New Cantonese Delicacies at Waldorf Astoria's Wai King Kok

By That's Shanghai, July 31, 2023

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Waldorf Astoria Shanghai on the Bund's Chinese restaurant, Wai King Kok, has launched a new Cantonese menu under the leadership of new Chinese Chef Gan Liangcheng.

The menu is centered on traditional Cantonese cuisine with an innovative twist on Chaozhou delicacies. 

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The restaurant is dedicated to creating an iconic culinary destination by providing an immersive dining experience through five dimensions: the timeless setting; locally sourced ingredients; Chinese desserts; inventive tea ceremonies; and authentic, sophisticated service.

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Located on the top floor of the Waldorf Astoria, Wai King Kok Chinese Restaurant offers the elegance, grandeur and dignity of a centuries-old building, with views through the dormer windows revealing panoramic views of the Bund and Huangpu River.

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Chef Gan Liangcheng was trained in Hong Kong by a renowned master, and was a regular at the Michelin-star Lei Garden Restaurant.

More than 20 years of service in high-end establishments has allowed him to develop his own flair for the cuisine of South China, having worked at well-known Cantonese restaurants in Guangzhou, Macau, and a renowned two Michelin star restaurant in Beijing.

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His many years of experience in Chaozhou Cantonese cuisine shine, and Chef Gan brings several regional delicacies to Shanghai, such as chicken in savory Hakka sauce, yellow fish maw, steamed pine leaf crab in aged Huadiao sauce, char-grilled thin-shelled sea whelk and goose with black bean sauce. 

Chef Gan has developed a deep understanding of the complementary nature of ingredients and flavors, and aims to present a menu that is in harmony with the seasons and respectful of the original ingredients.

Using exquisite cooking techniques, the menu incorporates many Chaozhou elements, such as green olives, dried bergamots and Chaozhou white eggplants.

The dishes are designed with a gradual progression of taste. According to Chef Gan, "the purpose of the first course is to awaken the stomach, so lightness is best. Once the palate has been opened, one can savor the freshness of the seafood and the aroma of the poultry."

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The complete dining experience begins from the moment one enters the restaurant.

A welcome tea, co-created by the team’s tea sommelier and the lounge bar is accompanied by seasonal fruits.

In the dining room, the sweet, bitter and salty flavors of the main course are paired with green, black or selected oolong teas.

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A classic Chaozhou Cantonese menu is as much about "mountains and seafood" as it is about a bowl of fresh soup.

Fish maw is a dish often served to daughters in the Chaoshan region; the older it is, the more precious it becomes.

Chef Gan's dish is made with five-year old yellow fish maw  which parts with tradition  and he uses yellow lemons from Anyue in Sichuan, the home of lemons in China.

The maw is cut into pieces and stewed slowly in chicken broth, resulting in a rich soup with a soft, sticky texture.

It is served with a bowl of fresh tomatoes for a juxtaposing taste that is rich, sour, and refreshing.

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The well-known gourmet Cai Lan once observed, "Snails seem to represent the trickiest ingredients in Chaozhou cuisine,” and the preparation of snails is very much a matter of the chef's mastery of the knife and of fire.

Charcoal-grilled snails in thin shells, a classic Chaoshan dish, are also Chef Gan's specialty.

The snails are slowly cooked on a small charcoal stove for over an hour, with the broth sizzling inside the shell and the flesh slowly absorbing its flavors, before being doused with baijiu.

The dish is also available in a Tangzhuo style, with the addition of green olives for a more "traditional" Cantonese flavor.

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Seafood is all about freshness, fattiness, and seasonality.

The steamed pine leaf crab at Wai King Kok is made with 1.8-2 pounds of North Pacific pine leaf crab, which is carefully cooked and steamed for six minutes with the restaurant's homemade Huadiao chicken oil.

It is tender, containing the richness of chicken and the aroma of Huadiao wine in one luxurious bite, served alongside steamed eggs in fresh lobster soup.

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As the saying goes, "No feast is complete without chicken," and Wai King Kok’s menu is no exception. The Hakka chicken is a 150-day-old Cantonese fowl with a delicate texture and a well-developed musculature.

It is cooked differently than the traditional salt-baked approach, using the addition of the soulful seasoning  sage ginger. The chicken is marinated for six hours, allowing it to slowly absorb the aroma of aforementioned ginger. 

When served, the chicken is fragrant and succulent, with a hint of chew from the springy skin.

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Afterwards, the journey of the taste buds comes to an end with a dessert trolley that embodies the unique charm of the Waldorf's Chinese desserts.

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To completely satisfy the appetite, the menu finishes with a dessert of bird's nest jasmine custard. The custard is marinated in fresh milk to bring out the fragrant jasmine, garnished with a wolfberry, fresh spinach juice and jasmine petals.

Set Menu Options


Wai King Kok Lunch Set Menu – RMB788 for two persons

  • Pickled Pepper Kale, Cold Thread Fin Fish, Trotter with Sand Ginger

  • Conpoy and Pork Siu Mai, Matsutake Dumpling

  • Blanched Fish Maw with Lime Essence

  • Poached Marble Goby with Preserved Wampee and Yellow Bean Sauce

  • Salted Chicken "Hakka Style"

  • Sautéed Cauliflower with Garlic

  • Poached Fresh Abalone with Dried Tangerine Peel in Congee

  • Double-boiled Gorgon Fruit with Green Bean and Ginger Potato Sweet Soup

  • Boiled Salted Bergamot Water

Fresh Taste of Chiu Chou Cantonese Cuisine – RMB1,388 per person

  • Wai King Kok Tea

  • Cold Thread Fin Fish, Goose Web, Yellow Croaker, Moringa Sprouts

  • Perrier Jouet Grand Brut NV, Champagne France 

  • Charcoal Grilled Wild Sea Whelk

  • Long Ting, Chardonnay

  • Blanched Fish Maw with Lime Essence

  • Poached Spotted Grouper with Preserved Wampee and Yellow Bean Sauce

  • Sautéed Wagyu Beef Cube with Baby Gailan in Satay Sauce

  • Cold Brewed Hong Kong Style Goji Lemon Tea

  • Stewed Goose with Taro in Black Bean Sauce

  • Louis Latour, Pinot Noir, Burgundy France 

  • Quinoa and Mushroom with Spinach in Pumpkin and Carrot Broth

  • Fried Rice with Tai-O Shrimp Paste 

  • Sweetened Red Bean with Almond Soup, Baked Egg Tart

  • Boiled Salted Bergamot Water

Waldorf Astoria Shanghai on the Bund,  2 Zhongshan Dong Yi Lu, by Yan'an Dong Lu, 中山东一路2号, 近延安东路.


[All images courtesy of Waldorf Astoria Shanghai on the Bund]

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