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  • 193-197 High Holborn
    London WC1V 7BD
    Covent Garden
  • Transit information Central Northern Piccadilly Get Directions
  • Phone number 020 7404 1668
  • Business website shanghaiblues.co.uk
  • 4.0 star rating
    13/7/2013

    This place is like a cross between chinatown dim sum and Yauatcha. Nice decor, good range of non-standard westernised dim-sum and pricey. However factor in the 50% on weekends and this place wins hands down on value for money.

    The cocktails are quite nice. Particularly the lychee based ones. However a lot of them were "not available" when we visited with a Groupon. Whether this was availability of deliberately restricting us peasants with our Groupons, I'll never know.

    Service throughout started well. Very attentive, then suddenly disappeared. We sat for quite a while after finishing out meal with not a single waiter/ess in sight. Extremely strange. What saved this place from getting 3 stars was the dim sum itself.

    I can't for the life of me remember the names of anything I ate apart from the prawn scallops that were very good. However one dim sum was particularly memorable because upon biting into it, there was a delicous broth that dribbled down your chin that was oh so tasty as an accompany to the meaty filling, that I'd never seen done before. Also the sea bass dim sum along with the scollops were cooked to PER-FEC-TION. One disappointment were the pricey and mountainous spare ribs cooked with chilli and cracked black pepper. Really, tough, hardly any meat and super chewy. Note the portions were similar to other places. 3-4 pieces for normal dim sum. 2-3 for specials like sea-bass.

    So apart from one bad choice, the quality and breadth of not your average dim sum elevates this place to good for people you wish to impress. It's not as cheap as chinatown, but there's some great dim-sum to be had if you find yourself in Marylebone and consider Chinatown too far to meet your dim-sum cravings.

  • 2.0 star rating
    22/11/2013
    1 check-in here

    Shanghai Blues, hands down, must be the classiest as well as most up-scaled Chinese restaurant we ever been to. But it is also, in our opinion, the Chinese restaurant managing to evoke our most mistrust.

    I have to admit our expectations were pretty high having red about the place as well as upon entering it. What is alluring about this place is the location, décor, ambiance, cocktails, the menu and the 50% off promotion. In our chase for the best Dim Sum any discount is a welcomed one and it doesn't get much better than 50% off. But to be honest 50% off at Shanghai Blues is the equivalent of pretty much full price in many other Dim Sum serving places in London.  The best deals are available on Sundays when it is 50% off the entire order but again it is not all that bang for the buck however it might be justified by the great Dim Sums or the cocktails as well as the jazzy ambiance. Still I must say the price asked for the rice even at 50% off is a joke considering the portion size.

    Having red this far you might be wondering whether I am bipolar not understanding the origin of my/our alleged so called huge mistrust. But let me assure you, indeed to us it is the Shanghai Blues that shows signs of bipolarity. I have had bad, slow or/and uneven services before, one might even prejudicially argue this is to be expected at a Chinese place, but at Shanghai Blues in addition to all of that we experienced  also "twilight" odd.  
    While ordering I have experienced staff breathing down on my neck but never before my visit here have there been lasting less appropriate body parts contacts while taking or helping me with the order while literally bent over me. Nor have I actually heard the word "FU¤%" having been expressed in front of our table when being called to help a waiting kitchen staff serving a Dim Sum we did not order after we finished our mains. It is even odder considering the fact same waitress and kitchen staff did serve us the Dim Sums we in fact ordered as the starters 55 minutes prior. We are aware we might come across as tourists, and we are being Scandinavians, but it is nevertheless insulting as well as degrading to us being presumed as dumbs or illiterates! And to make perfectly clear NO none of us are even nor were blonds! Why ells would we be given a bill for the full amount on a Sunday when everything is 50% off? And when made aware of it presenting us with the right bill only 20 seconds later while blaming the mistake on another imaginary staff! Imaginary to us as only one person dealt with us during the entire visit! If we didn't know any better we would argue there is in fact 2 separate bills prepared simultaneously to be displayed at the end of the visit: one without the promotion aimed to make the gullible or unknowing tourists sing the Shanghai blues where the odds are assumed to be 50-50 in favor of the bank or I mean restaurant.

