Though a welcome addition to Delhi’s eateries, Shanghai 30 has scope for improvement

Shanghai 30 is a fine addition to the mushrooming list of Delhi’s restaurants. It’s located in the posh E Block Main Market, Hauz Khas, and spread over three levels. Since it is in a market area, parking can be daunting, but sign in front of Shanghai 30 saying valet parking is available comes as a big relief.

Entering, I found a new world. The classy fine dining arrangement with one floor done up as a lounge was impressive. Hanging red lamps and soothing piped music gave it the perfect Oriental feel. The menu is extensive, with delicacies from several Asian countries.

To test the flavours I started with a bowl of classic laksa. I believe Oriental soups are the best and act as a litmus test for the chef. Though I have found hardly anybody going wrong with the laksa, my soup here was not up to the mark. There were granules in it, and I found a piece of raw onion, which is just not acceptable.

Glass noodle salad, the popular Thai delicacy, was a nice burst of freshness. I enjoyed the sweet and tangy flavours. The service was commendable and all my starters were on the table within minutes of placing the order. Crispy fried sliced fish with dried chilli had a perfect crunchy coating and was delicious. The wasabi prawns were also good, the kick of wasabi hitting my olfactory senses. Crispy conjee lamb, where each lamb portion had a nice crunch, was tasty too. Water chestnut with chilli basil was flavourful and had a traditional Oriental taste.

The dim sums and sushis were below average, which in a hardcore Oriental restaurant should not be the case. The batter of the dim sums could not retain the shape and the sushi lacked in freshness. Bao, one of my favourites, was tasty but mildly sweeter than expected. The tofu stuffing inside was good and complemented the dish.

The main course options were quite elaborate, with various hot pots to choose from. But I went for the teppanyaki section for my final course. I was disappointed; it seemed to be just another grill. The chef did not indulge us with any of the characteristic tricks of a teppanyaki grill. It defeated the whole purpose of setting up a live grill at the centre of the restaurant.

Meal for two Rs.1600

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