Contrary to what its name suggests, Shanghai Me is not a Chinese restaurant, it’s pan-Asian. The marketing blurb says that its interior draws inspiration from 1930’s Shanghai, hence the name. I don’t know what all that means, I just know that it looks (and feels) elegant, upmarket and very, very posey. Yeah, it seemed to me that this is a place people come, more to be seen at than for the food and vibe.
In that context, I find that the quality of food at arty-farty places like this never lives up to the hype…but not here. The food at Shanghai Me was actually very good. I wasn’t blown away by the Mixed Dim Sum Basket, but the Yellowtail Carpaccio with Sliced Black Truffle and Sesame Prawns on Toast were really good but hands down, the Roast Duck with Chinese Caviar was the best of the lot. Stand outs of our mains were the Grilled Silver Cod with Yuzu Miso Sauce, the excellent Lobster with Singapore Sauce and the Triple Cooked Angus Short Ribs. Our carbs came in the form of Singapore Noodles with Chicken and Prawns (my love of this dish is something my Singaporean friends constantly make fun of me over claiming that there is no such thing in Singapore) and a deliciously earthy Mushroom & Truffle Claypot Rice.
On my first visit to Shanghai Me, a business dinner, my associates and I were hugely disappointed with the service; we literally had to run after the staff to serve us. That could be a consequence of dining outside because on my second visit to the restaurant, my friends and I were seated inside, and service was notably better. I’m pretty sure the first time was a fluke and am going to give them the benefit of the doubt – this is a Bulldozer Group restaurant after all. Will I go back for a third time? My preference for Asian (Chinese) in DIFC is Royal China and Hutong but sure, I’d be happy to go back to Shanghai Me…
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Xerxes (pronounced Zûrk’seez) physically dines at, or orders from, each and every venue he reviews. He pays in full for whatever he and his companions eat, drink, take away or occasionally throw at each other. Xerxes accepts no money, gifts, discounts or free meals in return for reviews or favouritism. What you have read was NOT influenced in any way by the venue. Join his culinary journey on Instagram: @ravenousxerxes or reach out to him via email on firstname.lastname@example.org.