  • 1.0 star rating
    8/4/2014

    Food was ok, but the service was comically bad!  First they brought out main courses before starters, each person received food at different times.  One person's main course didn't come out at all.  I guess they felt bad because they sent us a bland fruit platter.  Then we were left completely alone for an hour after dessert, it's like they either forgot we were there or were avoiding eye contact on purpose.  It was so weird!!

  • 1.0 star rating
    5/3/2014

    The dim sum is pretty good but we had a horrible experience here on a groupon voucher. We gave them the groupon vouchers at the start and at the end of the night they claimed we had not given them any vouchers and demanded we pay the full bill. Even when I showed them my iphone group on voucher as having been redeemed two hours ago they said, "how do we know about the others?" Astonishing. The service was awful too. In a near empty restaurant they took 45 minutes to bring us a bill. Avoid this place like the plague.

  • 3.0 star rating
    7/2/2014

    I went to this place with my mom, hoping to get some good Chinese food. I wasn't disappointed, however I found that the prices were extortionate. We paid £46 between 2 of us and ordered 3 dishes (one of them being a bowl of rice).

    The jazz and blues songs were great and added a great atmosphere around the place.

  • 2.0 star rating
    20/5/2013

    Overpriced and portions too small.
    I don't care how good they think they are, at £3.90 for steam rice, that is only enough for 3 mouth full, is extortionate. You will leave ether poor or hungry.

    Go to Chinatown, food just as good if not better at a price you can eat until you are full.

  • 3.0 star rating
    8/5/2013

    This place is alright by my standards. We come here when we're not in the mood for the out of the bag dim sum served in Chinatown, yet too poor to afford Yauatcha.

    The staff are great, and happy to explain menu items to  you. And though I love the ambiance and live band, I still think it's pretty pricey for dim sum. I guess I'm more of the hot-steaming-off-the-cart dim sum kinda gal.

    • Qype User chasho…
    • Paris, France
    • 2 friends
    • 5 reviews
    4.0 star rating
    11/7/2013

    In 2006, I push the door of this restaurant for the fist time. It was one of the best experience I never had ! Moolie croissant, crispy dusk were so delicious! Service was great!
    In 2011, I came back hoping to feel same pleasure. This restaurant is not good as it was. Service is not what it was. I was missing pancakes for my duck, asked 4 times but without any succes. This restaurant is expensive and does not worth it anymore. Too bad We still appreciate live music. I think I will give this restaurant another chance

  • 3.0 star rating
    12/11/2012
    Seated via OpenTable 1 check-in here

    September  2012

    We had a fun time at Shanghai !  We liked the ambiance. They had a great  Jazz & blues band. The service was attentive. The signature cocktails were good (but not great). Out water glasses were refreshed in a timely manner.

    The Grilled Shanghai Pork Dumplings were tasty.  We enjoyed the Stir Fried Crab with Ginger & Spring Onions, Buddhist Monk's Vegetables in Crispy Taro Ring and the Deep Fried Sea Bass Fillet..

  • 4.0 star rating
    6/2/2013

    I only ever come here when it's half price (Saturday lunch and all day Sunday). The dim sum is not authentic and quite fushion-y but the quality is still great! they have a large selection of dishes to pick from, typical dim sum dishes like har gow, siew mai, but also more elaborate ones like scallop dumplings (almost a whole scallop inside!) and crab dumplings.

    Each dish is normally £6.50, so after the discount it's around the same price as in Chinatown, which for the quality is well worth the price! the restaurant's fairly dimly lit but feels very grand and very Chinese.

    The service is quite quick but the waitress made a bit of a face when we asked for hot water. also, we were charged £1 for each time the glass of hot water was filled! ridiculous! that aside, I've been to Shanghai blues maybe 5 times now and will keep going back for the good food for shizzzzle!

  • 3.0 star rating
    8/3/2013

    I came here for brunch on a Saturday afternoon which had 50% off on all dimsum. This place is somehow a bit hard to spot from the outside so if I were not to meet my friends who already know of the place, I wouldn't have heard of it or thought of going there to eat.

    The dimsum selection is a bit on the pricey-side and 50% off actually puts it on a more reasonable scale. The tea choices were incredibly pricey, up to £3-4 per person for a type of tea! It's true that the interior is very classy for a Chinese restaurant, but charging that amount for tea per person is unreasonable! Let's just say that I did not have tea with my dimsum that day (made it a very odd dimsum experience, indeed!)

