To have breakfast at the 91 floor of the Shanghai Park Hyatt 's 100 Century Avenue restaurant is an experience that I promise if you try, you will never forget!
The action that takes place, apart from the delicious breakfast buffet, is certainly designed to reverberate with energy and excitement any mortal being. The 300-seater super restaurant where I am strolling furtively with my camera features in the sprawling space 25-meter floor-to-ceiling windows quite impressive views heights, although I cannot look too much down.
From the main elevator a handsome young man, European without a doubt, with a long impeccable white apron comes toward my table and with a large smile introduces himself: " Executive Chef Gerhard Passrhugger, pleased to meet you miss Maslaton!"
Retributive with another smile , I invite him to sit with us while I notice that the action on the other side is getting more and more frantic. I let chef Gerhard know that I have an appointment with the hotel PR to visit the premises and that unfortunately I will have to leave him soon.
With a serious frown he inquires" Who exactly is going to show you around? - It's the new year break and I am afraid you will not have the attention you deserve so if you don't mind please allow me to have the honor of being your guide; if you agree I will just make a few phone calls and I will be with you in a few minutes, Yes?"
I nod . Very strange, I wander silently , a chef that wants to show me around ? There must be a reason, this man must be as powerful as Park Hayatt general manager, the charming Italian Roberto Bellipani, or maybe as the owner himself mr Mori as only a few minutes passed, as he promised, there he is, ready to lead us towards one of the most surprising elevator's rides, the 91- 93rd floor tour.
We pass through a wide ultra modern open kitchen, Rosso verona marble and grey ardosia are the stones, polished aluminum, iron and glass are the materials that surround a team of at least 10 chefs each very busy preparing different dishes for the next lunch or dining experience of the day. The stunning wood work of the chairs, the design of the tables , the immense ceiling sculpture looking like it's made of paper, rice baskets and rich japanese colorful ceramic give the place a pure magic touch .
While quickly lifting with pride a caramelized and oven roasted Peking Duck from a bunch in a pan and fried babu, chef Gerhard explains that 100 Century Avenue offers one of it's kind dining, entertainment and meetings destination , he then adds " let's not forget that below there are 80 floors of offices with hungry finance executives that need a break!"
The multiple show kitchen that features Chinese wok , a steakhouse , steamed specialties, Japanese sushis all from one menu and served with with more than 800 wine labels from it's most luxurious wine cellar, is something that honestly I had never seen before. But Gerhard is smiling- 'You haven't seen anything yet- he says, let's go to the 92 floor.
We arrive at the trendiest spot of the grandiose building where two bars are quietly resting from last night budy events. Music Room, the highest nightclub in the world adorned with Chinese contemporary sculptures, cool modernist furniture wallpaper -style , features live music performance , DJ residents and ever night apparently, I heard from locals, the wildest parties ever. The sophisticated Shanghai Lounge with sexy red crimson interior, mirrors and a romantic setting.
But it's the 93rd floor that our super-multi tasks chef Gerhard is eager to showcase. The power lies on this floor! No wander LVHM and Mercedes Benz have already booked fully their private events and banquets for 2012 well in advance. Aftter all to be at the world highest venue and sit on 2.000 us dollars leather armchairs and white linen tablecloths is not something to be ignored if you want to please your clients or guests!
The Chef confides me that if I wish to invite a few friends , I just have to let him know and I will offered the latest generation gourmet kitchen exclusively for me and my guests. Should I need a chef to help peeling veggies or fruits it's my call. Red tulips on cloisonné vases will be set in place anyways .
For my birthday I have also a choice of 7 private and meeting rooms with animal skins rugs and expensive silk fabric on the walls contemporary designed heavy dimming chandeliers and I will also have the right to enjoy art works from Mr Mori private collections. If my guest meet the number of 96 they can stay for dinner, should I have 130 within the city of Shanghai happy hour will be the perfect solution.
Gerhard also as a host, enjoys inviting the most renowned chefs of China to feature their culinary creations every year where they will be enjoying after cooking their masterpieces in a large round table in the middle of a spacious room where only a kitchen stands between the void and their joyful and festive interaction.
My head is spinning,the battery in my camera is low. I need to go down from this Olympus as having breakfast at the Park Hyatt Shanghai is like having a happy hour with God.
The problem is that as I told you before, one can get drunk too easily. Gerhard with the smile that never left his face asks: "Can I now offer you a drink?"