Thursday, August 4, 2016

Makati Shangri-La Manila appoints Chef Ben Lam as its new Executive Chinese Chef



Makati Shangri-La Manila, a five-star luxury hotel in Makati Central Business District, announces the appointment of Chef Ben Lam as its new Executive Chinese Chef. Chef Ben Lam will head the culinary team of Shang Palace, the hotel's premier Chinese restaurant, and will be responsible for the continuous development of the restaurant's menu and for the maintenance of the quality and standards of food preparation.



Shang Palace is primarily known for its exceptional Cantonese cuisine making it a destination restaurant for both locals and visiting guests. "We will be keeping most of our Cantonese dishes, including the dim sums" said Agnes Chuah, Shang Palace’s operations manager.



"In addition to our existing Cantonese menu, Chef Ben Lam will be introducing new dim sum items as well as a selection of Cantonese specialty dishes" Chuah added. Chef Ben Lam grew up in Hong Kong where he received his culinary training from a young age, gaining solid expertise in Cantonese cooking during his professional practice as a chef.

Har Gow or Steamed Crystal Skin Shrimp Dumpling
Steamed Crystal Skin Shrimp Dumpling
Team PinasMuna was invited by our good friends from Makati Shangri-La Manila for an intimate lunch at Shang Palace to sample some of the classic Cantonese dishes and the new dishes which will be rolled out in the restaurants new menu. Joining us that day were fellow food bloggers and our colleagues from the media.

Pork Siomai or Steamed Pork Dumplings with Fish Roe
Steamed Pork Dumplings with Fish Roe
We started our lunch with some of Shang Palace's signature and best-selling dim sum items such as the Steamed Crystal Skin Shrimp Dumpling (P258.00), Steamed Pork Dumplings with Fish Roe (P228.00), and Steamed Beef Balls (P188.00).

Steamed Beef Balls
Steamed Beef Balls
We also got to try some of the newly introduced dim sum items such as the Steamed Beef Stomach with Curry (P208.00) which is a variation of the classic braised beef tripe, a popular Hong Kong streetfood, which is given a Southeast Asian kick by adding curry to its sauce.

Steamed Beef Stomach with Curry
Another new item on the dim sum menu is the Deep-fried Chiu Chow Fish Ball (4 pcs. at P308.00). Chiu Chow Fsh Balls are made with white fish paste formed into balls and usually cooked together with Chiu Chow-style (also called Teochew-style) noodle and soup very popular in Hong Kong, Taiwan, Malaysia and Singapore. The version served at Shang Palace is made with the same white fish paste, only this one is breaded and fried until golden brown making the balls crispy on the outside and fluffy on the inside.

Deep-fried Chiu Chow Fish Ball
MUST TRY! These familiar looking pan-fried pork buns are another addition to the dim sum menu. The Water Pan-fried Shanghai Pao (4 pcs at P198.00) is a popular breakfast item in Shanghai where it is called Sheng Jian Bao or Shengjian Mantou. They are basically made of mantou filled with minced pork and vegetables, lined on a frying pan with the bottom fried until crispy why the top of the buns are kept moist and cooked with steam.

Sheng Jian Bao or Shengjian Mantou or Pan Fried Pork Buns
Water Pan-Fried Shanghai Pao
From steamed to fried, and now a new baked dim sum variant is added in the menu. The Fried Onion Flavored Flaky Cake (4 pcs at P198.00) a kind of puff pastry with a crispy and flaky crust and filled with a savory filling with well balanced flavors of saltiness and sweetness.

Fried onion flavored flaky cake
Fried Onion Flavored Flaky Cake
Three appetizers were also served during our lunch, starting with the Chilled Jelly Fish with Sour and Spicy Sauce (P228.00) which is a variation of the traditional Cantonese delicacy of preserved jelly fish cooked in soy and oil, and finally given a touch of Sichuan cuisine by adding chili.

Chilled jelly fish with sour and spicy sauce
Chilled Jelly Fish with Sour and Spicy Sauce
PREMIUM ITEM! The next appetizer served was the Chilled Sliced Salmon with Ginger and Scallion (P928.00). It's a generous serving of fresh salmon with the fragrant taste of ginger and scallion, sweet and light to the taste with notes of light zest.

Chilled sliced salmon with ginger and scallion
Chilled Sliced Salmon with Ginger and Scallion
PREMIUM ITEM! The third and last appetizer served was the Sichuan Style Shredded Sea Cucumber (P1,388.00), another dish which spicy sauce will surely stimulate your taste buds. The shredded sea cucumbers were chewy with a glossy texture.