    The xiao long bao came in a really cute personal tray. It was very hard trying to get the xiao long bao off the tray and I broke the skin while I tried to do it which was quite a disappointment. Nevertheless, the xiao long bao was OK and nothing to rave about.

    The steamed custard bun (or puff?) was tiny and unlike the ones that I've eaten. Its appearance was a cross between a meringue and a tiny Chinese bun while the shape mimicked that of a xiao long bao except the base had a yellow line around it. When it was served I think my heart sank when I saw how tiny it was. Biting into it didn't immediately ooze the custard paste into my mouth and it only did after the second bite. But by the third or fourth bite, the custard bun was completely gone.

    The rice noodle roll we ordered had a strange filling inside. We ordered two types, one was with the standard prawn filling and the other was a type of pork meat which was rather unusual. I've tried different types of fusion before (rice noodle with unagi - which was absolutely delicious btw) and this rice noodle with slabs of pork meat just didn't quite work.

    One thing I did like here was the steamed yam cake. The cake was cut into small little cubes, and when I bit into one I immediately felt the cube disintegrating in my mouth. It was really nice, and because this was my first dish, as a result I think my expectations for the other dishes went a bit higher.

    There were a few other selection of dimsum which was quite strange in appearance and satisfactory in taste. I've been to other dimsum restaurants which have attempted the fusion experience (such as the one with the unagi) and it was way better than this place.

    Overall, loved the interior, but dimsum was just OK and tea was too expensive. I wouldn't be coming back here any time soon as there are other places with better dimsum at better prices! :)

  • 4.0 star rating
    3/10/2012
    1 check-in here

    Decent food, decent venue. It's eating Chinese food without the Chinatown chaos and smelling like a barbecued bird after a meal (yes I had bad Chinatown experience). So I've gone to Shanghai blues a few times for lunch and dinner. Service was OK.. I might be bias but I felt that the service was better when they found out that I could speak Chinese.

    So it really should've been a 3-star.

    BUT

    They've got 50% off on food on Saturday. Hence the perfect boozy dimsum brunch fiesta anybody can ask for. Did I mention that they also had an extensive wine list (extensive for a Chinese restaurant excluding Hakkasan)?

    Boozy dimsum @ Shanghai Blues. Highly highly recommended!

  • 4.0 star rating
    30/7/2012
    Listed in Dim Sum

    Lovely, high-end dim sum can be yours for half price every weekend lunchtime!

    That's right, book a table or just turn up and anything you order is automatically 50% off, no voucher needed, making this a steal for the quality of food and atmosphere.

    The Ha Gau here are amazing, the prawns in them are really big, not just tasteless minced ones, we had two orders of them. Also very much worth ordering are the Shanghai Shui Jao and the smallest egg tarts I have ever seen in my life!

    The two of us ate more than we should have on our visit but our bill was a very reasonable £42.10 with service.

    The only slightly negative thing I would say is that the service can be slightly erratic and a little slow, but on a weekend lunch there's no rush so it's not a huge deal. Also £4.50 for a small bottle of Tiger beer is really, really expensive, and tea at a dim sum place should never be per person.

  • 4.0 star rating
    25/4/2009

    "Amary, have you been to the most famous Chinese restaurant in London?"

    And it's Shanghai Blues, the unique place for dim sum.  I love the design and deco of the restaurant. It has the Oriental feeling with a touch of modernism. I love the 1940s Shanghainese poster girls, Chinese deco, cherry blossoms, the color of that gives you the sense of autumn.

    The dim sum is also impressive. Mooli Croissant, a crispy puff that's not too oily. Golden Pumpkin, that's too cute to eat oozes out with pumpkin juice. No, dim sum is complete without "Har Gau" Just nice! The yin-yang elements of Tai Chi dumplings. Note that this is not for amateurs.

    For dessert, warm tea green tea pancake with purple yam. Have I convinced you? And sipping, 15yrs Pu-Erh tea.  Too bad that they don't have "Zha Bing Qi Lin"

    One thing that I couldn't stand is the jazz music selection. What about Shanghai Jazz? Zhou Xuan?

    Surprisingly it's not an expensive place.  Certainly a place to impress your non-Asian friends. Service is okay.

  • 4.0 star rating
    21/8/2012
    Seated via OpenTable

    Delicious high quality Chinese cuisine. I wished that the Chinese restaurants in the US could have nontacky decor such as the ones in London. This place serves a huge variety of drinks, including some Chinese liquors. The waiters were very friendly and we actually met the owner while we were there! They bought us champagne, so extra stars for them, hahaha.

