As the signature Chinese restaurant in Shangri-La Hotel, Qufu, Shang Palace will not only introduce authentic Cantonese and Shandong regional Lu cuisine, but also highlight the finest the destination has to offer – the Kong Family Cuisine. Guests will be able to experience the best quality food and service, and the profound essence of Chinese culinary culture.
Inherited Kong Family Cuisine is a combination of Shandong regional Lu methods and Su cuisine from the south of China, prepared with unsparing attention to the ingredients, appearance, taste and shape, and the dish names allude to auspicious meaning. Influenced by the imperial Ming (1368-1644) and Qing (1644-1912) dynasties, Kong Family Cuisine centres around elaborate banquets, royal commemorations and religious ceremonies. At Shang Palace, guests will have the opportunity to enjoy hot and cold selections from an à la carte menu or banquet menu sets for tables of six, eight or ten people.
As the restaurant is destined to showcase the uniqueness and the essence of Kong Family Cuisine, two local chefs who are masters of the Kong Family dishes were invited to join the hotel’s culinary team. Led by the hotel’s executive chef and the executive Chinese chef, they enhanced their knowledge by studying relevant books introducing the theory and the methods of Kong Family Cuisine. The team applies Shangri-La cooking methods to the traditional, and members think carefully regarding the selection of ingredients, the way to cut, the cooking process and the control of heat levels, to bring modern flourishes to Kong Family dishes.
Confucius Mansion’s Three Ingredients Soup is a well-seasoned delicacy considered the best of the best. It uses three ingredients (chicken, duck and pig trotters), and the cooking and simmering process to make the soup have to be repeated three times. The dish reflects a saying of Confucius, “Food can never be too good and cooking can never be done too carefully.” To make the dish perfect, the chefs select free-range chicken raised in local farms, cook in spring water from the nearby St. Ni Mountain, which contains low Na and mineral items such as Ci, and present in a Zi sha clay pot to sustain the temperature of the soup.
Another typical Kong Family dish is The Kirin Imperial Book. The dish is commonly made of freshwater bass, while the chefs at Shang Palace select sea bream, as its scales are rich in nutrition, and its shape once fried looks like kirin. A special recipe has been created to marinade the fish before cooking.
Shangri-La’s Kong Family Cuisine Menu embraces tradition with items such as Peasants’ Harvest (farm style pancakes served with four condiments), Wisdom Frees Perplexity (braised pork ribs stuffed with spring onion stalk) and Lu Wall’s Hidden Collection (prawn roll wrapped in crispy vermicelli). In addition, based on Confucius’ six arts, the hotel introduced the contemporary Six Art Cold Appetisers (Rites – spiced beef shanks; Music – jellyfish salad; Archery – spiced duck tongues; Chariot Racing – sea whelk jelly salad; Calligraphy – scallop and lettuce salad; and Mathematics – baby celery with sesame and olive oil).
Located on the lobby level of Shangri-La Hotel, Qufu, Shang Palace has a public dining hall that can accommodate 160 diners, plus nine private dining rooms, among them two pavilions set amidst the hotel’s landscaped garden with a view of the flowing river, a perfect choice to entertain families and friends. Lunch will be served from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., and dinner from 5 to 10 p.m. For enquiries and reservations, please call (86 537) 505 8888 extension 21.
Shangri-La Hotel, Qufu opened in 1 August 2013 in the historical and cultural city of Chinese educator Confucius. The hotel is within walking distance of the Temple of Confucius – a UNESCO world heritage site – and a 20-minute drive to the Qufu high-speed train station. The hotel’s guestrooms overlook a traditional Chinese landscape garden and have views of either the river or the old town, and are the city’s largest.
Among the hotel’s dining and entertainment options are Café Kong serving international fare, Shang Palace offering authentic Cantonese cuisine and Kong family dishes, the Lobby Lounge and the Streaming bar. The expansive property offers the largest meeting spaces in the city, including the 1,600-square-metre, pillar-free Grand Ballroom.
Note to the editor: Further information regarding Kong Family Cuisine is attached.
About Kong Family Cuisine
Driven by Confucius’thoughts on food and diet, Kong Family Cuisine has developed from the Han, Tang and Song dynasties, reaching its height during the Ming and Qing dynasties. It has two regional influences: Shandong regional Lu cuisine and Su cuisine, which comes from Jiangsu Province. On top of these influences comes imperial cuisine, as emperors often visited the Kong family and royal banquets held. The chefs at Shangri-La Hotel, Qufu are updating the traditional Kong Family Cuisine to make it suit contemporary tastes.
Kong Family Cuisine features an extensive selection of ingredients, from precious seafood and wild delicacies to simple food such as melons and beans. It focuses on local and seasonal ingredients, and as Confucius said, “Food can never be too good and cooking can never be done too carefully.” Kong Family Cuisine is complex, labour intensive and demands great attention to detail.
