Susan Johnson (more chengdu)|
The St. Regis Chengdu has been open a few months only, but it carries a strong sense of heritage that began with the first St. Regis in New York in 1904. One tradition is the Bloody Mary cocktail, which was invented at a St. Regis, and each hotel has their localized version. The Chengdu St. Regis mixes a 'Chuan Mali' (Sichuan Mary) with Sichuan pepper and hot pepper – it is of course served in a chilled, spicy salt-rimmed glass. Another tradition, champagne sabering, is performed in The Drawing Room every Thursday evening, when guests present are treated to champagne. Another tradition is that each room has their own butler.
MORE dropped in to check out dining options and were invited to Social, their Western restaurant, to try their “seafood tower for two.” There were fresh French oysters, giant shrimp from Argentina, slices of octopus, salmon, tuna, delicate abalone, octopus, mussels, and clams, and other delicacies. It is served with champagne, but the signature Bloody Mary works well. Social also has a buffet and an a la carte menu, which lists many hotel-style crowd pleasers while featuring a few inventive dishes, like Sichuan tea smoked duck pizza. We asked for a dish called Piglet confit with polenta. This is a melting-soft, very traditionally-seasoned pork confit served with crispy pieces of suckling pork skin over dollops of polenta. We were impressed with the sophisticated and inventive plate of the happy hour snacks, which included a canapé-style interpretation of local suan ni bairou, which is cold, thinly-sliced pork in spicy garlic sauce, served on a savoury “cat’s ear” cookie. We asked for a dessert called Fragrant Coffee, and were relieved to be presented with a coffee-flavoured dessert that was not tiramisu. What arrived was a gold leaf garnished cylinder of chilled coffee cream, over a dense chocolate cake with berry compote and champagne jelly on the plate.
There is a professional sommelier on hand who speaks both English and French and can recommend wine to suit guests' taste, menu, and budget. Lunch: 198RMB. Dinner: 238RMB. Seafood Tower Special with two glasses of champagne: 780RMB.