A taste of Casa Perbellini at the Shangri-La Hotel, At The Shard in London
Arriving on the 35th floor to dine at TING, the Shangri-La Hotel, At The Shard, London’s signature restaurant, I knew without a doubt I’d be in for a treat.
There to experience the Festival of Gastronomy menu brought to TING by two Michelin star chef Giancarlo Perbellini, this was to be a taste of Italy via a six-course tasting menu from his restaurant in Verona, Casa Perbellini.
Located adjacent to the hotel reception, the restaurant subtly encapsulates the aura of Chinese culture in a contemporary manner. TING’s main dining room boasts the same Chinoiserie theme as its lounge but features a contrast between the restaurant’s metal screens, detailed with Oriental elements, to the lounge’s delicate screens.
My companions and I were invited to sit at a window side table where we enjoyed the night-time view of the River Thames lit up by Tower Bridge.
Our meal began with an amuse-bouche; smoked caviar with iced zabaglione, a sweet and savoury combustion of flavour that melts in the mouth. Those choosing to experience the menu with wine pairing will enjoy a glass of the 2000 Duval-Leroy Brut champagne.
All three members of our party selected the salad spaghetti with basil, cuttlefish, red shrimp and lime to start- this dish complemented with a glass of the 2013 Riffault Sauvignon Blanc- and as we finished the dish, agreed that it was a delightful marrying of the herbaceous and buttery.
Next, I tried the porcini mushrooms with celery and Grana Padano. As a fan of most things earthy and nutty, the porcini was an obvious choice for me as opposed to the sautéed king prawn with egg, green apple, and nutmeg which, admittedly, I became envious of one of my companions for ordering once I laid eyes on the dish. Greedily taking forkfuls of king prawn from her plate in between bites of my porcini, it was clear I enjoyed both options with gusto.
Again, all three of us opted for the same dish when we decided on the risotto filled ravioli with onion, veal jus, and white truffle. The rich, al dente risotto within two parcels of ravioli presented neatly atop our plates was received well within our party. Later, we’d tell Chef Perbellini as he came by our table that this was our favourite dish of the evening. To me, the surprising combination of a risotto filled ravioli was one that definitely worked and impressed on this occasion. With this, a glass of 2013 St Aubin Premier Cru is served.
We were divided once more as our mains arrived next. I chose the shoulder of lamb with onion and smoked mozzarella while my companions opted for the smoked quail with artichokes, pistachio and Grana Padano cream. Sampling both dishes, I enjoyed the tenderness of the lamb which came apart at the fork and the contrasting flavours of the quail with the artichoke. I felt that the smoking of the quail enhanced what I usually find to be a relatively bland bird, helping it stand up against the richness of the Grana Padano cream.
Last but not least, we all revelled in the lemon creme brûlée with elder sambuco, basil and mandarin sorbet. This dessert was just the fresh and zingy lift we needed to round off a comfortably filling tasting menu that gave us insight into the Casa Perbellini repertoire.
Between courses, it’s easy to find your attention drawn to the glittering cityscape beyond The Shard’s floor to ceiling windows. Within view are some of London’s most iconic new and historic landmarks and once ensconced at a table in the refined ambience of TING, getting lost in appreciation for the English capital is an expected occurrence.
Given the success of its launch last year, it’s clear the Shangri-La International Festival of Gastronomy is an annual culinary event that delivers a memorable experience. Having visited the Shangri-La Hotel, Paris last week to sample its Festival of Gastronomy menu at Shang Palace and now Peberllini’s menu at TING, I’d most definitely mark the dates for next year’s event in my calendar.
The Casa Perbellini tasting menu at TING for the Shangri-La Hotel, London Festival of Gastronomy was available from 25th-29th October.
Address: Shangri-La Hotel, At The Shard, London, Shangri-La Hotel, 31 St Thomas Street, London SE1 9QU / 020 7234 8108 / ting-shangri-la.com