With my husband Tom and 14-year old son Jake, I spent a lovely evening last night at the Peninsula Chicago’s gorgeous Shanghai Terrace Restaurant. If any place is going to go all out for Chinese New Year, it’s going to be the Pen. These are the outside decorations.
The entryway and valet waiting area.
Once we rode the elevator up to the lobby level, this is what we saw. Enter the lion!
I love this laisee tree in the Lobby Lounge Restaurant.
We made our way downstairs to Shanghai Terrace. I recognized many of these curios from–where else–Hong Kong. It was just like being back on Hollywood Road.
The waiting area of the restaurant.
We didn’t need to peruse the menu because we’d already decided on the special eight-course Year of the Snake menu! Check out these Chinese junk chopstick holders.
The first course was a delicious appetizer plate: fried scallop, shredded chicken with peanut sauce, pickled cucumber with kumquat relish, and duck over jellyfish (I had the pork-free menu, so Tom and Jake had BBQ pork instead of duck).
Next up Australian red abalone with Chinese green vegetable, mushrooms, and a ring of winter melon.
The yam soup was light yet plentiful.
Lobster with spring onions, cilantro, and ginger.
Wagyu beef with gingko seeds, baby bak choy, and snow peas.
By this time I was so engrossed in the dinner that I forgot to take a photo of the next dish until it was too late! That was grouper (or garoupa as it’s called in Hong Kong), two luscious morsels of fish. But I didn’t forget to photograph this pork-free sticky rice.
Our dessert course kicked off with this coconut custard dumpling.
Red bean soup with tapioca and lotus seeds, along with a lovely egg tart.
We thought that was it, but no. Out came this gorgeous presentation of almond cookies (with a gold covered almond in the center), an orange jelly, and chocolates, the latter two resting on shredded coconut. We each received laisee with a chocolate coin. These sweets and laisee were included with all dinners at Shanghai Terrace during its Chinese New Year extravaganza.
The evening was just as wonderful as I’d imagined. It was certainly both a culinary and visual treat.
Happy Year of the Snake!