Kunming, often referred to as the Spring City, is not only significant for the central urban area in southwest China but is also known for the thrill its street food provides.
Bringing its unique eating culture and the taste of the local cuisine are the Chinese chefs of Shang Palace with an innovative line-up of exotic food.
Talking about the cuisine, executive sous chef Gagandeep Singh Bedi said, “Since the Chinese cuisine is so popular in the market and many have explored it, we wanted to get into the micro cuisines of the various regions of China. One of our chefs is from the southwestern part of China sharing borders with Laos and Burma, which is reflected in the cuisine as well, and that’s why we chose Kunming.”
He further shares how the cuisine uses a lot of chillies and vegetables, especially mushrooms.
We started with the Dai Ethics Kunming Style Chicken Stew. The clear soup with small chunks chicken is, rather, on the milder side. The star ingredient is the wolfberry, a bright orange-red berry that comes from a shrub that’s native to China which adds a slightly tangy flavour to the dish.
For the ones who prefer spices, don’t forget to try the Spicy Eight Treasure Stewed Chicken or Vegetable Broth with homemade noodles.
Moving on to the appetisers, we tasted the Lamb Liver Skewers with spiced pepper salt and the traditional Kunming style Spicy Minced Pork Stuffed Pancakes. My personal favourite was the pork-stuffed pancake as the outer layer melted in the mouth filling it with the flavourful minced pork.
However, for the mushroom lovers, Sichuan Chilly Marinated Wild Mushroom and Leek Skewers is a gastronomical treat. Inspired by the roadside comfort food, the mushroom was roasted to perfection with a sweet and tangy flavour.
For the main course, we started with Hot Stone Pot Rice with Crispy Potato, partially prepared live on the table. The Yunnan sauce was mixed with the rice and served hot. It was a well-balanced mix of vegetables, rice and the sauce giving a tangy, spicy touch.
For the non-vegetarians, there is Jasmine Sticky Rice with chicken cooked in banana leaf. After tasting the two, we moved to Twice Cooked Lamb with preserved bamboo shoots, chilly and chives. The perfectly cooked lamb with the savoury taste of bamboo was a hit!
With no space for desserts, we ended the meal with the Crispy Pork Spareribs with golden garlic and spiced salt. One bite of it and you won’t be able to resist another.