I remember those days when I had to cross the pedestrian lane from Ibn Batutta metro station to the shopping mall but couldn't keep my eyes off the imposing structure on my far right, those days when I had to stop at the grassy area just for a photo of the luxurious facade with a grand arch. By merely staring at its grandeur from afar, I was pretty sure inside of it are gems, I mean perfect date night venues, I must discover.
Last weekend, the astonishment happened again. I kept my eyes fixed at Movenpick Hotel Ibn Battuta Gate, but I was no longer in the middle of the street or at the lawn. I was finally walking towards it, hoping my first impression is right, wishing I'd find a new culinary gem to love.
|Movenpick Hotel Ibn Battuta Gate|
Awed by the opulence, I was almost speechless as I walked beneath the countless Arabian lanterns hanging from the glorious high ceiling. I heard there are eighty-eight of them! Wow! Just like Ibn Battuta shopping mall, the 5 star Movenpick Ibn Battuta Gate Hotel reflects the adventures of the great Arabian explorer.
Shanghai Chic: The Chic and Romantic Asian Restaurant
Movenpick Ibn Battuta Gate Hotel has several dining venues offering cuisines from the regions Ibn Battuta explored. One of the specialty restaurants is Shanghai Chic, a stylish Asian restaurant tucked at the far end of the stunning hotel lobby. It was a no-occasion dinner that turned out to be an early Valentine's celebration due to the restaurant's romantic and sophisticated ambiance!
As soon as we arrived, we were warmly assisted to a private booth seating with a burgundy couch that matches the dimly lit Chinese lanterns above us. I couldn't help but notice that most tables were already taken at half past seven in the evening, just a few minutes after the restaurant was opened for dinner! There must be something great about Shanghai Chic and I was too excited to find out what it is!
|Shanghai Chic at Movenpick Ibn Battuta Gate|
|dinner at Shanghai Chic's private booth seating: an early Vday celebration for us|
Complimentary starters were brought to our table while we were introduced to the gigantic cardboard menu. It was then explained that Shanghai Chic serves Asian dishes in two ways; a la carte or unlimited. Since it was our first date night at Shanghai Chic and we were so eager to find some favorites at the extensive menu, we decided to go with the Unlimited Tasting Night offer.
Unlimited Tasting is an eat all you can concept, but made even better! Diners can choose anything or everything from the long list of Asian dishes on the menu; from Asian-inspired appetizers to steamed, deep or pan-fried dim sum to a variety of soups and broths, from thirty delectable mains to five kinds of desserts! Chosen dishes are freshly prepared by the chef, served hot and beautifully plated!
|complimentary starters at Shanghai Chic|
|Shanghai Chic's huge menu of Asian delights|
Shanghai Chic's Asian Chic Appetizers
We started our multi-course dinner with selections from the appetizer and dim sum list. We love that each dish is distinct and unpredictable. We got the kick of spice from the Thai Papaya Salad, a hint of sweetness from the Prawn Cocktail, a savory sensation from the Chilled Tom Khai Gai, and a delicate flavor within layers of crunch from the Kunafa Wrapped Prawns.
We fell so in love with the appetizers that we somehow couldn't move on to the mains! Ed ordered Chicken BBQ Buns and Chicken Siew Mai, both were served warm in bamboo baskets. I went with Siam Flavors soup and another round of Kunafa Wrapped Prawns. It's so addictive that I could have it until the kitchen ran out of kunafa pastry! I was a little shy to ask for it for the third time though. :)
|Appetizers: (clockwise) Prawn Cocktail, Thai Papaya Salad, Kunafa Wrapped Prawns|
|a closer look at the STAR appetizer: Kunafa Wrapped Prawns in a bed of sour fruit salsa|
|steamed goodness in bamboo baskets: Chicken BBQ Bun and Chicken Siew Mai|
Shanghai Chic's Traditional Flavors and Contemporary Twists
Out of the thirty main courses on the menu, Ed and I managed to choose four after minutes of discussion over siew mai. We had Peking Duck as it is our Chinese comfort food and the Crab Meat because of my love for seafood. I must say that Shanghai Chic took our favorites to a higher level. The peking duck was flavorful, served traditionally wrapped in pancake and garnished with hoisin, cucumber and onion. On the other hand, the crab meat, arrived in a presentation I never expected. It was in two mini glass bowls with melted cheese on top! It looks and tastes pleasantly different from the crab meat dish I know!
We asked for recommendations from the wait staff and I'm so glad they didn't disappoint. The Asian Chic Black Pepper Beef Tenderloin may look simple, but the meat is tender and perfectly seasoned! No wonder it's a best-seller! While I was enjoying the beef tenderloin, Ed was raving about the Crying Tiger! I found the name of the dish really strange so I didn't quite get the rave until he urged me to have a portion. Crying Tiger has savory short ribs sitting on top of a delicious potato cake in spicy vinaigrette. I have to agree that it's the dish that stood out from the rest!
|Shanghai Chic's Peking Duck|
|Asian Chic Black Pepper Beef Tenderloin|
|The Crying Tiger: short ribs and potato cake|
|Crab Meat with white onion, fresh button mushroom and cheese|
|indulging in impeccable Asian dishes at Shanghai Chic|
What's for dessert?
We ended our multi-course dinner with Calamansi Sorbet served with macadamia cake and nuts and drizzled with salted caramel. Sour. Sweet. Salty! But I never felt a clash! Surprisingly, those three complemented each other. It was like my taste buds went on a roller coaster ride and it's the kind of ride I would take all over again!
|Calamansi Sorbet with macadamia cake and salted caramel|
What do I love about Shanghai Chic?
Everything! The service is warm and friendly. The staff are attentive and knowledgeable. Their recommendations are superb! The ambiance is sophisticated yet very welcoming. It's not just for date nights, it's perfect for family dinners as well! The unlimited tasting concept is unique and gratifying. And most of all, the culinary offerings are exquisite and extremely chic!
Unlimited Tasting Night at Shanghai Chic
Price: 199 AED/person (food only)
299 AED/person with unlimited selected wines and spirits
Timings: Daily from 7pm to 11pm
Movenpick Ibn Battuta Gate Hotel
adjacent to Ibn Battuta Shopping Mall
Contact # 04 444 5613
nearest metro station: Ibn Battuta (Red Line)