The friends wanted to check out the newly opened Hylandia by Shangri-la Hotel (恬居•云南香格里拉) in town. Dunno for what reason the hotel chain has never opened a branch here for years, and it finally did on 1 August 2015. Bit corny. It's a business hotel. Loads of thought has been put into the decor and interiors. The typical comfort for international travelers.
I wasn't the most enthusiastic about visiting. You know how Shangri-la Hotel Singapore screws up each time I step in. I avoid its other hotels overseas too. However, Hylandia is one of the rare establishments in Zhongdian that accepts either a Visa or Mastercard at its restaurants. Fine. We wanted to conserve our cash. Of course it offered complimentary and fast-enough wifi. Everywhere in Zhongdian offers that. It's expected. Without VPN lah. Hurhurhur.
Went to Hylandia's Ani's Kitchen (阿姨家厨) where a buffet spread was going on. Saw oysters and were mind-boggled. We weren't having that. Ordered a la carte. Our table wanted local wine, yak burgers and salads. We simply assumed that the restaurant would be able to do a decent version that was both edible and wouldn't induce the runs. Yup. Satisfied. As some said, "Fortifying." Kinda along the idea of 'last hot shower in a while'. The restaurant was new and both their maître d and head chef attended to us. Their yak burgers were delicious, fries were crisp and salads were decent. Had a couple of bottles of Shangri-la reds. They weren't complex, but rather fruity and decent to accompany the easy camaraderie at the table.