Lunch at Cafe Zen in Shangri-La Futien
I had a chance to try the lunch buffet at Cafe Zen, one of Futian’s best dining spots located at the popular Futian Shangri-La Hotel, and it was impressive. Cafe Zen features an international assortment of flavors from Sushi to Dim Sum and occassionally brings guests chef to feature a particular cuisine. In my case, it was Vietnamese.
I read an article about the authentic music and flavors on the internet and decided to try it out myself. I was not sure if it was going to be Vietnamese ONLY and thus I was pleasantly surprised when I saw they had sushi and fresh seafood which is another favorite of mine. But I also had some BBQ meats and the lamb chops was one of the best I have had in China.
For those who like Vietnamese food, the pho and spring rolls with special dipping sauce was delicious and pleasantly simple. I guess that’s what makes them authentic. I am not sure what they actually taste like in Vietnam – and if I end up winning a trip to Ho Chi Minh (Shangri-La offers a lucky draw) I will be able to tell you guys.
My biggest surprise for the whole experience however is actually in a dessert that I have never had before. It was a cream stuffed lemon crystalyzed with sugar. I wasn’t sure what to expect but it had a wonderful burst of tangy sweetness that is hard to describe without tasting it. This was the highlight of my lunch buffet – a stuffed lemon! You have to try it….its hidden in a dessert display cabinet next to the white chocolate fondue fountain. The price – a bit above my normal average, but if you go on a weekday as I did - you will enjoy a weekday discount.
They have a slighly different menu in the evenings which includes lobsters and Alaskan king crabs but I think the lunch is a great way to experience and taste all their varieties at a very reasonable price of RMB 198 on a weekday and 208 on weekends. Weekday Dinner is 258 RMB and weekend is 278 RMB.