Shanghai Lu Yang Cun has been a culinary institution in the mainland's second city for more than 80 years. To celebrate the relocation of the Hong Kong branch - opened in the World Trade Centre in 1996 and now on a higher floor - a sophisticated Red Mansion banquet has been assembled. Red Mansion is a classic Chinese novel that depicts the flamboyant lifestyle of aristocrats in the 18th century. 'There are 197 dishes described in Red Mansion and it took our team more than six months to design, create and beautify each course in the banquet,' says Dennis Tsui, a senior manager with Hong Kong Catering Management, which owns the restaurant. Tsui recruited two culinary consultants, Peng Gaofa and Li Shuncai, both from the mainland, to work with chef Cheung Wing-chun. Peng was head chef for former president Jiang Zemin and served in the national diplomatic division as culinary ambassador, cooking for politicians and royalty. Food sculptor Li heads a culinary art school in Yangzhou, Jiangsu province. He sculpts the first-course display dish, Phoenix Lovers. 'Human figures are the most difficult sculptures to perfect because each one is personalised ... The presentation of a dish is equally as important as its taste,' says Li. After small sweet, sour, spicy and salty dishes come eight hors d'oeuvres that show off Yangzhou slicing techniques, such as smoked duck breast, pickled turnip peel, jade green bamboo shoots (below right) and supreme mushrooms with gingko. The seven main courses include soft-shelled turtle and pearl in oyster shell on floating lotus flower, braised sliced pork presented as a pagoda (below left), sliced coral grouper presented as a Chinese fan and minced fresh chicken breast in a pumpkin case presented as a treasure chest (below centre). The feast ends with dim sum-style desserts. Three banquets are served nightly and to sample one you'll have to book three days in advance. A banquet for six guests costs HK$4,080 plus 10 per cent while one for 12 is HK$7,880. The banquet will be available until August 31. Shanghai Lu Yang Cun is at 11/F, World Trade Centre, 280 Gloucester Road, Causeway Bay, tel: 2881 6669.