DINING WITH A DIFFERENCE
Hyatt on the Bund carves out a culinary hotspot for Shanghai
Shanghai China, July 2010…As befits a hotel that has broken new ground in architecture, design and hospitality, the restaurants at Hyatt on the Bund in Shanghai are equally trailblazing. From a four-storey entertainment mecca inspired by a private mansion to an international buffet restaurant where every dish is prepared in front of you, from an elegant all-white tea salon serving cocktail-themed confections to a rustic Chinese eatery with a seven-ton Peking duck oven, Hyatt on the Bund has taken traditional dining concepts and reinvented them to create restaurants that are ‘old’, but feel very new.
The highlight is Vue, a sprawling multi-level, multi-concept restaurant and bar on the hotel’s top four floors. As the name suggests, the 270-degree view over the Huangpu River with the historical Bund on the right contrasting with modern skyscraper-lined Pudong on the left, is the venue’s raison d’etre, and every aspect of the 2,270 square metre (24,400 square feet) space has been designed to best take advantage of it.
Conceived in the style of a bachelor’s penthouse, and created by acclaimed Japanese interior design firm SuperPotato, home-style dining takes place in an open space comprising a ‘kitchen’, ‘library’ and ‘living room’. Ingeniously, the backdrop merges seamlessly from one space to the next, transitioning from hanging racks stacked with culinary paraphernalia to book-lined shelves to sofas alongside eclectic collections of model cars, pipes and vintage corkscrews. Vue resurrects the culinary art of tableside cooking, where timeless European dishes such as Steak Tartar, Caesar Salad and Crêpe Suzette are prepared in front of you on custom-built gueridons.
- more -
Exploring the ‘residence’, visitors will happen upon a humidity-controlled cigar room, an extensive wine cellar and six individually-designed private dining rooms with built-in iPod docking stations and private bathrooms. On the top two floors, a striking circular cocktail bar and a brick-lined, Loft-style lounge furnished with cerulean seating and bed-style sofas (‘the bedroom’) is presided over by a resident DJ. This leads to an outdoor roof terrace to best take in the heart-stopping views. Four-poster lounging beds surround a centerpiece marble Jacuzzi – sure to be the catalyst of some serious party action in the future.
Comfort is the point of Vue says Senior Vice President - Product & Brand Development, of Hyatt International Asia-Pacific Andreas Stalder, who dreamed up the concept: “The atmosphere is residential rather than commercial. I want people to feel like they’re in someone’s home. They should feel so relaxed that they kick their shoes off, lie back and have a nap – that’s the level of comfort we’re after.”
On the ground floor, visitors will discover Xindalu - China Kitchen, the antithesis of the typical Chinese restaurant with requisite bright lights, glitzy décor and colourful crockery. Xindalu taps into the humble roots of Chinese cooking, serving authentic Shanghai, Hangzhou and Beijing family-style fare in an unconventional casual setting. Regional specialties are prepared in open kitchens, in full view of diners, then served on simple white crockery atop wenge wood tables. Dumplings are freshly prepared then boiled, pan-fried or steamed in vast bamboo baskets. A huge Peking duck oven shipped in from Beijing, along with two of the capital’s best Peking duck chefs, is fired with red date and green apple wood to prepare arguably the finest Peking duck in Shanghai. Puddings are more western in style but have a distinct Asian influence, such as Jasmine Tea-ramisu and ginseng sherbet.
Across the soaring lobby atrium, Tea Room turns the concept of hotel lobby lounge on its head. Gone are the heavy drapes, gilded crockery and rarified atmosphere. Instead, an airy, light-filled all-white salon with an ethereal ceiling sculpture and a sophisticated alfresco terrace greets guests. High tea is an equally contemporary interpretation, with modern cake stands displaying exquisite precision-cut pastries, delicate macaroons, handmade chocolates and cocktail-themed verrines, served with blended teas from around the world.
Above, on the second floor, Aroma offers an international buffet, but instead of food sitting in bain-maries or under lights waiting for a taker, every dish is prepared on-the-spot. Live cooking stations serve instant wok fried dishes, freshly prepared noodles, steamed
- more -
dumplings and freshly-tossed pasta. Chefs carve roast duck straight off the bone; antipasti cuts come directly off industrial slicing machines; pizzas are whipped directly from a wood-burning oven; and crepes and waffles are cooked to order on sizzling griddles.
Striving for a truly authentic experience, Hyatt on the Bund employs four ‘a-yi’ or ‘aunties’, renowned in Shanghai for their own food stalls and restaurants. They arrive at Aroma every morning to prepare their signature dishes – Youtiao (twisted Chinese doughnut); fresh soya milk; Shanghainese egg rolls; pan-fried vegetable buns; Xiaolongbao (soup dumplings with crab roe); and the like – before returning to their own businesses in the afternoon. Guests get to sample genuine Shanghainese street food in the comfort of their own hotel.
“We’re very proud and excited about all our restaurants,’ says Director of Food & Beverage Heiko Roeder. ‘We’ve taken traditional dining concepts and completely rethought them to create something innovative and inventive and we’re confident our guests are going to find them a unique experience. We feel we’ve created restaurants that are destinations and talking points in themselves.”
Hyatt on the Bund is the seventh Hyatt hotel to open in Mainland China, following Grand Hyatt Beijing, Grand Hyatt Shanghai, Hyatt Regency Tianjin, Hyatt Regency Xian, Hyatt Regency Hangzhou and Hyatt Regency Dongguan. Twelve more Hyatt hotels are scheduled to open in China in the next few years.
About Hyatt Hotels Corporation
Hyatt Hotels Corporation, headquartered in Chicago, is a leading global hospitality company with a proud heritage of making guests feel more than welcome. Thousands of members of the Hyatt family in 45 countries strive to make a difference in the lives of the guests they encounter every day by providing authentic hospitality. The company’s subsidiaries manage, franchise, own and develop hotels and resorts under the Hyatt®, Park Hyatt®, Andaz®, Grand Hyatt®, Hyatt Regency®, Hyatt Place® and Hyatt Summerfield Suites™ brand names and have locations under development on five continents. Hyatt Vacation Ownership, Inc., a Hyatt Hotels Corporation subsidiary, develops and operates vacation ownership properties under the Hyatt Vacation Club® brand. As of March 31, 2010, the company’s worldwide portfolio consisted of 434 properties. For more information, please visit www.hyatt.com.
# # #
Revised on 07/21