Shangri-La food

Danny Raskin: Fine Asian Dining

Shangri-La delivers choices not found at many other Asian restaurants.

Why does its type of restaurant confuse so many people? … Is it Chinese or is it Cantonese, a kind of Chinese cuisine? Or what? … An inside window sign says Chinese … An outside sign says Cantonese … How about some of both … with oodles of gourmet dining thrown in?

Shangri-La in the Orchard Mall, Orchard Lake Road and 15 Mile, West Bloomfield, celebrating its 22nd anniversary this year, does not serve Chinese staples such as Egg Foo Yung or Chop Suey or Chow Mein, etc. … But it does have in season four wonderful live lobster dishes (Cantonese, Ginger & Green Onion, Black Bean Sauce, Spicy Salt), four live Vancouver crab servings (Ginger & Onion, Black Bean Sauce, Spicy Salt and one steamed with aged wine).

It has egg rolls and wonton or egg drop soup … but also steamed oysters with black bean sauce, spicy quail, fried silver anchovies, steamed spare ribs with black bean sauce, etc.

Shangri-La has all the soups of both … vegetable soup, chicken rice, hot and sour … but also cream corn with minced chicken or fish maw with crab meat … Appetizers like Crab Rangoon, crab claws stuffed with shrimp, etc.

Cholada “Nancy” ChanYes, Shangri-La can be considered as both … plus a Hong Kong-style of cooking that might in many instances be quite different from the usual … This has always been a fervent desire for Asian dining queen and owner Cholada “Nancy” Chan, born in Thailand to Chinese parents … and a firm stickler also on Asian cuisine … After taking over the former site of Rikshaw Inn, just about everything was changed to more elegant décor and the presentation of authenticity to give as true as possible the styled gourmet looks of Hong Kong, etc.

Shangri-La is well noted for its gourmet styles of dining …. But is also acclaimed for its many choice selections of Dim Sum, which are served daily 11 a.m.-3 p.m. and 9:30 p.m.-2 a.m. … Beautiful and delicious bite-sized portions, most made by hand at Shangri-La, and all served in small steamer baskets.

There is no ice cream or sherbet selections served at Shangri-La … But Mango Pudding and almond tofu ice cream are good meal-enders.

RESPONSE HAS BEEN so overwhelmingly received for the Monday evening, June 4, First Annual Checker Bar-B-Q Night, that reservations and restriction times have been established only for them at Steven Lelli’s Inn On The Green, just west of Halsted, Farmington Hills … Seating periods will be strictly enforced for 4-6 p.m., 6-8 p.m. and 8-10 p.m. … Steven Lelli’s Inn is usually closed on Monday but will open for Checker Bar-B-Q’s tribute that will include all its former huge favorites and side lovelies … Number to call for reservations is (248) 994-1111.

THE BEAT GOES ON for bigger and better outdoor dining when desired or needed, with news on the al fresco scene at Cantoro Italian Market and Trattoria, North Haggerty between 5 and 6 Mile, Plymouth … Its outdoor patio is currently closed while being redesigned … When completed, the patio will be lavishly enclosed with more seating for all-year-round dining … During the summer months, its large glass doors will swing open.

Also, a biggie now available at Cantoro are the new lunch and dinner menus with dishes not found elsewhere or at too many Italian restaurants … in its elegant sit-down trattoria connected next to the market.

Shangri-La foodREMEMBERING … When Joe Katz opened his third McDonald’s restaurant and people were still stunned from his first one while a rabbi … When Norma Zager had her first child and said it was the first time she was gaining weight and actually happy about it … When prominent barrister Henry Baskin today was 10 years old and used to make a microphone out of a stick and do Walter Winchell’s “Good Evening, Mr. and Mrs. North America” bit among others.

SIGHTINGS … Kim Rich, who was only a 14-year-old student at Southfield High when working after school as hostess Kim Miller at the former Clock Restaurant, 10 Mile and Southfield … Now 57 and still youthful-looking at Mark Zarkin’s Steven Lelli’s Inn, 12 Mile, Farmington Hills.

OLDIE BUT GOODIE … A funeral service is being held in a synagogue. At the end of the service, the pallbearers are carrying the casket out when they accidently bump into a wall, jarring the casket.

They hear a faint moan. They open the casket and find that the man is actually alive.

He lives for five more years and then passes on. A ceremony is again held at the same synagogue, and at the end of the ceremony, the pallbearers are again carrying the casket.

As they are walking out, the wife cries, “Watch out for the wall!”

CONGRATS … To Michael Layne on his birthday … To Jon Eisenberg on his birthday … To Alvin Frommer on his birthday … To Sima Parr on her birthday … To Linda Nudell on her birthday.

Danny’s email address is dannyraskin2132@gmail.com.

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