    Apparently, Lewis Hamilton F1 champion loves to frequent this place when he visits London! :D

    I found that charging 3(or was it 5?) pounds for a tiny amount of steamed rice is quite ridiculous. But maybe that's just me being a stupid 'Murican. ;)

  • 4.0 star rating
    9/2/2012
    1 check-in here

    I highly highly recommend this place if you want to get down with dumplings and dope food for half the price with the ambiance of the best Chinese place in town(ok, not as cool as Hakasaan, but you get the point). Yep, that's right, every Saturday and Sunday lunch, the entire meal is 50% off, no matter what, so that 2.5lb lobster, only £26, and that Supreme shanghai seafood dumpling, only £3.30! Insanity!

    Hit it up and you wont be disappointed.

  • 4.0 star rating
    18/7/2010
    3 check-ins here

    We came here for a dim sum lunch last weekend - I've been here before and enjoyed the food and general atmosphere.  It's one of those places that I would only go on a special occasion, and I think you have to keep it in mind when you're considering the dim sum - it's not cheap and you don't really have the typical dim sum fare.  That said, the food is nice (if pricey), but you are paying for style! ;) I particularly like the soft shell crab.  

    Dim sum is nice here, but I think you really need to come in for dinner to get the full package - the evening menu is much nicer (love the pei pa duck dish here).  It's a good place to go just for the difference in dishes compared to a regular Chinese restaurant, so long as you keep in mind that it's "different", I'm sure you'll enjoy it.

  • 4.0 star rating
    2/10/2011

    Hip, swanky décor & well-prepared food that hits all the right notes. Come here very hungry, because you're going to want a chance to eat everything on the menu!!

    I'm a sucker for good dumplings and this place has the real deal - Fresh delicate dough (with a crisp edge if pan-fried) and a burst of savory cooking broth when you bite into them. Mmmm...dumpling heaven! Started out with a few orders before dinner, but want to go back for lunch to check out the dim sum menu.

    Dinner menu is impressive. All the dishes have just the right balance of flavors with fresh, good quality ingredients. Below is what we ordered and everything was delicious.

    Grilled Shanghai Pork Dumplings
    Shanghai 'Shui jiao' in Exotic Chilli Sauce Dumplings (prawns, chicken, mushrooms)
    Sweat & Sour Pork
    King Prawns in Kung Po Style
    Chicken with Peppercorn & Shanghai Herbs
    Classic Sweet & Sour Pork with Pineapple
    Singapore Noodles with shredded duck, chicken, prawns & beansprouts

    Bonus here is the location and atmosphere, which sets the right mood - a bit of Shanghai art-deco luxury with clean, air-conditioned, comfortable seating areas. They also have jazz music giving the place a bit of a club feeling. Nice alternative to Chinatown and being located close to Covent Garden, it makes this a great choice to start out an evening with a nice group dinner before heading out to enjoy the night-life scene in the area-- which is just what we did

    To sum up. Good food (check), Good location & atmosphere (check), Much better service than what you'd get in most Chinese restaurants :P (check).

  • 4.0 star rating
    11/3/2012
    Listed in Dining

    Upscale Chinese restaurant in Bloomsbury (roughly equidistant from both Holborn and Tottenham Court Road tubes).

    Menu quite varied, and has wide (albeit pricey) selection of specialty teas.

    The weekend lunch Dim Sum offer (50% off food) makes this a good value option at these times.

    My only criticism is service is a little slow, and orders for large groups don't seem to be handled in a way such that the arrival timings are synchronised.

  • 4.0 star rating
    21/5/2011

    I had dinner here last Saturday night while visiting my ex-pat friends in London. I must say I was very pleasantly surprised at this high end Chinese restaurant.

    We chose a number of wonderful dishes to share however the most memorable was the roasted duck. It was so flavorful and so well prepared. 1/2 was plenty form the three of us with a couple more dishes.

    The service I must say was overall very good and extremely attentive. I felt like everyone helped every table to some degree. However, there was one server who unfortunately was so RUDE! Looked at his watch while we gave our order, at one point even held up his hand and told me to "wait" while we were all contributing to our order. I would have given 5 stars if not for this one person.

