice-delay incident). Oh, and how I wish xiao long bao was part of the chef's lunch!


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