The Dining Experience at Shangri-La Far Eastern Plaza Hotel, Taipei – By Alexa Tracy Nicolas

“Dining always sparks joy. Always anticipating. Always expecting to fill our senses with the goodness that only food can provide.”

– Alexa Tracy Nicolas

It’s six in the evening and we’re all ready for that wonderful dinner courtesy of Shangrila Taipei. We arrived at Shang Palace with anticipation. After we were assisted to our table by the kind waitress, we were seated and served hot tea. It was a relaxing evening, and intimate, for we had the room only to ourselves and the waitresses knocked every once in a while checking in on us and making sure our teacups were never empty.

The environment was very pleasant. It wasn’t too cold and wasn’t too warm either. We were just enjoying each other’s company and getting ready for what is yet to come.

But before anything else, we were honored by the presence of the very charming and impressive Head Chef LIEWA, CHIN FEI. We were welcomed warmly by his hospitable manners and smile, as we engaged in short conversations before he started getting back to his work behind the kitchen doors. He has a lot of surprises coming out of his sleeves.


  • Deep-fried scallops and shrimp paste balls with almond flakes and chili powder
  • Shang Palace signature crispy white prawns with mango sauce and passion fruits

The presentation of the appetizers was remarkable and creative. It’s very pleasing to the eyes and you can’t help but wonder what it tastes like just by looking at it alone.

You really need to take a bite to know what the main ingredients are and what was in store for you. As you take the first bite of the appetizer on the right, you get this tangy sweet mango flavor and yet are complimented by this mild savory shrimp that goes with it. The meat used for this is shrimp, and it really goes along well with the other complimentary component of this dish which is mango juice and passion fruit. It was a splendid splash of flavor all in one bite.

And on to the second appetizer, which is on the left. By looks alone, the only recognizable components are thin almond flakes and a tiny scoop of caviar to top it all off. The slices of almonds cover the dish like a blanket, obscuring away what could be wrapped inside of the almond flakes.

Yet again, biting into it is another pleasant surprise.

You will immediately notice that the main ingredient of this appetizer was scallops. It was accompanied by a delicious layer of shrimp cake on top of the juicy scallop. The flavors sinks in and the texture of the shrimp and scallops were remarkably good, especially combined.


Double-boiled chicken soup with cordyceps flower, conch, and fish maw

Just by the appearance and presentation alone, it looks like a normal chicken soup we all know and love. However, the aroma of the broth leaves a lasting impression.

It smells spectacular. And each bite and chew of the delicate vegetables and soft tender chicken ceases you as you take time savoring the delicious broth that settles into your mouth. It was another fine meal, though, it was only the beginning.

Main Courses:

  • Roasted Peking Duck: Shang Palace roasted cherry duck and Crispy skin duck leg served with plum sauce

The very moment the kind waitress presented a whole roasted Peking duck on a platter was the moment when time slowed down.

At this very moment, everyone in the room was admiring the beautiful golden brown crispy skin that glitters. They served the duck slices along with a separate plate serving only skin, and another place serving the remaining duck parts but especially only the duck legs.

As if the appetizers and soup weren’t enough, my stomach just resets from the wonderful sight of the delicate Peking duck. Almost as if I’d never eaten for days, I gobbled the slices of Peking duck immediately. They served the slices of Peking duck along with freshly cooked bread wraps, and a plate filled with sliced cucumbers. Of course, the wrap will not be complete without the special sauce that accompanies the dish and would make it even more enjoyable. Which, to my expectations, it was the most enjoyable part of our supper.

  • Fish with scallops: Wok-fried eggplants with pearl grouper fillet

As the bowl settled onto our table, we were first admiring how similar this dish looks like to another dish we are all fond of in Filipino cuisine, however, this is far from similar in terms of its taste.

It was very savory and the sauce covering the fish and the scallops really went well with the contents of the dish. It was this red silky sauce that glossed over the moist and tender meat. It was like nothing I’ve ever had before, and it’s unbelievably good in that matter.

It’s a taste I know I can never forget and a taste I know I will always crave for.

  • Tofu with mushrooms and kelp: Braised dried scallops with mixed mushrooms and homemade tofu in oyster sauce

I am personally a lover of mushrooms, and I also believe that it goes very well with tofu. There’s nothing better than these two healthy ingredients combined together creating one delicious and robust meal.

This dish also had kelp as its greens and colors, which made this dish pleasantly refreshing and appealing to the eyes.

The brown glossy translucent sauce covers the dish making the taste even more delectable and mouth-watering. It was a taste I was quite familiar with, but at the same time, it was new.
I knew I had to keep getting more of that sauce for I believe it’s what makes the dish excellent especially having it with two healthy ingredients such as tofu and mushrooms, there is nothing more you can ever ask for and nothing more you can ever hope for in a dish.

After a pleasant night with a lot of amazing food, the night was still young and the table is never empty, especially with this last dish that just left us speechless for how spectacularly breathtaking and visually remarkable this final dish looks, wait until you hear what the dish is containing.

  • Lobster rice

Lobster was the main ingredient and meat of this dish, and it’s served with rice mixed with this thick creamy yellow sauce, that just blends together and makes this overall a perfect and luxurious dish.

The appearance of this dish alone is stunning. As it was mentioned that there were lobsters included, we were all very excited to dig in, almost as if we weren’t full from all the other dishes that had pleased us throughout the night. As expected, the dish has this rich and creamy texture and flavor that goes perfectly well with the soft lobster bits and rice.
I couldn’t have enough of it, and I kept reaching for more and more. It was very difficult to resist. And it was like I was hungry all over again.


  • Chilled sago and panna cotta in mango sauce topped with pomelo
  • Chilled coconut milk black rice cake
  • Deep-fried creamy Ball

“There’s always room for dessert”, was the most fitting phrase for the dessert to top off the overall dinner experience.

The chilled sago and panna cotta in mango sauce topped with pomelo is such a sweet treat, especially for those who enjoy chilled desserts, this one is especially for you. It wasn’t too sweet either, which is always a good thing. The panna cotta melts in your mouth as the mango sauce settles into the panna cotta, making every bite and every chew worthwhile.

Chilled coconut milk black rice cake. This was another remarkable taste. The creaminess from the coconut milk and the chewiness from the soft and sticky rice just make this whole cake magnificent and splendid to devour. It was a blast, and it made me feel like I was finally experiencing a never-ending cycle of enjoyment in every bite. It was too early to assume that the best dessert was already served. This cake really puts me on another level of joy and excitement.

Deep-fried creamy ball. This was my favorite dessert that night. It has this very smooth and creamy texture when you bite into it, and it just fills your mouth with this soft and chewy goodness. It brings me back to childhood, I always loved eating Sesame balls, or in other words ‘Buchi’. The way it looks is very similar to Buchi and it just leaves me with this expectation that the taste would also be exactly the same. They share a similar chewy texture, but now I believe I have a new favorite.

It will always be a sacred and cherished memory of mine. I’ve never had this much good food in one night in a long while, and to have my mind blown away by a single dinner in Shangrila Taipei is just a completely new and unique experience for me.

Even up until today, I would always remember the taste of each and every one of the dishes served that night, and up until today, I would always hope to get another bite of at least one of them again. Because in that one night, it was finally proven to me that having even one amazing dinner changes the course of your life as if your tastebuds would want nothing more than to always eat the best of the best. Because you had it, and you will continue to want it.

I could be asked what was my favorite memory of Taipei, and I will immediately recall the best dinner I’ve had in a long while. And I’ll easily know what to respond with.


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