My friends and I were on a culinary tour across China to taste and determine exactly which restaurant in China was currently the best. We expected it to be either in Shanghai or Beijing but we were wrong... it was in HangZhou
The restraurant is located in the Hyatt Regency and the decor is very tasteful and not over the top - Asian decor with very comfortable chairs and im lighting all across (diners who love taking photos should bring a mini tripod as there's not enough light & flash is not appropriate). We were offered a lovely private dining room and had a phenomenal tasting menu consisting of their top dishes of the season. The particular dish that really stood out was the Dong Po Pork which was cut from one piece of pork belly in a square pyramid shape and then cooked in a sticky sauce. The Pork is also thinly cut through when it's still froze and when you start peeling the outer layers, it comes in one piece.... phenomenal!
The service was top notch and of equal calibre to Western fine dining. The attendant was engaging and explained each course in detail without us having to keep on asking for the information. She constantly asked us if the timing of the dishes were good as Chinese food tends to come out all in one go and we wanted to savour each dish.
The drunken chicken was also the best we ever had. They tend to be very dry and tasteless but this one came out of the clay mould very moist and flavourful. Also includes interaction of breaking the clay mould with a hammer for good fortune. Great fun!
The added bonus of the time we went was that we arrived in the midst of the yangcheng crab season. The crab dish with chinese cabbage was just outstanding too. Cabbage soaked in the flavour of the crab and magnified it. So definitely got there in early November!
To top it off, the dragon well tea infused together with jasmin pudding was divine. Definitely woth a trip if you find yourself in Shanghai because it definitely trumped many other fine dining establishments we dined at during the 8 days where we covered 26 meals.
One word of advice, do stay the night there and enjoy the tea ceremony. We were rushed to take the last train back to Shanghai but swore we'd fly back to stay the night so we could take longer and savour the flavour of the dishes for a longer time.