Mandarin Oriental Shanghai, Pudong & Mid-Autumn Festival Afternoon Tea
Mandarin Oriental Shanghai Pudong is luxury hotel brand, Mandarin Oriental’s first Shanghai hotel in May 2013. The hotel sits just east of the Huangpu River in the new Harbour City development, east of the Pearl Tower, and next to the newly opened Shanghai Metropolitan Marine Yacht Club.
The 362 guest rooms come with opulent gold and teal decor, iPod docks and luxurious toiletries from London perfumer Ormonde Jayne. We loved our Club level room and its giant bowl-shaped bath tub to soak our tired muscles sightseeing our days in Shanghai.
The hotel also houses an impressive collection of over 4,000 artworks curated by the Art Front Gallery in guest rooms and public areas (like the lobby’s amazing mosaic wall), including 43 specially created ceramic works from Jingdezhen-based master sculptor Lai De Quan.
Dining options include Yong Yi Ting Chinese restaurant (which focuses on cuisines from Shanghai and neighboring Jiangsu and Zhejiang), all day dining room Zest and the relaxed modern French 58° Grill, which is headed up by award-winning chef Richard Ekkebus from the group’s Michelin-starred Amber restaurant at The Landmark Mandarin Oriental in Hong Kong.
For drinks, the sleek Qi Bar is all metal and glass with a spacious private garden terrace nestled in among the towering skyscrapers of Lujiazui. They have a DJ spinning every day from 4 PM and the menu has an impressive Champagne list and decent amount of wines by the glass, as well as cocktails that fall on the fruity side, such as the Shanghai Tini, made from yangmei fruit, vodka, citrus liqueur and sweet vermouth.
Since it we were in the hotel on Mid-Autumn Festival, we thought of celebrating low-key but high class by having afternoon tea at their plush Riviera Lounge, surrounded by a few young families and the hip young adults (both locals and tourists).
Mandarin Oriental Shanghai’s teas are arguably one of the best we’ve drank during our entire vacation in China. All of its liquor was unbelievably flavorful. My parents love oolong so they had Tieguanyin Traditional (铁观音:高级; 70 RMB) and Yellow Gold (黄金桂; 75 RMB). My brother likes slightly lighter teas and ordered the Silver Needle (银针; 75 RMB) and I like teas that are full-bodied and aged like fine wine and opted for the Pur-eh Royal Loose Cooked 1990s (90年陈普洱; 70 RMB).
We started with delicious savory tea sandwiches of prosciutto and melon with mint, tuna salad, and snow crab with tobiko roe. The mint with the prosciutto was a refreshing touch (instead of my norm of basil) and the sweet crab sandwich was the favorite for us.
If you walk around the streets of Shanghai a few days before and the day of Mid-Autumn Festival, your mind will explode by the hundreds (and possibly thousands) who line up at various bakeries and restaurants at the crack of dawn who sell their own in-house made mooncakes. The restaurants and bakeries sell out quickly and lines never seem to get shorter.
We were truly excited to celebrate this important holiday with Mandarin Oriental’s mooncakes. For us to be together and having this amazing afternoon tea with the hotel’s (very well known for its quality besides the gorgeous, luxuriously packaged) mooncakes, it means a lot of us. Since it’s almost impossible to eat all eight mooncakes, we requested to have the lotus seed paste with salted duck egg yolk and red wine with cranberry. The former, a traditionally filled mooncake was the best version I ever ate. Super clean flavors of the lotus seed paste and it’s not too greasy. The red wine with cranberry is a nouveau flavor of mooncake fillings (and it’s pretty typical of what China and Taiwan does for mooncakes and unlike the typically boring ones we get in the U.S.); the red wine is blended with red bean paste to give it the dense, creamy consistency but the red wine blended in this paste added a subtle fruity flavor and gently enhancing the bright, slightly sweet, dried cranberries.
We moved on to their fresh baked scones that was crusty on the outside and fluffy crumb.
Our finale tiers of miniature cakes were a great ending. Not too sweet cakes and they were both moist and fine crumbed. We had chocolate mousse, mango, and brown butter cake topped with raspberries.
We had a wonderful stay at the Mandarin Oriental Shanghai Pudong. The super friendly staff and the luxuriously comfortable rooms refreshed us. the afternoon tea was fantastic, especially those mooncakes!
To view more photos of this meal, please CLICK HERE or view the gallery below: