Jingan’s drinking and dining options have
been fundamentally elevated with the opening of the Jing An Shangri-La’s new
restaurants. Like just about every other fine hotel in town, they’ve got a
premium steakhouse but with theirs, they’ve upped the stakes once again. The
1515 WEST Chophouse is a meticulously designed eating and drinking
concept running from a stunning leather and dark wood bar down through a raw
seafood bar, a cheese and charcuterie room, a bakery using vintage cast iron
ovens, an aging room for their premium beef and finally the main dining room
itself, fronted by a spectacular flaming grill in the open kitchen.
Working over that flame is chef de cuisine Jair Gudino Chavez from Mexico. For the Director’s
Cut (280RMB, all prices plus 15 per cent), a generous 380g rump steak at least
two inches thick, which is seared to a black char on the outside while
maintaining a beautifully textured pink interior. It's served with sweet
golden beets, grilled asparagus topped with parmesan shavings and a
spicy-sweet, dark caramel housemade barbecue sauce. Cut through the fatty edge
to the lean interior to get an incredible bite, which combines a balanced firm
chew with a fragrant buttery depth.
The story behind this steak’s rich
character isn’t simple. While the menu lists a mind-boggling number of beef
cuts from five ranches in Australia and Tasmania, the hotel worked with the Stanbroke
Ranch in Queensland, Australia for four months to create their own signature
1515 WEST brand of Australian beef. Their cows are raised exclusively for
Shangri-La, which oversees each step ‘from ranch to table’ in minute detail
from the cattle’s feed (a mix of wheat, sorghum, molasses, hay and minerals) to
their 45-day in-house dry aging of the T-bone steak and porterhouse cuts, which
enhances tenderness and richness of flavour.
cattle are selected one to two years in advance where they live in an open green field for nine months followed by a 12 month feeding period. Despite
this being the best way to raise cattle, it is hardly practiced anywhere else
due to the high cost.
The hotel hasn’t spared expense elsewhere
either, showcasing 1515 WEST’s film and pictures theme with stunning lighting
fixtures, black tile walls, vintage cameras and a brushed metal and glass show
table modelled on a camera lens. Steaks are served on striking artisan ceramic
plates from Berlin hand painted with a stark cow’s skull.
While it may be difficult to save space for
dessert after polishing off the rump steak and, ideally, a fistful of the
terrific fries with housemade spicy ketchup, don’t leave without a taste of the
massive Alma-Jean’s white peach cobbler (easily enough to share, 78RMB), baked
so the fruits are still firm to the bite and topped with a super-sized globe of
bourbon ice cream.
By Jake Newby