China Daily (Hong Kong) - - LIFE FOOD -

Level 4, Jing An Shangri-La Ho­tel. 1218, Mid­dle Yan’an Road, Jing An Kerry Cen­tre, West Nan­jing Road, Shang­hai. 021-2203-8888.

500 to 600 yuan ($82-98). Wagyu Beef Prime Rib, Crab Cakes, Oys­ters du jour. just what we needed to re­fresh the palate, along with the dol­lop of gau­camole.

It’s hard to do a good crab cake and harder to cre­ate a great one, and it does take a true-blue chef from the south­ern States to pull off a crab cake that si­lences even the most finicky of food crit­ics.

And then the main at­trac­tion reap­pears — a huge plat­ter of prime rib thought­fully cut into cubes that will make en­joy­ing it so much eas­ier. Grilled corn­cobs slathered with but­ter leaned against the pile of meat, while a sep­a­rate, equally gar­gan­tuan plat­ter of whole baked pota­toes gleamed in their foil jack­ets.

It is al­ways a treat to eat Wagyu, es­pe­cially when you know it comes from a source known for good prac­tices in farm­ing.

The beef was rich and needed a min­i­mum of fla­vor­ing from salt and pep­per. I would have liked my meat a lit­tle more pink, but I re­al­ize that many Chi­nese din­ers do not share my pref­er­ence.

It does seem a shame to cook a good thick slice of Wagyu till it’s brown and firm when it can be so juicy and ooz­ing with fla­vor.

No meal is com­plete with­out some liq­uid lu­bri­ca­tion, and the 1515 West Chop­house & Bar lives up to its name with a re­ally good se­lec­tion of New World reds, as well as a se­lec­tion of white wines, cham­pagne, ver­mouth and sherry.

If in doubt, som­me­lier Jerry Liao is ready with rec­om­men­da­tions.

For those who want some­thing a lit­tle more fancy, bar man­ager and res­i­dent mixol­o­gist Dario Gen­tile will mix you some unique con­coc­tions while you sit at the bar and muse on his­tory and am­bi­tions as you gaze out the win­dow and look over the com­pound of the for­mer res­i­dence of Mao Ze­dong in Shang­hai’s fa­mous Jing’an dis­trict. Con­tact the writer at paulined@chi­nadaily.com.cn.

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