41 Kingsland High Street , London, E8 2JS

Shanghai Dalston

SquareMeal Review of Shanghai

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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Food & Drink: 7.3

Service: 5.0

Atmosphere: 5.3

Value: 7.5

Food & Drink: 2.0

Service: 0.0

Atmosphere: 0.0

Value: 2.0

Daniel F. 18 February 2015

Seven of us ate at the restaurant, ordering a combination of dim sum and main meals. The dim sum platter we ordered had a fantastic range, and was really tasty. Dishes presented looked good, freshly prepared rather than coming from a pre-prepared mix. Colleagues described what they received as decent, though at £10 it was double the price of other chinese food establishments. However, as often happens, its what goes wrong that characterises the experience. Dishes came in stops and starts, which was fine as we asked for them to come as they were prepared. My own dish hadn't arrived an hour after ordering, and the explanation given was that the meat was "marinating". It had to be cancelled. We had explained that we were in a hurry when we ordered, so it should have been clear that this would not be reasonable. There was no apology, and it was made clear that the service charge was not optional. One colleague also fell ill shortly after eating there, which greatly affects the food & drink score.

Food & Drink: 5.0

Service: 3.0

Atmosphere: 3.0

Value: 5.0

Rosie T. 22 November 2013

A decent Chinese with the usual shabby service but really stonking dim sum. Yum.

Food & Drink: 4.0

Service: 3.0

Atmosphere: 3.0

Value: 4.0

Alex A. bronze reviewer 10 January 2013

Excellent food for very reasonable money. Service is a bit straight-forward and not superb, but food and drinks are usually brought very quickly. Shanghai marinated duck is delicious – juicy and tender, highly recommended. Wines and beers are very reasonably priced and they also have a very good selection of Chinese teas. I prefer the inside room with more “traditional” Chinese restaurant décor to the front bit with pie-shop tiled walls and wooden diner booths. Great local place, I keep returning there every month!

Food & Drink: 3.0

Service: 3.0

Atmosphere: 3.0

Value: 3.0

Stephen D. 08 January 2010

The food here is of a very good standard and I would recommend trying chef's specials and the more adventurous dishes on the menu.

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