For a taste of China, step through the entrance of Sule Shangri-La’s Summer Palace.

Named after an Imperial Garden in Beijing set next to Kunming Lake, this restaurant offers a multitude of menu items in gourmet Chinese style. Oriental decorations feature a red and gold colour palette in a large, open space. Most of the tables seat four or more people. Parties of two can be seated next to the large, single-pane windows overlooking the streets of Yangon.

The menu has eight signature dishes that include appetizers, soups and broths, an abalone selection, a seafood selection, barbeque, poultry, pork, beef, vegetarian, rice and noodles, dim sum, and desert. Yes, it’s overwhelming. The smallest selection features four dishes and the largest, twelve.

The shrimp or scallop dim sums make a good starter. Both are simple and lightly flavored, but due to their make-up and size they can be a little difficult to lift intact from their baskets. Those inexperienced with chopsticks might find the dumpling falling apart before it reaches their plate. Luckily the flavor won’t be affected.

The pan-fried beef is what you would expect; a slightly sweet sauce, with spice provided by dried peppers. You can’t go wrong with a dish like this, but yhy not go out on a limb and try the marinated jellyfish. Its unique texture won’t be for everyone, but eaten with the accompanying chicken, you might be pleasantly surprised.

For a Western touch you may be lured into the deep fried bacon served over broccoli. It is lighter than one might expect but still quite a hefty dish. I found the healthier option of homemade tofu with shrimp and fish, served in a hotpot with thick sauce and various other vegetables, to be much more satisfying.

If you are not full, you can always order a whole Peking duck, which will be brought out in two dishes. First, the partially cooked, duck, will be brought in on a separate trolley. Two of the staff will skin the duck then place the skin in small flour tortillas, with apple, leek and a sweet sauce. The duck will then be removed for further cooking, and the meat later served in a dish similar to the pan-fired beef mentioned earlier.

If you head for the sweets, you’ll be met with a number of options including, double boiled Winter melon with lotus seeds and red dates, deep fried Chinese pancake with ice-cream, and chilled Honeydew and Sago cream among others.

Sule Shangri-La’s Summer Palace is your typical Chinese food served with gourmet flair. The staff are courteous and attentive, and the menu is extensive. There are private rooms available at no extra cost, and the dining area, though open, does not feel crowded. So if you have a hankering for sea cucumber or just want one of the standbys like Kong Pow chicken, then head upstairs to Traders lobby and turn left.

Summer Palace, Sule Shangri-La Hotel, #223 Sule Pagoda Road, Yangon
(95 1) 242 828 ext: 6428, 6429
Lunch 11.30 am – 2.30pm Dinner 5.30pm – 10pm
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