Eats: Xi Shi Lounge in the Shangri-La (Chinese Afternoon Tea)

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If you’re familiar with downtown Vancouver, you’ve probably noticed the 62-storey  building located just off of Robson Street – aka the tallest building in Vancouver.  For those who aren’t, that tall glass building is the Shangri-La Hotel Vancouver.  It’s elegant ambiance is enhanced by a restaurant (Market by Jean-Georges) and  Xi Shi Lounge, located in the lobby.

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Xi Shi Lounge is popular for its afternoon tea and evening cocktails.  However, of all the times I’ve been to the Shangri-La or the Market, I’ve never seen the lounge this busy.  As a part of dine-out Vancouver, Xi Sha is hosting Chinese Afternoon Tea.  For $38, dinners are treated a choice of tea as well as selection of savoury items and pastries.  The tea service includes loose-leaf tea or you can opt for premium Chinese blossoming tea for an additional $5 per person. (Or treat yourself to some sparkling wine Blue Mountain Brut should you so choose for $11 or a glass of champagne for $29.)

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The tea tower has three levels with the savoury items on the bottom.  They include: BBQ pork on brioche buns, currie tofu and almond wraps, duck spring rolls, and smoked salmon bagels with yuzu mayonnaise.

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Sweets include: coconut rice cakes, a miniature egg tart, green tea opera cake as well as black sesame rice balls in ginger soup.  (Caution: the ginger is extremely strong – but good.)

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You’re also treated to classic afternoon tea scones infused with butter and orange, served along side orange and strawberry jam and house-made clotted cream.

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I opted for Ginger Tea, while my mom got Lychee tea.  Both were light and refreshing – and even better when mixed with honey.  Tea is loose leaf and each person if given an individual strainer.  However, service here is impeccable and waitstaff walk about pouring tea for you and filling you tea pot with more hot water as it gets empty.

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Now, all of this food is fabulous (and very filling) but did I mention this was a Chinese Afternoon Tea? In celebration of the Chinese Lunar New Year, the Xi Shi Lounge is treating all guest born in the year of the Horse to a complimentary meal.  However, they do ask that there are a minimum of two guest per table and a maximum of one offer per table. Didn’t finish the meal? Staff are more than happy to pack up any remaining food/dessert for you to bring home.

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I was born in the year of the Horse and it was quite a treat to discover that my mom and I only needed to pay $38 for our two meals.  Not sure if you were born in the year of the Horse?  No worries, the Chinese Zodiac signs cycle through every 12 years.  The year of the Horse includes those born in the years 1942, 1954, 1966, 1978, 1990 and 2002. Chinese Afternoon Tea is served daily from 11:00am – 5:00pm until February 28, 2014. Xi Shi Lounge is located in the lobby of the Shangri-La Hotel Vancouver.  If you’re looking to visit the lounge, it is open Monday through Sunday from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 a.m, and open until 2:00 a.m. on Friday and Saturday. The lounge is accessible through the hotel or via its direct entrance on Alberni Street.

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highly recommend that you make reservations, especially if you visit on the weekend.  However, service is amazing, and they will do their best to accommodate walk-ins as long as their is a table open.

Offer Summary: Valid for one guest per table, with a minimum party of two. Proof of age is required. Offer ends February 28, 2014. Those born in the years 1942, 1954, 1966, 1978, 1990 and 2002 are Year of the Horse in the Chinese Zodiac.

Ratings:
Food: 8/10
Service: 9/10
Atmosphere: 9/10
Overall: 8.5/10

Until next time,

xo Chanel

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