One of the most beautiful areas of Shanghai, is Xintiandi just next to the French Concession precinct. This leafy green area is home to gorgeous old buildings that line the streets, with their classic French architecture proving to enchant you as you wander along absorbing the surrounds. In the early 20th century, Shanghai was divided into quarters according to the cultural background of inhabitants, hence there is the British Concession, the old French Concession, and many other areas defined by their previous residents. These many cultures have left an imprint on the city, creating a diverse range of architectural masterpieces and glorious old buildings such as those found around Xintiandi.More recently, Xintiandi has emerged as a key shopping area home to a shiny gleaming new shopping mall with luxury brands, boutique shops and a vast selection array of trendy restaurants, cafes, beauty salons and other stores. The shops and people in the area are all impeccably up to date with fashion, enriching the sophisticated and stylish vibe. The suburb is also on a key metro line, making it easy to travel to, as well as a key location on the map.The Langham Hotel finds you right in the heart of the fashionable Xintiandi shopping, dining and entertainment precinct. Entering the hotel, an atmosphere of poise and elegance immediately erupts, as one is greeted by a shiny gleaming lobby and some beautiful art by Chinese artist Qu Guangci. The room is illuminated by natural light which shines in from the floor to ceiling windows.
Sunday brunch is incredibly popular in Shanghai, proving a popular event for families and friends to come together, enjoying lavish brunches filled with delicious food and champagne. The Langham brings together the best of the best with their Champagne Sunday brunch each weekend, at their signature restaurant Cachet. Cachet sits adjacent to the lobby, accompanied by a stylish Martini bar stocked copiously with spirits, a gorgeous Lounge, and outdoor Al Fresco seating, proving such different options that cater to many.
Arriving to see the chefs preparing each of the sections, and I was absolutely flabbergasted by the dessert table in the centre of the room, but nothing could prepare my stomach for the huge amount of food to ensue. The buffet combined the best of multiple international cultures and cuisines, with different stations delivering a wide variety of cuisines ranging from Asian nations such as Chinese and Japanese to Western with Italian, Mediterranean, Spanish tapas and everything in between!
At the beginning of the buffet, lay a selection of Japanese food. The assortment included sushi rolls, a sashimi station, fresh salads & pickles and miso soup. A happy Japanese chef stood at the sushi bar, ready to slice sashimi as requested.
Next was an extensive array of fresh crustaceans and seafood lying on beds of ice, paired with a widespread choice of condiments such as tomatoes, olives, pickles, vinegars and just about every different sauce you could think of. The seafood variety was bewildering with prawns, crabs, oysters, pippies, lobsters, mussels, salmon — every oceanic delight you could think of! We were absolutely spoiled for choice!A Do-It-Yourself salad station was a healthy option. Presenting mixed leaves, a delicious pumpkin salad, nicoise salad, beans, croutons, anchovies and other freshly cut vegetables- it offered the perfect way to start of light ‘n healthy before the indulgence began!
Further along was an Italian inspired charcuterie, cheese and antipasto area. This was filled with imported cured meats including turkey, salami, prosciutto, ham, bread sticks, multiple cheeses, olives, antipasto vegetables and other little condiments.
The hot food area was where things began to get very impressive and serious! A huge board lined with roasted meats including suckling pig filled with crispy crackling, roast beef & roast lamb cooked to a magnificent pink inside, light Yorkshire puddings that were the ultimate texture, freshly cooked vegetables and sauces such as an addictively good creamy mustard sauce, which was incredibly mouth-watering! Additionally, there was roasted chicken, sliced steak, beautifully cooked fish fillets and many more!
Pots were filled with traditional Indian cuisines, such as curries, naans, rices leading onto traditional Chinese dishes including sweet ‘n sour, soups, roast duck, cashew nut crisp. My favourite had to be the fresh made-to-order Peking duck station, where the chef prepared amazing pancakes as requested!
With a huge sweet tooth, my heart was racing at the sweet selection on offer! A table in the middle of the lounge was home to a sugar overload created by their amazing pastry kitchen, boasting a huge bowl of bread & butter pudding, an apple crumble tart, a white chocolate mousse cake, tiramisu, a flourless chocolate cake, macarons, cheesecake and handmade chocolates.
The showstopper was a tall tantalizing chocolate fountain which was screaming out at me from the very beginning. The dark chocolate was like liquid gold, alongside were various dipping items including fresh fruit, marshmallows, mini croissants, meringues, scones, choux puffs and other dipping delicacies!Meanwhile on the far wall sat an ice-cream bar, which invited you to create your own sundaes. It featured an extensive array of toppings such as chocolate chips, praline crumbs, raspberry coulis, brownie bits, meringue, matcha crumble, dried berries, and a richly decadent dark chocolate sauce. All the ice-creams were scrumptious and tasty with the flavours that day including vanilla bean, strawberry, mango sorbet, coffee, chocolate and the most incredible matcha ice-cream I believe I’ve ever eaten!
Absolutely stuffed like turkeys, we sat back enjoying the relaxed atmosphere in the lounge and the bright summer’s day as the sunlight shone inside. Nearby we saw two young Chinese girls enjoying an afternoon high tea, themed Alice in Wonderland, it really was quite remarkable, just as everything else had been.
On a bed of matcha crumble lay an enticing collection of sweet treats including different flavoured cupcakes, macaroons literally reading ‘Eat me’, mini savoury brioche rolls, jelly shots, white chocolate roses, shortbread cookies, chocolate truffles, scallop & caviar bites and crispy little savoury tartlets. The biggest challenge was deciding whether or not the huge mushroom was chocolate or not, making it edible- which fortunately wasn’t for us to decide!
If I had the chance, I would definitely return for the Sunday brunch at The Langham Xintiandi. It has to be the very best buffet I have ever experienced, with quality, freshness, flavour, variety and service that surpassed any other, making it a truly memorable experience! With this it is easy to see what the Langham are one of the leading luxury and five star hotels in Shanghai, and how this attention to detail translates through every element of the hotel and its operation.
The Langham Xintiandi
99 Madang Rd, Huangpu, Shanghai, China
Phone: +86 21 2330 2288
¥348 or AU$68 food only
¥448 or AU$88 food & unlimited non-alcoholic drinks
¥688 or AU$134 food & unlimited champagne & wine