Duke’s Wine & Grill: Possibly The Classiest Spot In Town

What makes a classy restaurant? Well, there is the understated décor and stately furniture. There’s the number of bottles in the wine cellar. There’s the grade of the steak and where the oysters come from.

But there are also those small, almost indefinable, details. The way the light illuminates the room. The way the waiter appears and disappears as if they are reading your mind. The way the music slowly lures you in.

Rather than try defining what makes a classy restaurant, it might be easier for me to give you an example. Allow me to introduce you to Duke’s Wine & Grill at The Langham, Shenzhen.

They say first impressions are important. This is equally true when going to a new bar or restaurant as it is when meeting someone, if not more so. Well, when I first entered Duke’s Wine & Grill, the restaurant certainly made a strong impression.

My eye was drawn from the classic leather couches and tub chairs to the contemporary art adorning the walls to the high ceilings. Duke’s was lively and was already brimming with the kind of atmosphere you associate with a jazz bar.

I took a table and the manager offered to introduce me to the wine cellar upstairs, to which I duly obliged and he led me to the second floor of Duke’s where the wine cellar is located alongside a private dining room.

I walked along the wine selection, all 394 varieties of them, and reading some of the labels it was clear why Duke’s Wine & Grill had been awarded 3 Wine Glasses at the Wine List of the Year Awards. Chateau Le Pin from Pomerol, Pinot Noir from Domaine de la Romanee-Conti from Bourgogne, and Chateau Ausone from Saint Emilion were particular gems in what was a treasure trove from the world’s finest wineries. After exploring the wine list, I settled on a bottle of one of the house whites. The Cloudy Bay Sauvignon Blanc from Marlborough came highly recommended by the manager.

If you prefer a fine single malt or a blended Scotch, then you can explore the extensive spirits list. Highlights include Hibiki 17 Years, Macallan 25 Years, and Royal Salute 38 Years. Duke’s Wine & Grill also boasted an impressive choice of imported cigars. The limited run of Cohiba Talisman 2017 Edition, in particular, caught the eye.

I headed back downstairs to my table and started to peruse the food menu. As I flicked through the pages, it quickly became apparent that Duke’s Wine & Grill boast one of the most delectable selections of dishes around; from the Anceline Oysters from France, the Beluga Caviar, the Canadian Lobster, to the Australian Wagyu Tomahawk Steak. Duke’s Wine & Grill only serve the finest of the fine.

As I ordered some dishes, the entertainer for that evening took to the stage and sat behind her piano ready to play. She introduced herself as NaTasha Rogers and when she started her set with a silky smooth rendition of This Masquerade by George Benson I knew we were in for something special that evening.

NaTasha quickly captivated the entire restaurant as she moved on to the Jazz classic Autumn Leaves. By the time she had started to play Lovin’ You by Minnie Ripperton, she had already cultivated that special kind of ambiance, which you only feel in the best Jazz bars.

Soon after, our dishes began to arrive. First up was Duke’s Signature Salad, an intriguing mix of Oyster, Avocado, Bergamot Pear, Manchego Cheese, and Quinoa. The chef struck just the right balance between sweet and savory to deliver a healthy salad you will want to keep coming back to.

Next was a favorite of fine-dining restaurants in China, the Pan-fried Foie Gras. The foie gras is served with mango chutney, which really brought out something new in the dish, and a candy brioche, which was somewhat of a surprise selection but paired unexpectedly well with foie grasAfter the Foie Gras, the Silver Cod Fish Filet arrived, 180 grams of the freshest and most succulent cod available. The cod was expertly matched with a basil clam sauce and came with a side of the softest baby potatoes and pearl vegetables.The final dish was something from Duke’s Wine & Grill’s meat selection. As tempted as the Australian Wagyu Tomahawk looked, I opted for the Salt Marsh Coastal Lamb Loin. Imported from New Zealand, the lamb loin was cooked with parsley, garlic, and breadcrumb, and presented with a rosemary and thyme sauce. The vegetables and herbs really offered the perfect balance to the dish.After another glass of the house white and a couple more songs from NaTasha, it was time for dessert. The intriguingly named Tropical Explosion certainly lived up to its name. The tropical mango’s crispy exterior betrayed the rich mousse inside while the passion fruit ice cream sprinkled with coconut melted in the mouth.Later that evening, I had a chance to chat with the Western Executive Chef, Fabrice Bruto. When he talked about his dishes, there was one element that ran through them all. For him, it is not about where a dish originated from, but the connection between the elements. It is about creating combinations and contrasts resulting in new flavors and sensations.

