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Five cuisines to tempt your palate

FIVE distinctive cuisines prepared by chefs from around China are offered at Cuisine Original in the Pudong New Area. They include Shanghai, Sichuan, Hunan, Huaiyang and Canton. Elise Fu takes a bite.

Cuisine Original offers authentic Shanghai, Sichuan, Hunan, Huaiyang and Cantonese dishes, as well as Western fine dining, an excellent wine list and fine cigars.

The spacious three-floor restaurant near Lujiazui in the Pudong New Area serves dishes prepared by chefs from different regions.

The owner, a gourmand, took a long tour, chose the best restaurants and then invited top chefs of five renowned cuisines to work for him in Shanghai.

"Our restaurant provides the most authentic local food in Shanghai," says Ma Hua, vice general manager of Cuisine Original.

The spacious minimalist interior has a relaxing ambience. Guests can enjoy pre-dinner drinks and appetizers.

On the Sichuan cuisine menu, Sauteed Diced Chicken with Chili (38 yuan/US$5.56) is the most popular dish. The colorful dish has a very heavy aroma of chili and pepper, all imported from Sichuan Province, and tempts the appetite.

The chicken is crisp outside and tender inside. It doesn't taste that hot at first, but the flavor remains and tingles on your tongue, getting hotter and hotter. Then you can appreciate the true power of Sichuan pepper.

Lion's Head: Double Boiled Meatball with Crab Meat (18 yuan) represents the height of Huaiyang cuisine characteristic of Jiangsu Province.

Without the extra chili, pepper or garlic used in most of the Sichuan and Hunan food, this dish is light and fresh. You can smell the aroma of the meatballs and they virtually melt in your mouth.

The soup containing the meatballs doesn't have that common layer of oil on the top, and the fresh vegetables are delicious.

The 5,000-square-meter restaurant covers three floors, seats 1,000 people and offers 30 private dining rooms.

On the first floor guests can savor the five cuisines. The second floor is multi-function banquet hall with an open terrace ideal for weddings and birthday celebrations.

The third-floor V3 wine bar offers an extensive wine list and selection of handmade cigars from Cuba.

Guests with World Expo 2010 tickets receive an 8-percent discount (Cigarettes, wines, seafood and other specialties excluded). They can choose to receive a bottle of imported red wine if they spend 1,000 yuan and more.

Address: 63 Miaopu Rd (near Pudong Ave)

Tel: 5860-9636


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