Restaurant Shang Palace celebrates traditional Cantonese cuisine in a lushly serene setting where diners are surrounded by jade columns, marble tables and elegant crystal. It’s a whimsical escape from the hustle and bustle of the streets of Paris, just outside the palace doors.
Nestled in a corner of one of Paris most exclusive neighborhoods, The Shangri-La Paris is situated in the former private palace of Prince Roland Bonaparte, the grand-nephew of Emperor Napoleon. This grand residence, stretching out in the 16th arrondissement, stands as a testimony to European aristocracy’s opulence and a bygone era of French royalty.
The hotel blends European grandeur with traditional Asian hospitality, and as you walk through the imposing halls of the palace, don’t be surprised if you’re occasionally overwhelmed with all the dramatically beautiful gold and marble that surrounds you. This very building has witnessed countless soirees, regal gatherings, and perhaps hushed discussions, alluding to a rich body of historical events.
Prince Roland Bonaparte was a renowned figure not only for his illustrious lineage but also for his significant contributions as a geographer and botanist. During the late 19th century, he took up residence in this palatial building in Paris’ 16th arrondissement. Within these grand walls, Bonaparte hosted eminent personalities, scholars, and dignitaries, turning his abode into a nexus of intellectual exchange and high-society gatherings.
VIDEO – HONEST COOKING VISITS SHANG PALACE
At the heart of the Shangri-La Paris – or in its belly if you will – is a restaurant that carries an impressive history in itself. Shang Palace became the only Chinese restaurant in France to be awarded a Michelin star in 2012, an honor it keeps to this day.
Shang Palace doesn’t pretend to be a contemporary restaurant. Instead it celebrates traditional Cantonese cuisine in a lushly serene setting where diners are surrounded by jade columns, marble tables and elegant crystal. It’s a whimsical escape from the hustle and bustle of the streets of Paris, just outside the palace doors.
At the helm of the kitchen brigade at Shang Palace is Chef Samuel Lee. Originally from Hong Kong, he took over the kitchen in March 2015 and he continues the quest to create delicious dishes that feel modern but are deeply rooted in traditional Cantonese cooking.
At Shang Palace, discrete but friendly servers pair traditional dishes like spring rolls, crispy wontons, dim sum, and the restaurants famous red rice rolls with French wines from Burgundy, Champagne, Bordeaux, and beyond – a 40 page wine list ensures there’s something for every taste and wallet.
And while there are incredibly elegant and tasty dishes like fried oysters with caviar and gold leaf on the menu, the star of the show is the restaurant’s Peking Duck. Prepared over several days, and expertly carved table side by a dedicated server, it’s a culinary experience everyone should have at least once. It’s a spectacle and a flavor adventure at the same time. The perfect combination of paper thin crispy duck skin, luscious duck fat and succulent meat is a true work of gastronomic art.
Because of Shang Palace’s fame, it is also the only restaurant in Paris where you do not have to pre-order Peking Duck – so you can drop in an satisfy your cravings even on short notice.
A lingering vestige from Roland Bonaparte’s times is the Shangri-La’s commitment to service. As you dine, one can’t help but feel the echoes of regal banquets from yesteryears, making it an experience that transcends time.
Shang Palace continues to be a culinary gem in the city of lights, and Honest Cooking will definitely be coming back for more. With its blend of Parisian history, Asian heritage, and culinary excellence, it promises a rendezvous of epic proportions.
10 Av. d’Iéna, 75116 Paris
Kalle Bergman is a food writer and media entrepreneur who is the founder of Honest Cooking and PAIR Magazine. As a food writer, his writing has been regularly featured in publications like Gourmet, Los Angeles Times, Huffington Post and Serious Eats. He is obsessed with simple food, more often than not from his native Scandinavia.