    But the highlight of the evening was the music. Amazing! Jazz and blues  played on a grand piano with another musician playing the bass. Fabulous! It made for such a wonderful atmosphere and will tarly be the thing I will remember fondly about this spot.

  • 4.0 star rating
    9/6/2013

    We randomly stopped in here for a quick drink at the bar, maybe a snack, as M had developed a debilitating case of the hiccups?! Staff did not quite know what to do w. us (the giggles from the hiccups did not help), said they were booked for dinner (fine), but eventually understood, sat us in the bar (swanky!), and took our order.  Drinks arrived (delicious), and we assumed the dumplings were en route, but then the hostess came by to tell us our table was ready.  ? OK. We're on holiday, we can roll.  Ended up ordering a variety of dishes, almost every one was delicious, well presented etc.  I think the only one we didn't love was a beef dish, but we pretty much cleared the table.  Service is sweet and gracious, but a bit uneven timing wise- no matter to us, but if you're on a schedule....you get me.  All in all, we found it delicious and sexy, no complaints for such an accidental find.

  • 4.0 star rating
    31/10/2010

    I am used to eating good Cantonese food in Toronto and Vancouver, of course Hong Kong. So when a meat-and-potato centric non-Chinese friend selected this place, I was not expecting much, food wise.

    We had a large group, half of us ordered the tasting menu. For a CBD location and mostly corporate clientele, the food is surprisingly decent and quite authentic. Tasting menu consisted of several courses of dim sum (shrimp dumpling, scallop dumpling, little soup-y pork dumpling, etc.), followed by a nicely seasoned sea bass fillet dish cooked in a clay pot, a spicy chicken dish, beef stir fried with Chinese broccoli in oyster sauce, a couple more that I can't remember and seafood fried rice. The meal ended on a sweet note - a plate of Chinese desserts including red bean cake and chrysthanthemum-flavour jelly, sticky rice ball with sesame paste filling and peanut crust, and more sticky rice cakes (see pic)

    Nice decor, distinctively oriental but not kitschy like in some China Town restaurants. Service is....um, not bad for a Chinese restaurant, they try hard.

    Price is on par with other dining establishments of similar environment in the same area . This is London CBD and the rent is a lot higher, so wouldn't be fair if I were to compare their prices to a Chinese restaurant in Toronto suburb or LA suburb.

    I'd be happy to go back, and recommend it to anyone who wants to have Chinese food sans China Town environ.

  • 4.0 star rating
    16/12/2008

    I visited this gorgeous restaurant for a friends Birthday and it was a very good choice, we'll definitely be coming back of our own accord.

    For a start the interior is fabulous, the main reception area is very elegant and is bathed in the blue lighting from the bar cabinets whilst the grand eating room and the tea room are lovely example of understated modern Chinese elegance. It's very spacious inside, yet it feels very romantic and cosy due to the dim lighting and thoughtful Chinoiserie decoration.  

    Secondly, the food lives up to the wonderful setting. We all shared a selection of starters as we just couldn't decide individually, and we were impressed by everything. The presentation is fantastic, they really do look good enough to eat, whilst the prices are very modest to say that the  restaurant has such a sophisticated air about it. The Cuttlefish meatballs were amazing! For my main I had Scallops in an aromatic paste that were cooked to perfection and well worth £16.50 for a dish that is usually at the higher price end of seafood. We sampled quite a few of the cocktails too, all of which are fragrant and fruity and only £8.50 each. If you get a chance, try the Honey Dew Melon Martini, this was one of the nicest fruit Martini's I've ever had!

    I'm just looking for a good excuse to book a big table here again because we all had such a fantastic night. It's definitely as good as its namesake.

  • 2.0 star rating
    9/12/2010
    1 check-in here

    Rudd place has a bry pleasant appearance from outside and when you walk in. I had a few orders of dim sum in bar area. I was disappointed it wasn't a larger list, since there were only about a dozen choices. I had the prawns, veggie, and salmon. Prawns were easily the best, very solid as can be expected but  I thought the salmon was slightly dry and lacking flavor.

    The Lychee chiew was a great wine that they offered. That by itself could have made it a good meal but it wasn't enough to overcome the rest.

    • Qype User cleois…
    • London
    • 46 friends
    • 176 reviews
    5.0 star rating
    27/2/2009

    This is the best Chinese restaurant I have been to. The food is amazing. I recommend the dim sum, scallops, sea bass and the stuffed aubergine. It has pork in there that is so tender and well seasoned. The mooli puffs are also rather addictive.

