Shirani and her family are on a mission to find the best family friendly restaurants in Shanghai. See what she has to say about The COOK at Kerry Hotel Pudong, Shanghai.
The Place and The Vibe
The Kerry Hotel Pudong, Shanghai is home to the well-reviewed gastronomic experience The MEAT, The COOK and The BREW, so we entered in anticipation. The hotel’s family-friendly focus was apparent with Halloween decorations and a mini haunted house, set up for hotel and restaurant guests. Inside the restaurant, an amazing array of food confronted us in the form of 11 cooking stations served buffet style. The other diners were mostly families with children and we instantly felt settled, especially when greeted by the clown making balloon animals, which thrilled our two girls. My feeling is that this laid-back, take as long as you need atmosphere is perfect for a lazy Sunday lunch, especially with the adjacent courtyard giving children space to scoot around and play during the warmer months.
The 11 stations, which cater to all taste buds (and allergies), include Japanese, Indian, Thai and Malaysian cuisines. As a fan of Japanese, I started with prawn tempura, sashimi and sushi, all freshly prepared. Our 2 year old enjoyed the roast duck from the Chinese station, which also offered unique options such as frog leg congee, papaya and almond broth and a coconut and truffle duck soup. As a seafood lover, I had a few flower crabs which were chilled perfectly and a tad addictive!
Our 8 year old started at the salad bar, then headed to the Western station for a burger and thick-cut fries. My husband, went for the vegetarian options including a dahl from the Indian station, which also temptingly offered tandoori and masala chicken. The Thai station had a choice of seafood or mushroom tom yum soup, but this time, I indulged in the Malaysian laksa, which was a delicious hot soup, with just the right amount of spice.
Despite being satisfied with all the savory delights there was still space for sweets, so we headed to the colorful dessert station, where the kids had a ball choosing their ice creams and toppings. From the cakes and other delectable treats, I had the matcha crème brulee which was a lovely, light way to end the meal.
At the coffee and tea station, I chose the chrysanthemum and wolfberry tea, while my husband ordered a coffee from the Sumerian stall.
Top Table and Tips
The restaurant is spacious with room to park a pram or place an infant carrier down safely. Sitting centrally is beneficial for access to the stations however, if you wish for more privacy or have a large group, the big square dining tables with benches towards the back are ideal.
Children are spoiled for choice with the food options and will be thrilled with the dazzling dessert station. The clown is part of their weekend entertainment, and the seasonal décor is also nice to see. Plastic cutlery and highchairs are at customers' disposal upon request, and changing tables are also available at the Kerry Parkside bathrooms.
Recommended ages: 2 years and above
Ideal for: Brunch and dinner
See listing for The Cook