Shangri-La is a charismatic hotel brand. Since the Shard acquired the new London branch, many more Brits have become aware of this company’s power and esteem. During my last trip to Paris I was priviledged to visit Shangri-La Paris to dine at the Asian style restaurant in the hotel, La Bauhinia.
Wandering through this opulent palace, my feet squeaking on the polished floor, I felt relieved that at least I had my little Chanel bag on my shoulder, my most luxurious possession that increases my suitability for an establishment like this. La Bauhinia is one of three restaurants at the hotel, the other two are both Michelin-awarded offering Chinese and French cuisine. Located in the heart of the building, its name is inspired by the bauhinia flower and is a reminder of the hotel’s Asian heritage. A luxurious glass ‘cupola’ structure designed by renowned architect Maurice Gras dazzles at night with a grand chandelier illuminating the space.
Both French and Asian dishes are given equal importance on the menu, though I felt more swayed by the Thai dishes. First though, top notch pink champagne and crostini whet our appetites prior to the main meal. To start we shared a delectable plate of Mangalica ham with minced pear and spiced pear chutney. The salty but delicate meat contrasted with the aromatic sweet fruit. It was polished off in minutes.
For main course we decided to sample two classic Thai dishes: Shrimp Pad Thai and Lamb Green Curry. The Pad Thai consisted of sautéed rice noodles, shrimp, egg, bean sprouts, tamarind juice, daikon radish, white cabbage, peanuts, garlic and lime. Everything was perfectly cooked though I found it a little too sweet. Lamb shoulder stewed in a Thai green curry and coconut basmati rice was amazingly spicy and creamy, with tender chunks of meat and the lovely addition of fresh peas and cherry tomatoes that added pleasantly to the look and taste. The knowledgeable waiter brought complementing glasses of wine, we particularly enjoyed the French white Meursault Les Criots.
For dessert we shared the Orange in Many Ways, it was absolutely sensational, too pretty to eat. Orange segments, orange mousse, orange crumble, Grand Marnier ice cream made for a tangy and fruity sundae of deliciousness. It was the ideal palate cleansing sweet treat.
If you can’t afford a night’s stay in the stunning Shangri-La, a special meal at La Bauhinia is a great alternative: delicious food and wonderful surroundings in the heart of Paris.
More information about La Bauhinia here.
Thanks to the Paris Tourist Board, more information here.