    I've been to this place 3 times and I want to go back. The cocktails are also worth sampling. I had a lychee mojito and felt that I was sipping distilled heaven in a glass. My call back to reality was that I had started hiccuping and everyone at my table thought I was a lush. The humiliation was worth it.

  • 4.0 star rating
    29/5/2009

    My family and I had dinner here on a busy Friday evening.  The decor was very classy, dark wood, low neon blue lights, and modern.  For those who love to shop, it almost looks like a Shanghai Tang store.  I loved the ambiance.  There was a woman playing live piano music and singing during our 3-hour dinner.  Perfect dinner music, not too loud or obnoxious.  

    About the dinner, the food was delish.  I normally like more Chinese home cooking style, but for the novelty and taste, Shanghai Blue ranks up there.  My aunt told me that the newest trend in upscale Chinese restaurants is having dim sum for dinner.  We were not disappointed.  Our meal began with about 4 dim sum dishes.  We delicate spinach wraps (sort of like a Greek grape leaves dish), Shanghai buns served in individual mini-baskets, crispy puffs, and lobster.  Then when the dim sum was cleared from the table - the waiters brought 8 entrees for us to share family style - green beans, peking duck, steamed fish, steamed chicken.  The lobster was broken into pieces and cooked in a great Chinese sauce.  My favorite dish was a winter melon accompanied with seafood rolls - very light and delicate but had slight crunch.  The green beans were very flavorful and had a fantastic crunch.  

    Shanghai Blue is definitely not to be missed!

  • 3.0 star rating
    23/10/2012
    Seated via OpenTable 1 check-in here

    I don't even know how to start but maybe let's start at the start. It was super-easy making a reservation through the Yelp-App which is great if there is wifi and the phone is on roaming, because calling would have been very expensive and finding a nice restaurant for Friday night can sometimes also be tricky. When we arrived there was one waiter sitting in the entrance area, not even sitting, but just lounging on one of the uncomfortable chairs in the entrance area, which looked a little weird. The receptionist however was incredibly friendly, took our coats and led us to our table. The whole restaurant is dim-litted and it takes a few minutes to adjust to the darkness. I really enjoyed the live music, piano and singing, which gave the entire place a very classy touch.

    While we studied the menu the waiters kept coming every five minutes to inquire whether or not we would like to order, get water, decided on a drink etc. This was the first hint that service would be pushy. When we ordered the waiter did not tell us that rice was not even included in the pricey dishes... That would have been a nice hint because when our dishes arrived we had to wait again until the rice arrived. This was also rather odd as you would expect an Asian/Chinese restaurant having rice pretty much ready anytime. Well Shanghai Blues took its time for it. Even when we were eating the waiters came seriously every five minutes to ask about water, drink etc, which I found very disturbing, as I wanted to enjoy my truly delicious chicken. Within half an hour we were disturbed no less than ten times, which I find very annoying. I told them, that we would let them know if we had any further wishes, but they kept coming. As soon as the first person was finished eating the next waiter came to clean the table. Speaking of unpleasant... While the rest was still eating the waiters took great care of cleaning the table leaving us feeling rushed.

    All in all I am disappointed, as the food was delicious but the pushy and overbearing service kind of ruined everything. If they dialled it down a notch I would easily give four stars, but the feeling after visiting Shanghai Blues is, unfortunately, not a good one.

  • 4.0 star rating
    14/11/2008
    First to Review

    Shanghai Blues is a very posh Chinese restaurant located in Holborn. Dark and mysterious on the outside it is equally dark and mysterious on the inside. More like a club than a traditional Chinese restaurant it certainly makes for an interesting meal. Just note that prices are fairly prohibitively expensive unless you have a business account or pockets lined with money. Its not a place you'd visit at the drop of a hat.

    As expected from the atmosphere the service was superb - friendly and accommodating though at times slightly over-bearing. That could have had something to do with the fact we were in pretty early (just after 6pm) and were the only diners in the restaurant for over half an hour. Beautiful décor if you like the dark wood, deep red, dark blue, club-like feel to your restaurants.

    Unusually for a Chinese restaurant there were a surprisingly large number and wide selection of vegetarian options for the diner's choice and thus we decided to check it out tonight. Well, when I say large number and wide selection I mean certainly more than just one dish!

