Chef Tony Lu is Shanghai’s most prominent Chinese chef. His restaurant Fu 1088 has gained critical acclaim as one of the city’s best Shanghainese restaurants. Yong Yi Ting, which he advises might well become a similarly successful restaurant.
Located in the Mandarin Oriental Pudong, Shanghai the restaurant is decidedly different from Fu 1088. Whilst the latter brings traditional turn of the century Shanghai back to life, Yong Yi Ting’s design is modern and light. The room is inviting, very tastefully decorated, and not not overdone in any sense.
Fans of Lu’s cuisine will recognise some of his trademark dishes. One of them is a pomfret, which is glased in a sweet/savoury sauce. Whilst this is a simple dish, and a classic in the region, the textural contrast, and intensity of flavours make it stand out. The meat is perfectly cooked and juicy, whilst a thin crust gives a delicate crunch to it all. The richly flavoured sauce perfects it.
When in season, hairy crab is celebrated here, and served in ways that you don’t see in a lot of restaurants around town. A large dumpling filled with meat, and roe of the crab is served with small prawns, peas, and a consommé of the crab. This dish is so delicate, yet full of flavour that it makes everyone around the table go quiet. The crab’s flavour is pure, and clean, whilst the prawns are succulent and add a touch of crunch to the dish. Even more remarkable for China are the peas: tiny, shaped like teardrops, they are of a quality that we have never seen before in China.
Finally, one of the region’s most famous dishes is Dong Po Rou. Named after the poet Su Dong Po, this dish is served as a tower of thinly sliced, braised pork belly, that you fill steamed buns with. The combination of soft, succulent meat, the yeasty bun, and a hearty ragout of mushrooms makes this addictive. If there was ever a dish worth travelling for in China, this would be one of them.
Yong Yi Ting is arguably the best Shanghainese restaurant in a hotel in China. Just like the 58 Grill is an extremely good restaurant with a clear concept, so is this. Whilst the location does not do it any favours, this truly is a restaurant worth travelling for.
We are admirers of the cuisine of Tony Lu. His food is precise, beautifully executed, and most importantly full of flavour. The atmosphere and dining room of Yong Yi Ting are the perfect setting for this refined cuisine, and make it the best Chinese restaurant in a hotel in Shanghai.