Before you dine at the elegant Yi Long Court, here are five things you should know:
1. It’s located inside The Peninsula Shanghai, a Five-Star hotel. While the hotel’s other fine-dining restaurant, Sir Elly’s, gets a lot of attention for its modern French cuisine, this is a don’t-miss spot for traditional Cantonese fare.
2. Yi Long Court boasts a stunning Art Deco interior, which was designed after the home of a rich Shanghainese merchant in the 1930s. It is both gorgeous and homey, with details like elaborate glass-bead chandeliers; wood floors inlaid with strips of opaque brown, maroon and white mosaic tiles; dark wooden curio cabinets holding dark blue wine goblets; and vertical sconces with scale-like shells.
3. When hairy crab season arrives in the fall, the restaurant offers a great prix fixe menu dedicated to the local specialty. Whether you choose the six-course lunch menu or the eight-course dinner option, taste the mildly sweet crustacean in everything from soup to dumplings.
4. The Shanghai restaurant no longer serves shark’s fin (in accordance with the policy at all the Peninsula Hotels), but you can still find plenty of high-end Asian dishes, like bird’s nest, abalone and lobster, all cooked in ways that are meant to impress.
5. The best way to experience Yi Long Court is in one of its private rooms. Most encompass all the comforts of a home dining room, but the attention and service are worthy of a Five-Star hotel.