    From a presentation perspective Shanghai Blues was spot on  unfortunately, and I don't know if it was to do with the nature of the dishes we selected, as from the taste perspective it wasn't so crash hot. Though not particularly bland no flavours stood out especially. The tea service was funny. At the regular Chinese restaurant you may share a pot of tea (endlessly refilled with hot water) but at Shanghai Blues it's a whole performance with personal service of the tea which comes on its own trolley at first and everything.

    The Shanghai Blues menu is very diverse and quite unusual and there will definitely be something there for everyone's palette. For all the lack of flavour in their vegetarian dishes I think its certainly worth another go to try out some of the other dishes (and maybe to check out their interesting twist on cocktails) but I may have to save up some pennies before I can come back and enjoy myself properly!

  • 3.0 star rating
    17/8/2011

    I really like this restaurant. I didn't go at a time when a pianist was playing, but I'd hope that would add to the experience.
    The dark and refined decor tries to create a more intemate and romantic atmosphere. The service was strange. Overly attentive on my wine glass, but quite fleeting with table service.
    The dim sum is very good, but you are paying premium dollar for your meal. I found everything very good quality, but it is not really value for money. You are paying for the image.

    • Qype User Autumn…
    • Edinburgh
    • 4 friends
    • 11 reviews
    5.0 star rating
    8/11/2007

    Shanghai Blues is housed in what was once St Giles Library but is now a listed building. The restaurant and bar are in keeping with the understated luxury of its surroundings and definitely worth a visit especially if you are out on a hot date or a formal business meeting, because they have lot of large tables for big meetings.

    The menus mainly focuses on traditional dishes of Shanghai and offers a unique and authentic dining experience. A selection of their best dishes are Emperor Dim Sum with Abalone,sea cucumber,Sharks fin Eel fillets in a honeyed barbeque sauce; Shanghai 'Shui Jiao' in an exotic Chilli sauce,Pumpkin dumplings with Prawns and minced Pork. The wine list is extensive and it is good: the price per head usually comes to around 49.00 pounds.

    The restaurant has three distinct rooms with a Mezzanine Floor overlooking the main bar and restaurant. The well known interior designer Tully Filmer has cleverley infused 17th century and the 21st century ambiance to give a modern twist on a traditional Shanghai decor.

    The result is visually stunning,and the establishment has a great service to match and it is the capital's most sought after dining experience.

  • 3.0 star rating
    6/11/2011

    Nice restaurant, a bit pricey, but it's understandable given the location. Portions are a bit small, but the quality is pretty good.

  • 2.0 star rating
    9/8/2013

    I booked this for my husband's birthday.  Very disappointed.  We were sitting for 45 minutes before they brought us a drink and a good hour before eating anything.  The dim sum was underwhelming.  As others on this page have said it was not authentic.   The waitress was really brusque and snappy. I felt sorry for her in the end and thought she was probably very overworked.  Luckily we were there on a deal so were paying half price.  Also I'd paid months ago so it made me feel we were eating for free.  Had this not been the case I'd have been fuming. Certainly won't be going back .  I guess it aims at tourists (who don't go back) or local workers who like the ambiance -- which is quite nice.

  • 5.0 star rating
    9/12/2008

    The name tells all...Walking in here is amazing in the way the interiors make you feel as if in a set of a 1940's Hollywood/ Asian movie.  Everything has been carefully selected, every chair, every Chinese staue, every bamboo plant, every little detail counts; even in the taste of the food and its presentation.  They become works of design in their own right.
    Lighting plays such an important role, from the neon blue entrance light to inside massive circular lampshades decorating the roof.  The walls are a combination black and red, wood, and beige, some with Chinese inscription on them.
    And the food, not only presented in a clever way (as more up scale restaurant do) it tasted incredible.  I had the seafood rolls with mango at £6.20, ordinarily I would suggest get and entree to share, but the food is to good for this kind of diplomacy.
    And for a main course I was debating between diced meat in fruity mandarin sauce (£14) or Alaskan crab meat sweet corn soup (£9).  I don't regret my choice, went seafood all the way.  The service is polite and in general luxury is palpable in the Blues, but the prices are not.  Honestly, I was pleasantly surprised that the prices were not a reflection of the ambience.

