Shangri-La Changzhou’s unique private dining room

CHANGZHOU Private dining rooms in China’s restaurants are more the rule than the exception – but how many come with their own exclusive entrance?

Song He, one of 19 such facilities in Shangri-La Hotel Changzhou’s Shang Palace – and its largest at 176 sqm – boasts this unique amenity. The revolving door is discretely located behind the restaurant which has its own arrival area, distinct from the lobby entrance.

Song He consists of a sitting room and a dining area, holding comfortably 16 people, with a floor-to-ceiling glass windows looking out to the serene Xihu Lake. Besides popular Cantonese dishes, the chain's trademark outlet also acts as a showcase for the Huaiyang cuisine of the Yangtze delta where Changzhou is located. This style of cooking highlights fresh water fish and other aquatics. However, guests are urged to try an innovation by executive chef Jim Zhang of deep-fried black ants with pine nuts, sandwiched in lettuce, and believed to be rich in protein.

The 350-room property joined the Shangri-La portfolio last October, opening in a city, whose foundations are over 3,000 years old and date back to the Western Zhou dynasty. Its location in the Wujin Hi-tech Industrial Park, 30 minutes from the airport and a short car ride from Changzhou Railway Station, marks it clearly as a corporate address eager to attract meetings and events. For such activities, it has 2,500 sqm of flexible space able to handle up to 1,500 guests.

This includes a 1,500 sqm pillar-free Grand Ballroom with two unique features: an 84-square-metre LED screen, the largest of those found in Shangri-La's China hotels (with Shangri-La Hohhot's following at 72 sq m) and a platform for car access for automotive exhibitions.

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Margie T Logarta

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