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Deep inside the luxurious Westin Palace Hotel (www.westinpalacemadrid.com) is one of Madrid’s hidden gems for anyone who is passionate about fine Chinese cuisine.

Asia Gallery (www.asiagallerymadrid.com) specializes in highly refined Cantonese dishes from the southern province of Guangdong near Hong Kong. Characterized by stir-fried, seafood dishes prepared with spring onions, ginger, chili and soy sauce, Cantonese cuisine is one of the most popular regional Chinese cuisines with diners around the world.

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Positioned off the famed Cupola Lounge in the Westin Palace Hotel, Asia Gallery is a favourite rendezvous with celebrities, politicians and visiting statesmen who come there to enjoy the intimate, designer ambience as well as the exceptional food. For those seeking privacy there are two tables which can be converted into more intimate spaces by drawing the rich, damask curtains around the splendidly carved Chinese screens.

The restaurant’s interior, which echoes the décor of a 1920’s Shanghai club, features bench seats covered with crimson and gold silk and delicate oriental lamps adorned with a peach blossom design. At night candles on each table provide a soft glow perfect for romance. A series of oversized paintings depicting classic, oriental scenes add to the exceptional décor. Providing a delightful juxtaposition of styles are the contemporary, white leather chairs and the minimalist porcelain and glassware on the tables.

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Asia Gallery’s extensive menu offers a number of delightful surprises. Don’t miss the sautéed lobster with X.O. – a spicy seafood sauce invented in Hong Kong – steamed sea bass with ginger and spring onions, marinated quail with mild chili and of course the classic, Peking duck served with paper-thin pancakes. For dim sum fans there is an extensive selection including tasty morsels filled with duck foie or langoustines. Adding to the experience is the chance to sample some wine from the large selection of both Spanish and international labels. Chinese food and wine can be a tricky combination, but help is at hand from the experienced sommelier when it comes to pairing the dishes with the right wines.