Before he left, he recommended that next time I try the Venison Rossini Burger, which sounds like the king of gourmet burgers; Venison Patty with Foie Gras and Black Forest Ham topped with Iberico Cheese, Arugula, and Caramelized Red Onions, served in a Brioche Bun with a side of Homemade Truffle French Fries.

I left Duke’s Wine & Grill having thoroughly enjoyed my evening and being reminded what a restaurant is capable of being. While it may be debatable what exactly makes a restaurant classy, there is little doubt that Duke’s is one of, if not the, classiest spots in Shenzhen.Address: Level 3, The Langham, Shenzhen, 7888 Shennan Boulevard, Futian, Shenzhen 518040 (中国深圳市福田区深南大道7888, 深圳东海朗廷酒店, 3)

Opening Hours: 6:30 pm to 1:00 am (Sun – Thurs), 6:30pm to 2:00am (Fri – Sat)

Tel: 86 (755) 8828 9888 ext.8922

An Essential Guide To The Top French Restaurants In Shenzhen

There are few cuisines that are more celebrated or held in such regard as French cuisine. At the same time, connoisseurs have high expectations of what they expect from a French restaurant. To truly be considered a French restaurant, let alone, a top one, the establishment is held to a standard like few other restaurants. Shenzhen Party spoke with decorated French chef, Sebastien Bourgeois, about the very top French restaurants in Shenzhen.

  1. Visit the French Culinary Institution that is La Maison

I have been living in Shenzhen for more than 10 years and as a Disciples Escoffier, I am always looking for new places to try French cuisine. As an epicure, I have taken great interest in La Maison because it’s a fantastic place to spend time with friends and family.

La Maison is the oldest French restaurant in Shenzhen and has remained in the same location since its opening. It is unquestionably a wonderful location and its new design has made the restaurant more spacious, perfect for small events or group gatherings. At night, one can enjoy the terrace in comfort with the fans providing a cool and refreshing breeze.

Not only is the ambiance wonderful, but the food has made a great impression on me also. My friend and I had the chance to enjoy the pâté and a finger food tray. The pâté is fresh and delicious – exactly how the French like it – and the portion size is suitable for two to three people. The finger food boasts a creative Mediterranean style and offers a varied aroma and taste. The marriage of complimentary flavors offers a delightful insight into French cuisine.

My friend ordered the meal of the day for the main dish. That day it was quiche as the starter and poulet basquaise as the main dish. The quiche came as a generous portion and the thin crust, soft texture, and well-beaten eggs made it perfectly light. I highly recommend this flavorful and delightful dish. The poulet basquaise was very tender and boneless. The boiled potatoes in this dish were a little spicy, which may be of interest to Chinese who like a bit of spice. Furthermore, if you do not find the dish to be spicy enough, you can ask for more spice to be added.

My main dish was an original crepe, where instead of the ingredients being inside of the dough, I was pleased to find they were placed on top. This allows for the taste of the entire crepe to remain as natural as possible. Like pizza and sushi, the crepe is a traditionally inexpensive dish that has become famous all around the world. In this case, my crepe contained salmon, lettuce, arugula, and cabbage.

For dessert, we ordered the crème brûlée, which has always been my favorite dessert. I was very satisfied with this dish and my only regret was that I did not ask for a bigger portion!

The overall service at La Maison was very efficient and engaging. The waiters followed the Western standard of bringing everyone’s food at the same time and taking away the empty dishes at the same time. The young staff are friendly and the French chef, Jean Baptiste Louis, is always on hand to give recommendations according to the patron’s desired flavors.

We went during lunchtime and the wait for our meal was short. Prices are in the mid-range and very affordable when compared to some of the other restaurants in Seaworld. La Maison is a great family place. It also has a long bar, where you will find foreigners meeting like the French do in a brasserie.

