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Oysters and salmon on offer

SOME of the freshest seafood in the city can be found in five-star hotels where diners can enjoy produce from around the world.

The Grand Hyatt Shanghai in Pudong and the Swissotel Grand Shanghai both have seafood promotions this month.

The Grand Hyatt is celebrating the delicate flavors of oysters, with renowned oyster expert Bill Marinelli visiting their ON56 restaurant on the 56th floor of the Jin Mao Tower from September 21 to 30.

Marinelli is the so-called "Oyster King" because of his more than 33 years in the oyster and seafood industry. It started when he worked as an undergraduate with local Indian tribes attempting to repopulate native oysters in Shinnecock Bay near Long Island, New York.

It was in Hong Kong that his title of the "Oyster King" was bestowed and he treats oysters like wine, discussing their varied characteristics of flavor and aroma.

During his time in Shanghai, Marinelli will be showcasing a number of varieties, particularly Barron Point, Kumamoto, Calm Cove and Eagle Rock oysters.

Each oyster has its own distinctive characteristics.

For example, Barron Points are grown in mesh bags in south Puget Sound in Washington state. The nutrient-rich and less salty water produce an oyster that has a lot of fat, with the meat plump, sweet and mildly salty.

Prices of oysters range from 50 to 60 yuan (US$7.33-8.80) per oyster.

The seafood promotion at ON56 - a new "three-in-one" restaurant concept - will include a range of offerings at the Grill, the Japanese restaurant Kobachi and the Italian eatery Cucina.

These include grilled wild Alaskan salmon and scallops, Oregon bay shrimp and queen crab clusters.

Salmon start spawning in the beginning of September and the Swissotel will feature the freshest salmon at daily buffets at the Cafe Swiss.

The chefs have designed a number of creative dishes including braised salmon head with a light curry sauce, saut??ed salmon with pepper, and chili fried rice with salmon and caviar.

Salmon offerings will also include classics like fresh carved salmon sashimi, smoked salmon and potato salad as well as crispy salmon rings with lemon dip and salmon pizza.

They will also cook salmon using the Turkish shashlik method of grilling on a skewer.

The Swissotel sources its salmon from Norway, which is renowned for its high quality produce. Executive chef Roy Chan says salmon is a great choice for diners not only for its flavor but also because it is a healthy option.

"Salmon is highly nutritious, low in calories and rich in Omega-3 fatty acids, and it's a perfect dish to get you ready for the coming cold winter," says Chan.

At the buffet of its second-floor cafe, the seafood offerings from around the world include Alaskan crab, Canadian red shrimp, Japanese octopus as well as scallops and tunny tuna.

Chan says they aim to keep prices low during this month's salmon specials.

"We will keep the regular prices of buffets but with fresh and various creations to pamper our diners and patrons who can enjoy the better taste of high-quality salmon," he says.

The weekday lunch buffet from 11:30am to 2:30pm costs 198 per person and includes soft drinks. On the weekend it costs 258 yuan per person.

The dinner buffet, from 6pm to 10:30pm costs 258 yuan per person and includes soft drinks.


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