Friday, July 15, 2016

A Preview of Chef Ben Lam's New Dishes at Shang Palace

The comforting notes of Asian-inspired influences and spicy Sichuan cuisine add even more flavors to Shang Palace's repertoire of authentic Cantonese dishes with the arrival of Chef Ben Lam...

Growing up in Hong Kong, Chef Ben Lam brings with him classic homestyle comfort food from cherished family recipes, with touches of Asian hints and the comforting heat of Sichuan spices. "We are more than happy to have Chef Ben Lam and his Hong Kong style in the classic Shang Palace. His creations evoke the same as the Filipinos' Adobo or Sinigang. Each dish has a familiar flavor that creates a comforting feeling," said Agnes Chuah, Shang Palace's Operations Manager.

Chef Ben Lam (L) recreates traditional and comforting dishes from his childhood in the tasty new dishes at Shang Palace. "Shang Palace is upholding its classic Cantonese dishes, but for our latest array of sumptuous treats, my new creations are inspired by Asian and Sichuan touches for a homey dining experience," said Chef Ben Lam.   

Chef Ben Lam's new dishes were then served, starting with his new set Dimsum creations, like the Water Pan-Fried Shanghai Pao, soft bite-sized buns with a savory and sweet pork filling...

...and the Fried Onion Flavored Flaky Cake resembling miniaturized steamed pork buns, but fried for added texture and flavor. The new dimsum dishes are a welcome addition to Shang Palace's line of signature dimsum specialties.

The signature dimsum of Shang Palace, prepared by Chef Leung Kai Fai,  were also served including the all-time favorites Steamed Crystal Skin Shrimp Dumplings (L) and Steamed Pork Dumplings with Fish Roe (R).      

Other new dimsum dishes were served as well, including the Steamed Beef Tripe with Curry, with tender strips of beef tripe in a savory and tasty sauce with a hint of curry notes...

...and the Steamed Beef Balls, delivering bold, beefy notes with every bite. The distinct flavors and textures of each dimsum dish combine for an elegant feast, and that's just for starters.

Chef Ben Lam's traditional appetizers were then served next, with Chilled Sliced Salmon with Ginger and Scallion (L) and the Sichuan Style Shredded Sea Cucumber (R), both tasty starters with clean flavors. The natural creamy notes of the chilled salmon and the tender sea cucumber with chili offer contrasting flavors... 

...capped by the equally refreshing flavors of the Chilled Jellyfish with Sour Spicy Sauce. The whisper of heat is not overpowering, with just a delicate layer of spicy notes to complement the fresh seafood.

Chef Ben Lam's Deep-Fried Chiu Chow Fish Balls offer another unique taste of comforting homestyle flavors, with the delicate notes of the fish contrasting with the crispy outer layer for a rich play on textures.

Time to pick up your chopsticks and dive right in...

The soothing heat and spicy notes from Sichuan cuisine are highlighted in Chef Ben Lam's next dish, the Poached Wonton with Vinegar and Chili Sauce, a personal favorite. Served at room temperature, the soft and savory wontons are kicked up a notch by the comforting heat from the chili sauce to complete the flavors. And that sauce is good. Seriously good.

Chef Ben Lam then infuses unique Asian-inspired flavors in his next dish, the Deep-Fried Prawn Balls coated with Oatmeal in Thousand Island Sauce (L) reflecting the vibrant Asian flavors of Singapore, and the  Sauteed Diced Beef Tenderloin with Chinese Wine, Vinegar and Black Soya Sauce (R), with fresh celery and peppers.

It's not common to find coconut milk used in traditional Chinese cuisine, but Chef Ben Lam infuses the creamy ingredient in a rustic and comforting pork dish, the Spareribs with Pumpkin, Taro, and Coconut Milk in Clay Pot. The soft pork with its mild and delicate notes are complemented by the sweetness of the pumpkin and taro, finished by the creamy coconut milk for rich favors.

Cooked for hours, the hearty Stewed Sichuan Chili Duck offers rustic flavors, combining the natural richness of the duck with spices and vegetables for another unique dish. The duck is soft and tender, absorbing the different notes of the various spices and ingredients, with the chili tempering the richness of the duck for balanced flavors.

The Shang Palace's signature dish, the Shang Palace Fortune Chicken, adds a celebratory vibe to the preview. Covered in a pastry shell, the special dish needs to be gently cracked with a hammer, along with a wish, to reveal the savory filling wrapped in lotus leaves. Unwrap the lotus leaves, and let the fragrant aroma whet your appetite. 

For the finale, Chef Ben Lam then served an off-the-menu dish recreating the rich and spicy notes of Sichuan cuisine with his Chili Crab topped with mounds of toasted garlic and chili. Just perfect.

For dessert, Chef Ben Lam served his colorful and tasty Red Bean Paste Dumpling Coated with Green Tea Powder...

...and the Mango Rice Roll with Desiccated Coconut, perfect with a cup of hot tea. The new dishes add yet another flavorful dimension to Shang Palace, with comforting dishes infused with Asian and Sichuan notes. Hungry? You can book your reservation with just one click right here.

Shang Palace is located at the Second Level of Makati Shangri-La Manila, Ayala Avenue corner Makati Avenue, Makati City or call 814-2580 or email  for reservations.

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