Sichuan style shredded sea cucumber
Sichuan Style Shredded Sea Cucumber
Chef Ben Lam them introduced to us three of his specialty dishes such as the Spareribs with Pumpkin, Taro and coconut Milk in Clay Pot (P988.00) which has a very Asian flavor into it because of the coconut milk and the taro, two ingredients commonly used in Southeast Asian cooking. The pork spareribs were very tender while the sauce went well with steamed rice.

Spareribs with pumpkin, taro and coconut milk in clay pot
Spareribs with Pumpkin, Taro and Coconut Milk in Clay Pot
PREMIUM ITEM! A must-order dish from the menu is the Sautéed Diced Beef Tenderloin with Chinese Wine, Vinegar and Black Soya Sauce (P1,588.00). This beef was remarkably tender coated with a sauce with well balanced sweetness, saltiness and zest. This is also perfect with steamed rice.

Sautéed diced beef tenderloin with Chinese wine, vinegar and black soya sauce
Sautéed Diced Beef Tenderloin with Chinese Wine, Vinegar and Black Soya Sauce
PREMIUM ITEM! This next signature dish will surely entertain everyone at the dining table. A haute cuisine version of the traditional Beggar's Chicken dish, the Shang Palace Fortune Chicken (P2,288.00) is made with stuffed whole chicken mixed with a variety of vegetables, mushroom, roots and aromatics, wrapped in lotus leaves, and coated in a flour dough crust.

Shang Palace Fortune Chicken
The chicken was moist and tender, with a rich and flavorful sauce. It's very fragrant with hints of woody and earthy scent from the mushrooms and ginseng. This dish is takes more than six hours to prepare and must be pre-ordered 24 hours in advance.

Poached Wantons with Vinegar and Chili Sauce
Poached Wantons with Vinegar and Chili Sauce
MUST TRY! Chef Ben Lam then showcased some of his Asian- and Sichuan-inspired dishes. First to be served was the Poached Wantons with Vinegar and Chili Sauce (P528.00). The wantons were plum while the sauce was lightly sweet and sour, with a strong kick of chili. If you love spicy food like we do, you will sure love this dish.

Stewed Sichuan Chili Duck
Stewed Sichuan Chili Duck
PREMIUM ITEM! Another spicy dish served was the Stewed Sichuan Chili Duck (P6,188.00). The duck meat was super tender and falls off the bone. The meat is perfectly flavored by its rich dark sauce with a mild spicy kick which makes every sip very addicting. This is perfect with steamed rice. The dish also requires a 24 hours advance order.

Deep-Fried Prawn Balls Coated with Oatmeal in Thousand Island Sauce
PREMIUM ITEM! This Asian-inspired dish has a familiar taste to Filipinos. Similar to the classic hot prawn salad, the Deep-Fried Prawn Balls Coated with Oatmeal in Thousand Island Sauce (P2,28.00) are made with prawn paste shaped like balls, fried until golden brown, coated with thousand island sauce and oatmeal flakes. The dish is served with fruit salad on the side.

Mango rice roll with desiccated coconut
Mango Rice Roll with Desiccated Coconut
Finally for dessert, two rice-based sweets were served. The first one is an Asian-inspired dessert called Mango Rice Roll with Desiccated Coconut (P248.00). It reminds us of the sticky rice with mango of Thailand but presented like Nian gao rolls. The Red Bean Paste Dumpling Coated with Green Tea Powder (P248.00) has the familiar flavors of red bean paste, shaped like mochi and paired with a colorful presentation.

Red bean paste dumpling coated with green tea powder
Red Bean Paste Dumpling Coated with Green Tea Powder
Shang Palace is open everyday from Monday to Saturday at 11:30am-2:30pm for lunch and at 6:30pm-10:30 for dinner. Operating hours during Sundays is at 10:30am-2:30pm for lunch and 6:30pm-10:30pm for dinner. To book a table, you can call (02) 814-2580 or email rric.slm@shangri-la.com.



Combining your fine Chinese dining at Shang Palace with a luxurious Staycation at the Makati Shangri-La Manila (check room rates). The hotel features 696 beautifully appointed guest rooms and suites. Makati Shangri-La Manila is centrally located in Ayala Center within walking distance to retail and dining outlets.


Makati Shangri-La Manila
Ayala Avenue corner Makati Avenue, Makati City
Contact: +63 (02) 814-2580
Email: rric.slm@shangri-la.com
Facebook: Facebook.com/MakatiShangrila
Instagram: @MakatiShangriLa

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