    • Qype User Pand…
    • Amersham, Buckinghamshire
    • 2 friends
    • 59 reviews
    4.0 star rating
    18/11/2008

    This restaurant would do better situated more central. It hasn't been very busy every time I've been and that might be because it's in Holborn. The decor is gorgeous, dark and sumptuous - very Hakkasan like. The service has seemed a little inexperienced when I've visited - but this is only a small gripe. The food is very good (much better than your average Chinatown eaterie) but also expensive. On my very first visit the rice portions were teeny tiny with each of us only getting two scoops of rice each in a portion that was meant to be big enough for two. Since then though the rice portions seem to have grown to a more ample size. I think they have live jazz here some nights but I haven't managed to stay for that yet. I would recommend this restaurant.

    • Qype User foodie…
    • London
    • 0 friends
    • 44 reviews
    5.0 star rating
    21/11/2008

    Shanghai Blues make the best Xiao Long Bao in London. It arrived with a little dish of vinegar dipping sauce and ginger slivers. These were really rather delicious, especially after I'd bitten the tops off and poured more vinegar into them. Being a Shanghainese Food lover - I know the best Xiao Long Bao when I had one. Highly recommended.

    • Qype User jeff…
    • London
    • 0 friends
    • 48 reviews
    3.0 star rating
    27/11/2008

    I cannot rate the Xioa Loong Bao at Shanghai Blues high enough. It's as good as the ones that I had in Shanghai and is probarbly the best in London. The juicyness and freshness of its ingredients is key to tasty Xioa Long Bao.

  • 5.0 star rating
    7/5/2011

    Excellent food.  Massively friendly people. Had the crispy duck - perfect.  Fast attentive service.  Great with kids.

    • Qype User Fortit…
    • San Francisco, United States
    • 0 friends
    • 6 reviews
    1.0 star rating
    11/7/2009

    I dissent with the past reviews here. I would give zero stars if possible. Honestly this place is a complete ripoff. Perhaps we are accustomed to paying $40 USD for a feast at SF restaurants then to come to London and be ripped off by a pseudo-Chinese place trying to imitate some high class blues bar/minimalistic, posh restaurant it was just bad. Or perhaps we came for dinner and not dim sum? But SF has some fantastic dim sum as well. Anyway, in regards to the dinner we paid for we can't be fooled. The prices were horribly overpriced for what they served. For example, an individual portion of so-called crab with corn soup at 9 GBP (approx. $15) was firstly robbery, but to not put any crab (or was it so skimpy we could not even detect anything?) was insulting.

    Service at S. Blues was unpolished and somewhat unprofessional (think robotic and sloppy). They try to act classy (e.g. having staff open napkins for diners) and charge extra for this type of 'show'. Not necessary. The food should be the star.

    As for decor if you like black (I mean totally black with small contrasts only) and can read a menu in this cavelike atmosphere then this is your place. Funnily a guy exited just before we entered and he told his partner how bright it is outside. Well, even evening outdoors seemed to be brighter than the interior of this place.

    It also seems to be a place that caters to non-Orientals who seem to believe they are dining on fantastic Chinese food. This is clearly an example of when high prices do not equal high quality. We don't mind paying high prices for a high class place that serves truly wonderful food, but to pay high prices for a pretentious, gimmicky restaurant that serves food which is skimpy on ingredients is just not good at all. It was apparent why the Oriental locals were not dining here.

  • 3.0 star rating
    22/1/2013
    Seated via OpenTable

    I would give this place more stars if they didn't serve SHARK FIN! The food was good, but if it weren't for my party being so hungry and not wanting to change location, I would've left as soon as I saw that.

  • 2.0 star rating
    13/6/2011

    Ordered delivery from here our second night in London because it was freezing outside and we felt rather cozy in our hotel room at the Renaissance Chancery Court Hotel. The food was just ok for me although my 3 year old really enjoyed the crispy tofu appetizer (which is great because he's not a good eater usually). I didn't like the crispy tofu or the Vegetarian Ma Po Tofu because both dishes had really wet, slimy tofu. On the crispy tofu, the breading just slid right off the tofu pieces and I couldn't even pick up the Ma Po with my chopsticks, it totally fell apart. The Fried Noodles w/ Bean Sprouts and Soy Sauce was ok. I liked the consistency of the noodles but it was a bit bland. I don't know what my husband ordered but he said it was good. But one issue was that we asked for no mushrooms in anything (my husband is allergic) and some of our dishes had mushrooms. I'll probably try Chinatown next time.

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