La Maison has recently undergone renovations and to celebrate the new look they will be hosting an Opening Party on Friday October 19th. The theme of the party will be “Back to the 80s” and will start at 6 PM. There will be free flow on selected drinks and canapés. Additionally, there will be free flow on selected drinks and canapes and from 8 PM their chef Jean will be preparing some special delicacies for everyone to enjoy. The night will be full of surprises with games, live music, and a DJ to keep you dancing until late into the night.

Address: Shop 108, Nanhai Rose Garden, Bldg. 29-32, No. 91 Wanghai Road, Nanshan, Shenzhen (深圳市南山区望海路912932栋南海玫瑰花园108)

Tel: +86 755 2865 7030

 

  1. Take a Bite of France at l’étoile

In the nearly 1,000 square meter restaurant of l’étoile, tables are draped with cream linen table clothes and romantically lit by candles. Be it for lunch or dinner, dining here with a loved one is an experience you will not soon forget.

If you prefer some privacy, l’étoile offers you private themed rooms gently lit by chandeliers and decorated with hand-painted walls and ceilings of three of the most well-known landmarks in Paris; the Eiffel Tower, Arc de Triomphe, and the Palace of Versailles. The food served at l’étoile matches the exquisiteness, the beauty, and the quintessential Frenchness of these iconic places in France.

The kitchen team is led by Christian Tetedoie, who holds a resume with which few can compare. He is the President of the Master Chefs in France, recipient of a Michelin star in 2000, and knighted in the Legion of Honour in 2006. Unlike many other chefs, Tetedoie wears no hat. Instead, he’s decorated with a medal with ribbons in the tricolor of France. The award is for the “Meilleur Ouvrier de France”, which is awarded every four years to the best craftsmen in France.

Diners can watch Tetedoie and his team in the open kitchen doing what they love most. It is here they offer up their interpretation of some of the most iconic French dishes.

The onion soup at restaurant l’etoile is made in the traditional French way. The French usually enjoy this very sweet dish late at night. Due to the type of onions used in this dish, the soup has a sugary taste. Additionally, the cheese is well-grilled.

The snail is an exceptionally sweet dish and the emulsion, made of garlic and snail butter, is extremely flavorful. This dish arrives with impeccable presentation while the mini-salad adds a great deal of freshness.

The fresh goat cheese is HOMEMADE. The characteristically strong taste of goat cheese makes this dish the perfect starter to get the taste buds excited for the meal ahead.

The sea bass fillet is grilled just to perfection and succulently tender. It is complemented on the plate with fresh baby carrots and veggies.

The chicken with vinegar and tomato arrives alongside macaroni gratin. The dish is a rare dining experience indeed. The chicken is well-roasted with a subtle spice originating from the vinegar.

The pistachio and citrus fruit dessert is best enjoyed in small bites with each seemingly more delightful than the last. Our favorite dessert dish, however, is the rhubarb cake, which has really quite incredible presentation.

Christian Tetedoie’s desire to open a kitchen and share his love of gastronomy is what led to the creation of l’étoile. Do not miss the opportunity to savor this rare fine-dining experience from a true master chef. Pay a visit to l’étoile and sample French cuisine as it was always intended.

Address: 302-303, Building A, OCT Ecological Square, Nanshan District, Shenzhen (深圳市南⼭山区沙河街道华侨城⽣生态⼴广场 A 302303)

Metro: Line 1, OCT or Window of the World station

Tel: 0755 8166 8111

 

All You Can Eat Steak Eating Competition At Wyndham Grand

There I am. Staring at one of the biggest Tomahawk steaks I’ve ever seen. I hold my knife and fork in my hands as all those around me go as fast as they can to finish so they are served another steak. Upon the wall, the timer continues to countdown. I was going to have to go faster if I wanted to win the Steak Tomahawk Competition.

This wasn’t what I had expected when I was invited for dinner at the Grand Kitchen at the international 5-star Wyndham Grand. Then again, it’s not every day that they hold a Tomahawk Steak Eating Competition.

The Tomahawk Steak Competition was launched by Wyndham Grand last year. The concept was simple. Every evening, diners would be invited to join a steak eating competition. They would have thirty minutes to eat as much steak as possible. Those who ate the most would be able to enjoy their meal that evening free of charge.

