Even in rapidly regenerating east London, where nothing is as it once was, Shanghai – converted from an old eel & pie shop – is a fascinating sign of the times. Locals can see F Cooke’s pie shop in old photos at the Hackney Museum, or can experience the original Edwardian wooden booths & art nouveau tiles for themselves at Dalston’s quirkiest Chinese restaurant. The menu flouts convention in favour of giving punters what they want – namely, dim sum night & day (from £2.80). Try the supreme Shanghai seafood dumplings (enclosing crab meat, scallop morsels & stock) or the deep-fried yam croquettes with mixed meat. Malaysian specials & western-influenced versions of eastern food can also be had, along with some tantalising signature dishes including Chilean sea bass infused with golden oolong tea. Karaoke rooms & menus make the venue a good shout for a party.
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