Level 1, 206 Bourke St,
Cuisine: Chinese, Shanghai
Taste Rating: 7.5/10 Value Rating: 8/10
“Wow!” was what I thought when I first entered this restaurant. They have covered every centimetre of this place with opulence. There were chandeliers dripping with crystals, objets d’art, gilded ornaments, ornate furniture, wall to wall and floor to ceiling marble, and richly patterned carpets which matched the chairs and the plates. The main colour scheme was a rich gold which was set off by darker timber and navy colours. The style was Chinese infused with European influences. It was hard to believe that we were actually above a shopping arcade in the Melbourne CBD. Raymond the Maitre D’ had previously worked in Shanghai, China. Polite and friendly, he showed us around the restaurant which was larger than it appeared from the outside. We kept on walking as room after room of beautifully laid out dining areas was revealed, rather like Alice in Wonderland! There was no shortage of function rooms for business meetings either.
We wanted to check out their “Quick Set Lunch” menus today. The set consisted of entree, dumplings, soup and a main dish for the incredible price of $18 per person (or $22 if a king prawn main dish was selected). The entree was Shanghai Three Cold Platter Entree. The dumplings were Steamed Shanghai Dumplings. The Soup of the Day was a noodle and tofu soup. For mains, we ordered the Sautéed Rockling Fillet with Ginger and the Sliced Beef with Seasonal Vegetables.
The service was excellent fine dining, quietly and efficiently carried out. The food was beautifully presented. The entrees were a cucumber roll, an omelette pork floss roll, and an interesting looking pork and vegetable slice. This third entree item reminded me of a stained glass window – it was a gelatinous slice with pork, broccoli and capsicum, which does not mean much until you look at the photo below. The translucent slice allowed the light to come through, hence my comparison of it with a glass window!
The Shanghai dumplings were very nice. The beef main dish was tender with a light tasting sauce. The fish was a touch too fishy – this, and the lapse in bringing out the rice until requested, were surprising because everything in this place was geared towards perfection. The soup was nice and delicate – with noodle pieces, tofu, beef mince and egg white. The Specials menus do change so check their website for the latest offers.
Overall, a memorable place to dine at, whether with friends or business associates. If you have guests to impress, this restaurant has a definite WOW factor. The atmosphere is quiet and dignified, the surroundings lavish, the food was mostly delicious and very well presented, and the service polite and efficient on the whole. I would go back to try other dishes on the menu.
Entry to the Restaurant
Part of the Entry area
Maitre D's Desk
Wall of Wine
Corridor to Dining Areas
One of Several Dining Areas
Patterned Dining Plate
Patterned Dining Chair
Quick Set Lunch Menu
Shanghai Three Cold Platter Entree
Translucent Slice like a Window
Steamed Shanghai Dumplings
Noodle, Tofu, Beef soup
Sautéed Rockling Fillet with Ginger
Sliced Beef with Seasonal Vegetables
Door to Function Room
Dining Area outside A Function Room
Street View from one of the Dining Areas
Larger Dining Area
More Dining Areas
Another Function Room