Another distinctive character of Kong Family Cuisine is the legendary names of the dishes, such as Gingko Poetry Rites, a dessert style dish. Legend says the dish when presented the first time was called Honey Gingko, while the 53rd generation descendant of Confucius, Master Yan Sheng, praised the good taste of the dish, but did not like the name. When he learned that the gingkos were picked from the two ginkgo trees in front of the Poetry Hall, he gave the dish the name of Gingko Poetry Rites, to commemorate what Confucius once taught to his son Kong Li about poetry and virtue. Confucius said, “If you do not study poetry, you have no words to speak; if you do not learn courtesy and virtue, you cannot make yourself stand out as a man of dignity.”
Confucius is not only the founder of Confucianism, but the successor of the Qilu rites and culture, which is one of the main origins of Chinese culture. Confucius’ thoughts and practices of the rites are applied in daily routines as well as special occasions. Special table set ups and arrangements, the seating arrangement of the host and the guest, and the protocol of serving alcohol to elders first, are all considered and follow Confucius’ theories.
More Stories about Kong Family Dishes
Wisdom Frees Perplexity
Confucius said, “The way of a superior person is threefold: virtuous, they are free from anxieties; wise, they are free from perplexities; bold, they are free from fear.”
Legend has it that this dish was created during Emperor Qin Shi Huang's era (259‑210 BC) of the burning of books and the live burial of scholars. Minister Zhang Ge, for the preservation of the Kong Family line, is said to have exchanged his own son for the life of a Kong family male descendent, and in the process created this dish to pass on secret information. The other side of the secret message said, “If you have a heart of love, then you will have a lifetime of wisdom, bravery and strength of will.” Many generations of the Kong family praised and remembered this incident for many generations.
After the pork ribs are slowly braised and the bone is removed from the meat and replaced with a stalk of scallion, the pork ribs are deep-fried and finished with a rich, tasty sauce.
Lu Wall’s Hidden Collection
“To be a truly virtuous person or to live with dignity, you need to be determined about your life’s direction, which should be the pursuit of a good cause; you need to possess good virtues, you need to do things with benevolence and compassion, and you need to practice the Six Arts.”
In 221 BC, the era of Emperor Qin Shi Quang, the first emperor of a unified China, it was ordered that books should be burnt and scholars buried alive to ensure stability among the common people. Confucius’ ninth generation descendent, Kong Fu, was known to have hidden precious books in the walls of the Confucius Family Mansion before disappearing into hiding. In 154 BC, when Emperor Lu Gong expanded the palace, they discovered the sacred books in the walls: The Book of Shang, The Book of Rites, The Analects of Confucius and Xiao – Book of Filial Piety. These ancient Chinese classics were safely preserved.
This dish is designed to have prawns placed (or hidden) in a wrapping of thin hand‑pulled vermicelli, deep-fried to a crispy finish – fresh, fragrant and delicious.
Farm-Style Pancakes Served with Four Kinds of Condiments
“When a man can continually acquire new knowledge while he thinks over the old, he can be a teacher of others.”
Confucius often taught his students, “If you frequently review knowledge learned from before, you can continuously expand on the same knowledge and have better understanding and gain even more.” This learning method can also teach us more. In the harvest season, the Confucius Family Mansion uses all kinds of crops picked from the farm’s harvest as fresh ingredients to make seasonings and condiments to be eaten with pancakes home-made from coarse cereals. Aside from the gesture of giving thanks for a good harvest, the dish also has the meaning of wishing students a good “harvest” or good reward and success from their studies.
Confucius’ Thoughts on Diet and Food
About Eating Smart
In the light of common people preparing food roughly, Confucius advocated raising the level of food processing and cooking skills to cook food more meticulously, in order to keep good health and make it easy for the body to digest.
Confucius said, “Food can never be too good and cooking can never be done too carefully.” “Food cannot be eaten if the cutting is not even and properly done.” “I do not eat if I do not get proper soya sauce.” “Do not take away the ginger.” “Eat at mealtimes.” “Do not talk during meals.”
About Food Hygiene
Confucius advanced many principles of dietetic hygiene and the criteria for testing hygiene, and he attached great importance to the freshness of the food.
Confucius said, “Food should not be eaten if its colour has changed, food should not be eaten if it has rotted.” “Dried meat and wine should not be eaten if they were bought from a market that was not clean.” “Animals offered in sacrificial rites should be chosen and cut according to fixed standards or they should not be eaten. Meat given in sacrificial rites should be eaten the same day and not be kept until the next day. Meat offered in sacrifice at home should not be eaten if it is kept longer than three days.”
Confucius did not recommend the amount of wine to be consumed. He understood that the alcohol tolerance level varied among individuals.
Confucius said, “If there are many meat courses, people should not overeat.” “Drink as much wine as you like as long as it does not affect the stability of your mind.”
About the Rituals of Eating and Diet
Confucius was serious about meals. Even if simple food was involved, the attitude had to be serious.
Confucius said, “A man of dignity should not just be content to have food to eat and a house to live in, but to do a good cause for the public good.” “Table should be properly set up or not eat.” “Food and wine should be first presented to higher ranks and elders.”