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Luxury dining best enjoyed in private
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One of the Hyatt on the Bund's strongest marketing tools is its spectacular views. Its vantage point allows for an unparalleled sight of the grandeur of the Puxi Bund and the spectacular skyscrapers in Pudong.

Hosting dinner at home can be great -- you get to set the menu, you get to entertain with your tales of holidaying in the Bahamas, and best of all, you get to avoid the din of rowdy restaurants.

On the other hand, not every one is blessed with advanced culinary skills. As delicious at that Sunday paper recipe looked, recreating the same magic is a little bit beyond the average Joe. Not to mention the hassle of cleaning up after your guests leave after all your best pal's husband spills wine on your living room couch, maybe hosting dinner parties isn't such a great idea after all.

Hyatt on the Bund has a solution for your private dining needs. The Vue restaurant on the 30th floor is already set up to look like a private residence, but just one floor up large groups can enjoy a room all to themselves. These rooms can accommodate a minimum of eight people and the largest can comfortably seat 16 guests. Of course, about 20 could fit if push came to shove (pun fully intended).

One of the hotel's strongest marketing tools is its spectacular views. Its vantage point allows for an unparalleled sight of the grandeur of the Puxi Bund and the spectacular skyscrapers in Pudong. While there are those who love one or the other, this is something for everyone here.

The food at the Super Potato-designed restaurant has always been focused on classical European fare, and the set menus for the private dining rooms are the same. The Huangpu Road property is currently featuring Wagyu beef from Australia in a promotion with Elder's.

Wagyu refers to several breeds of cattle whose meat is intensely marbled and produces a high percentage of unsaturated fat. This marbling varies widely from cow to cow, so the meat is graded on a scale of 1 to 11. The two topmost grades are usually snapped up by Japanese consumers, which means that local food lovers have to be content with the already superb 9.

The meat brought in by Hyatt on the Bund is of this quality, and has been grain fed for 300 days. This gives a richer texture and the intense marbling that makes the beef so special.

At a recent dinner party there hosted by one of the city's most charming scribes, the skilled culinary team at Vue pulled out all the stops to ensure guests were well-fed and felt right at home.

Waited upon by a team of impeccably trained staff, the meal was prepared within the beautifully and tastefully decorated room. This was luxury dining in modern, palatial surroundings.

The meal started aptly with a simple pea soup, sexed up with croutons and bacon bits throughout. Pea soup can be a tad boring at times, but the modern twist made things more interesting.

Next up was beef stroganoff -- a charming adaptation of the classic dish. Russian in origin, stroganoff was in fact conceived by a French chef trying to impress the Tsar. It is alleged that the dish even made its way to America via China, where it was widely served by in local restaurants before the onset of the World War II.

The Wagyu beef made Vue's version much richer, while the chef added just the right dollop of sour cream for ample smoothness.

With meat of this quality, the best way is simply to marinate and grill it. Marbling is most intense in the certain parts of the cow, so the tenderloin at 670 yuan (US$98) is much more expensive than the sirloin (385 yuan) or rib-eye (385 yuan). Whatever the cut, diners can look forward to a sensation piece of beef that tastes simply out of this world.

Hyatt on the Bund's desserts are also classics given a modern touch, and the chocolate mousse with sea salt was exceptional in its blending of two flavors and textures. Not everyone was a fan of the Grand Marnier souffl??, but that too was enjoyable in its stark simplicity.

Address: 31/F, 199 Huangpu Rd

Tel: 6393-1234 ext 6328

(Shanghai Daily September 17, 2008)


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