During a weekenduae visit to Shanghai we were fortunate enough to try several Chinese restaurants as we wanted to experience true local delicacies. Some were authentic but didn’t have the “wow” factor, others had the “wow” factor but lacked food quality.
Our choice fell on what we consider one of the most posh restaurants in this modern yet adventurous city, with an array of mouthwatering traditional Cantonese, Sichuanese and Shanghainese dishes in Shanghai.
The Ai Mei Chinese Restaurant, located on the 8th floor of the prestigious Le Royal Meridien Shanghai Hotel on Nanjing East Road, tickled all our tasting senses and surpassed our expectations.
The first impression is overwhelming – at the entrance there is a stunning huge aquarium with thousands of fish! All who enter are in awe when they approach as the lights change color continuously.
The decor reflects a casual yet elegant ambience, and the seating area is bright and spacious. There are also several private dining rooms with chic and contemporary interiors if you want.
Chinese Executive Chef Peter Cheung has an impressive CV having lead major kitchen brigades in many important hotels in the Far East; he has been Executive Chef of Ai Mei restaurant for 7 years now.
Chef Cheung was also in charge of the 1998 & 2010 APEC (Asia Pacific Economies Conference) preparing delicious dishes for VIP guests of honor.
But back to the dishes we tasted during our pleasant culinary experience!
With me were two Italian friends visiting China for the first time, and when they found out our restaurant selection they were very skeptical as Chinese food was not at the top of their list of things to try while in China! They are typical traditional Italians, and very wary of anything too “strange”. I suppose it’s surprising they didn’t bring Mom along to cook for them.
However, not to worry. At Ai Mei our taste buds were stimulated continuously with a never-ending array of different culinary dishes – and even the jellyfish I slyly ordered was a pleasant surprise that was reordered! (I told them later that it was jellyfish as I knew what their first reaction would have been!).
We were definitely enthralled as the progression of dishes brought new experiences of mouth-watering flavors.
Presentation was up to par.
Dishes were simple and elegant.
Service was smooth, never intrusive and waiters appeared and disappeared out of nowhere never bothering, while knowledge of the menu was also very efficient.
An excellent introduction to Chinese fine cuisine!
Here is an interactive map of Ai Mei’s location in Shanghai, China:
Ai Mei restaurant is located in Le Royal Méridien Hotel, in downtown Shanghai. Le Meridien is an international hotel brand with 130 properties. It is owned by Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide and has a portfolio of hotels in over 50 countries.