After the promotion proved to be very popular with diners, it was brought back once more. Returning for its second year, the promotion is overseen by Executive Chef Teddy Li, who boasts more than 10 years experience in Western cuisine for hotels such as Marriott and Intercontinental. The competition is back and bigger and better than before. With even higher quality cuts of beef and more contestants competing, you won’t find many restaurants in Shenzhen doing anything like this.

The Grand Kitchen is what you come to expect from a restaurant from an international brand five-star hotel. It’s a stylish setting with an ambient atmosphere. On one end of the restaurant is where the stage has been set for the Tomahawk Steak Competition, and it’s where I am lead to join the others after agreeing to take part in the event.

It seems improper, a crime almost, to eat beef of this quality without stopping to appreciate it, but my competitive streak soon kicks in as I see the man sat next to me near the end of his first plate and that the petite girl across the table is even beating me.

Despite a spirited late effort, I’m unable to make up the gap between myself and the leaders. Even as the champions celebrate winning and being able to enjoy the rest of their meal for free, I still feel like something of a winner myself. By holding back in the steak eating competition, I can fully appreciate the buffet dinner I am about to enjoy.

Walking around the buffet, the eye is immediately drawn to the selection of seafood on display. A large area of the restaurant is dedicated to the cuisine, which includes New Zealand Oysters, Snow Crab Legs, Sea Yellow Snails, Monkey Shrimps, Tiger Crabs, amongst the other shellfish classics. There is also a sushi station, where the chef is on hand to prepare fresh cuts of salmon, tuna, and sea bream. Be sure to take a glance over the creatively crafted sushi items too.

That being said, there is still plenty else on offer for those who wish to enjoy something other than seafood.

Grand Kitchen offers diners a Teppanyaki grill, where a dedicated chef is available to prepare whatever you wish. Choose from a range that includes Roasted Oysters with Garlic, Bai Cang Fish, and Mutton String. The standout dish, however, is the New Zealand Lamb Chops. A must try for any lamb lovers.

There are also a number of complimentary dishes available including perfectly roasted potatoes with onion, buttery broccoli and cauliflower, and a choice of red wine and black pepper sauce to top it all off. Every night there is different specialty available at the pasta station and that evening, diners are treated to a faithful recreation of the classic Spaghetti Bolognese.

Grand Kitchen also pays respect to local dishes too and every evening you can find several of your favorite Chinese dishes. On any given night you can find Chongqing-style Fish Stew with Chili, Sichuan-style Beef Stew, Braised Pork Knuckle with Soy Sauce, and even Fried Squid with XO Sauce.

It’s a testament to the desserts that despite a steak eating competition and a full buffet, I still can’t wait to try the cakes and sweets when the time arrives.

The eye-catching desserts have been crafted into creative shapes and are full of vibrant colors. In particular, the mousses stood out with the blueberry mouse presented like a white popsicle on a stick or the heart-shaped raspberry mouse. In a city full of hotel buffets and dessert tables, this is one that stands out more than others. The taste does not disappoint either.

Oh, and if by some minor miracle you still have space for more, then grab a bowl or cone and head over to the Movenpick ice cream stand.

So, if you think you have what it takes to win the Tomahawk Steak Competition then head on down to the Grand Kitchen at the Wyndham Grand. If you win, then you can enjoy the rest of your meal free of charge. If you don’t, allow yourself the consolation of being able to enjoy one of the top hotel restaurant dining experiences around. It sounds like a win-win situation to me.

The Tomahawk Steak Competition takes place during the buffet dinner. The winning competitors can enjoy their meal free of charge. Dinner is served between 18:00 and 21:30. The promotion runs from the July 15th to the August 15th.

From Monday to Thursday, the buffet is RMB268, and RMB318 between Friday and Sunday. All diners are also welcome to enjoy one complimentary glass of wine. Prices are subject to 10% service charge and 6% VAT.

 Address: 3rd Floor, Wyndham Grand Hotel, 2009 Caitian Road, Futian, Shenzhen (深圳温德姆至尊酒店三层,中国广东省深圳市福田区彩田路2009 )

Tel: +86 755 8299 8888 (EXT 8560)