Summer Palace – My Michelin Star Lunch in Hong Kong

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Suckling pig at Summer Palace
Barbecued, sliced suckling pig with roasted hony ham on toast (Photo by Freddy Sherman)

Summer Palace is the popular Cantonese restaurant located inside the Island Shangri-La hotel in Hong Kong. Holding one Michelin star, the restaurant focuses on a classic, Imperial style of Cantonese food, as one might have been served in a royal palace. Chef Leung Yu King offers diners a thorough menu, with wonderful, changing seasonal selections mixed with classic Chinese dishes. There’s also an extensive dim sum lunch.

2009 Burgundy from Pouilly-Fuisse
The first wine pairing, a 2009 Burgundy from Pouilly-Fuisse (Photo by Freddy Sherman)

The dining experience is formal yet comfortable, the room is very ornate and intricately decorated, again giving that Imperial vibe. Service is formal and seriously on-point, with multiple servers always around the table, bringing new things and clearing finished things away. During my last visit, the luxury hotel chain was celebrating their Shangri-La Festival of Gastronomy, featuring food from eight of the hotel’s Michelin star-holding chefs.

Pork buns
Char siu bao, pork buns, were delicious and a part of the dim sum menu

We had items from the dim sum menu, wonderful versions of standards like pork buns and soup dumplings, along with full entrees like stir-fried Japanese Kumamoto Wagyu beef in homemade XO sauce.

XO sauce in Hong Kong
House-made XO sauce (Photo by Freddy Sherman)
Wagyu beef in XO sauce
Stir-fried Japanese Kumamoto Wagyu beef in homemade XO sauce (Photo by Freddy Sherman)

We also had a little portion of barbecued, suckling pig, served with roasted honey ham on toast. There were also creative dishes like double-boiled chicken soup with abalone and matsutake mushrooms served in a young coconut.

Soup in a young coconut
Chicken soup with abalone served in a young coconut (Photo by Freddy Sherman)

The Island Shangri-La is one of my two favorite luxury hotels in Hong Kong, the other being its sister hotel, the Kowloon Shangri-La, located just across the harbor. The Island Shangri-La is in a high-rise building in the Admiralty area, on Hong Kong Island. It’s directly above the fancy Pacific Place shopping mall, which is filled with shops, great restaurants and all the top luxury brands. Aside from the mall being right under the hotel, there’s also an MTR (subway) stop there, making it easy to travel around the city.

Steamed king prawn
Steamed king prawn with fresh milk and egg white in truffle pesto (Photo by Freddy Sherman)

Overall, lunch at Summer Palace was a delicious experience that included two wine pairings and Champagne before the meal. We started with a Perrier-Jouet Grand Brut which was light and refreshing. The chicken and abalone soup came with the first wine pairing, a glass of 2009 Le Clos de la Roche from Pouilly-Fuisse in Burgundy. The second wine pairing came with the steamed king prawn, a 2013 Crozes Hermitages from Domaine des Lises in the Rhone Valley.

Wine in Hong KOng
The second wine pairing, a 2013 white wine from Domaine des Lises in the Rhone Valley (Photo by Freddy Sherman)

Getting There
To get to Hong Kong, I try to always fly the foodie-friendly Business Class service of Cathay Pacific. I’m always impressed with their consistency, having flown them probably 50 times. New, clean aircraft, relatively few flight delays or cancellations (I’ve never experienced one) and professional, attentive flight and cabin crews. Food and wine is always on-point with a seasonally changing, creative menu and excellent wine list.

Cathay Pacific Business Class
Dinner at 40,000 feet aboard Cathay Pacific (Photo by Freddy Sherman)

It’s easy to get from HKG to the hotel, Shangri-La has a greeter on duty who can meet you on arrival and assist with luggage and getting you to transportation. The hotel can have a car waiting or you can take the Airport Express train to Hong Kong Island, then there’s a free shuttle bus at the train station that drops you off at the hotel.

Read more of Freddy Sherman’s take on travel on his Go World Travel Blog. You can also follow more of his adventures at luxuryfred.com, on his luxuryfred Instagram feed and on his YouTube channel.