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April 15, 2010

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Best bets for business lunch

FOR business types looking to escape the office and catch up with clients or network with colleagues, the hotels around Nanjing Road W. offer a wealth of choices.

The PuLi Hotel and Spa on Changde Road and the Shanghai JC Mandarin and Portman Ritz-Carlton Shanghai are some of the landmark hotels that offer attractive dining options.

The newest addition to this area, the PuLi hotel, has a range of monthly specials that cater for the lunch crowd looking for a serene dining experience overlooking the greenery of neighboring Jing'an Park.

Head chef Dane Clouston says he wants to provide a casual atmosphere with classic and unpretentious bistro fare with his own creative twist.

"My approach toward cuisine is to excite one's mind and pique the curiosity," Clouston says.

"I have used a combination of local and global ingredients and influences to create a series of surprises for the palate, which I hope would bring enjoyment to every guest in Jing'an District."

At their Jing'an Restaurant on the second floor, the PuLi offers an Express Business Lunch of a two- or three-course set lunch for 188 yuan (US$27.50) and 288 yuan, respectively (subject to 15-percent service charge).

The restaurant also has attractive monthly specials including a meat pie promotion this month and a "Muddy Mud Suckers" mud crab promotion in May.

The April meat pie promotion includes a fresh green salad and a glass of wine for 180 yuan. Lunch runs from Monday to Sunday from midday to 2:30pm.

The Portman Ritz-Carlton Shanghai's Italian eatery Palladio provides the busy business crowd a touch of luxury and lunch within an hour.

The three-course set lunch menu starts from 130 yuan and includes a deluxe appetizer platter, soup of the day and a choice of chef Gianluca Serafin's signature Italian main course dishes.

These include traditional Italian pasta, pizza, seafood and meats. Diners can also chose a creative Italian dessert or fruit to end the meal.

"We feature the food from 20 regions in Italy at our lunches and we randomly rotate through each of the cuisines of one of these regions on a weekly basis," Serafin says.

On a monthly basis, Serafin also features a particular produce. This month he is showcasing the restaurant's beef and next month it is asparagus.

The lunch is available from Monday to Friday from 11:30am until 2:30pm and prices do not include a 15-percent surcharge.

At the Shanghai JC Mandarin, the Mandarin Pavilion Restaurant celebrates all things Cantonese, with a traditional dim sum buffet lunch offer.

The restaurant's expert dim sum chefs hand make more than 30 kinds of classic dim sums fresh daily and the signature dishes are their delicate shrimp dumplings, pork dumpling and siu mai.

A selection of hot dishes complements the dim sum offerings.

Soup, fried rice and lunch costs 98 yuan per person (not including a 15-percent surcharge) and runs from 11am to 2pm.


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