The Glorious Rise of Haute-Chinese Cuisine
Grounded by tradition and elevated by imagination, China’s haute cuisine reaches new heights thanks to these grand Michelin-starred restaurants.
Every year, the prestigious Michelin Guide sends its critics around the world to assess the best restaurants. It then publishes the star selections, and those honored gain one of the most coveted designations in the culinary universe. Although the Michelin committee visits all sorts of restaurants, those that strive for high-end elegance tend to come in for the most discerning focus. The judges were in agreement this year that The Ritz-Carlton offered exceptional experiences by awarding stars to three of its haute-Chinese restaurants.
Tin Lung Heen: Divine dim sum perched high above glittering Hong Kong
At Tin Lung Heen at The Ritz-Carlton, Hong Kong, Chef de Cuisine Paul Lau Ping Lui serves an unforgettable dim sum with an equally unforgettable view from the 102nd floor — an experience that the Michelin Guide distinguished with two stars this year. Lau grew up in the coastal Chinese city of Guangzhou but moved with his family to Hong Kong at the age of 14, at which time he developed a passion for cooking while working at a local restaurant. Today, he pours his energy into skillfully prepared bites. The menu’s standouts include crispy deep-fried shrimp toasts, braised bamboo fungus with spinach and slices of black truffle, and poached pork dumplings with fiery chili oil such as you’d find in the style of Sichuan cuisine. Chef Lau’s favorite: the signature barbecued Iberian pork with honey. “The use of Iberian pork in making traditional Cantonese food echoes my philosophy of using the best ingredients from around the world with authentic Cantonese cooking techniques and modern presentation,” he says.
Summer Pavilion: Contemporary Cantonese dishes in a well-appointed modern garden
There are many fine-dining options in Singapore, but no Cantonese restaurants have achieved the Michelin recognition of Cheung Siu Kong, the chef of Summer Pavilion at The Ritz-Carlton, Millenia Singapore. Chef Cheung has been at the helm since 2014 when the restaurant underwent an extensive renovation. This is now the second year in a row his contemporary take on Cantonese cuisine has been awarded a star by the Michelin Guide. The signature dishes he introduced to Summer Pavilion all elegantly spotlight outstanding ingredients from around the world: abalone from South Africa, braised and topped with roasted sesame dressing; Japanese wagyu beef sauteed, diced and served with poached rice and lobster; and Iberian pork barbecued with a pleasantly sweet honey sauce. What’s more, diners enjoy Cheung’s masterful cooking in a most sophisticated and relaxing setting: The restaurant is bordered by the hotel's beautiful Chinese gardens.
Jin Xuan: Traditional Cantonese dishes prepared with a touch of creativity
Executive Chef Daniel Wong of Jin Xuan at The Ritz-Carlton Shanghai, Pudong has been cooking Cantonese food for over 20 years, but the careful and artful plating of his dishes is highly inspired by French traditions — an echo of his equally considered style of cooking. All of his authentic Cantonese dishes are prepared with modesty, given just enough to showcase the excellent ingredients he’s sourced. Top-of-the-line Mayura beef from one of Australia’s finest farms? It’s simply wok-fried in a black-pepper sauce. Wong thinks deeply about traditional preparations and then tweaks the execution ever so slightly. For instance, his buttery lobster is fried crispy and served alongside chilies and flavorful curry leaves. The space in which diners enjoy his food rounds out the experience. Located on the 53rd floor, it’s warm and refined with velvet couches, orchid displays and sweeping views of the Shanghai skyline.
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