It might not be Beijing, Shanghai or Hong Kong, but dining at Lili Peninsula will surely give you the impression of being there while savouring a delightful fine Chinese cuisine. In the recently opened Peninsula housed in the historic turn of the century building The Majestic, one of the many forgotten Parisian mythical hotels, the restaurant opens up to a spectacular architectural styles of Chinese and French opera. Inspired by the fictive figure of Lili, Chinese opera singer, the interior brings out blazing colours of red, draped curtains with its decorative tassels and murano crystal chandeliers set around a theatrical stage decorated with a carved wooden dome surrounded by sculptured marble columns. A lovely contemporary portrait of Lili made entirely of fine strings of lights and colourful Chinese opera costumes greet visitors at the entrance. A hallway flanked with stylish private salons where you can dine intimately in a romantic environment lead to the main restaurant. Exquisitely designed in a theatrical style with its large bay windows, the overall exotic ambiance adds to the style of tasting fine Cantonese cuisine in an elegant surroundings.
In a nicely set table are bowls and wooden chopstick placed on chop stick stand in the form of a Chinese junk – one of the many auspicious symbols in Chinese culture. There is a nice selection of Chinese tea including my favourite Pu Erh – fermented dark tea produced in Yunnan. A special royal 1990 aged Pu Erh tea is served in a lovely mini clay teapot alongside a delicious bowl of caramelized walnuts – sweet specialty to whet the appetite, concocted by Lili’s Chef Tang Chi Keung.
Cantonese cuisine with an array of Dim Sum to begin with – served in traditional bamboo steamer baskets are pork filled Siu Mai, shrimp filled buns Ha Kao with various vegetable and mushroom filled dumplings with different sauces including spicy sauce made with dried shrimps – another specialty of Chef Tang Chi Keung.
The traditional roast poultry and pork comes with a plate of delicious slices of char siu sweet savoury Iberian BBQ pork belly and Cantonese style roast duck.
The feast continues with full-flavoured Yangzhou fried rice and spicy bean curd tofu – deep fried crispy cubes with soft inner texture that melts in your mouth.
The seafood comes with shrimp duo cooked in tempura style and fried served with seasonal steamed vegetables.
After an enjoyable serenade in fine Cantonese dishes, the Chinese opera session finishes in a grand finale of refreshing grapefruit pulp and sago pearls immersed in mango custard followed by yellow egg custard cream filled crusty sesame balls. Sesame balls made from glutinous rice flour are a popular sweets in Asia, probably originated as far back as the Tang dynasty in China and is usually filled with various fillings such as mung, red or black bean paste. At Lili the yellow egg filling sesame ball was created by Yip, Hong Kong Peninsula Chef specializing in pastries and Dim Sun dishes.
Curious to see the behind the scene kitchen story, then take some steps down to the kitchen and have an enjoyable meal while watching your dishes prepared by Chef Tang Chi Keung himself who will surprise you with his fabulous Cantonese delight at his unique Chef’s table.
The Peninsula Paris
19 Avenue Kléber
Categories: Lili Peninsula