One of my besties, Michelle, has raved about the Peking Duck at Shanghai Terrace for months. While I love Peking duck, I hadn’t been to this restaurant before. So thanks to her, I finally got to experience the wonderful coziness (and deliciousness) that is the Shanghai Terrace for a belated bday dinner.
I had been to every other restaurant in the Peninsula Hotel, so i knew I could expect amazing food, great service and a gorgeous space. Shanghai Terrace definitely didn’t miss a mark on any account.
Chicago endured a weekend of horrible weather, and we found ourselves trekking in the rain for dinner. Walking into Shanghai Terrace, however, we immediately felt cozy and warm and like it couldn’t have been a more perfect spot for the gloomy weather.
I’m usually the one to take the reigns and order when us girls are are out, but since Michelle had raved about everything, I gladly sat back and let her order everything. Well… I did order my cocktail. 🙂
So, COCKTAILS first.
L to R: “Lost in Shanghai”; The Ning Sling; Dirty Strawberry Lemonade
I got the “Lost in Shanghai” cocktail, which was a Lychee Martini.. a very delicious one. Of course we tried each other’s cocktails (because that’s what girls do), and each was perfectly mixed. The Dirty Strawberry Lemonade is a great summer drink, and I’ll definitely be back to enjoy a few of those on the patio.
For our dinner, we ordered 4 items from the menu. That sounds like a little compared to what our usual feasts are, but it was perfectly portioned and we were full and happy!
To start, we ordered a couple of appetizers.
GOLDEN SHRIMP, cucumber ring, walnuts, mustard mayonnaise
A take on the popular Walnut Shrimp dish, this was a lighter appetizer portion, and just as good as you remember. At most Chinese restaurants, the crispy shrimp are drenched in the mayo sauce (I don’t mind at all), but here the sauce is definitely more of an accent, while the crispy shrimp take lead.
GREEN LEAF SHRIMP DUMPLING
I love dumplings, and these were perfect – perfectly steamed, a generous amount of shrimp inside, with the green leaf giving it a fresh note.
As our main course, we ordered half a Peking duck and duck/shrimp fried rice.
PEKING DUCK – Traditional Peking Duck With Mandarin Pancakes, cucumber,
scallion, hoisin & plum sauce
If you’ve had Peking duck, you know it can often be hit or miss. Everything has to be done properly for the final result to be traditional and delicious. Shanghai Terrace does everything properly. The duck arrives sliced to the table, and is accompanied with the traditional accouterments of thin pancakes, thinly sliced cucumber and green onions, and two sauces (hoisin and spicy mustard). The meat is tender, and mild; the fat rendered out well, and the skin crispy. I probably could’ve eaten the entire platter myself. Spread a little hoisin on the pancake, add a few slices of duck, a bit of cucumber… roll up, and enjoy. I can definitely see why this particular Peking duck is my friend’s favorite.
DUCK/SHRIMP FRIED RICE
This is usually a combo rice of duck, beef and shrimp. We omitted the beef, and stuck to our shrimp & duck meal. Fried rice can also go wrong at times if it’s too dry, or too many fighting ingredients. This rice felt light, airy, and was well seasoned. A perfect side to have along with our duck.
By the end of our meal, we perused the dessert menu… but we knew better (and we know each other so well)… each of us was thinking the same thing – dessert upstairs in the Lobby instead. 🙂
Shanghai Terrace is definitely an awesome, authentic and trendy Chinese restaurant in the middle of the Gold Coast. Will I be back for more duck? Definitely. As soon as the weather warms up enough, I’m back for duck and cocktails on their patio!
P.S. Dessert in the Lobby
PASSION FRUIT SOUFFLE
As amazing as it sounds. To drink, my absolute favorite tea – African Amber.
We were the last guests…. we left at 1:30am! A 4hr dinner is pretty standard for us. 🙂