Restaurant review: Shanghai ME
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Restaurant review: Shanghai ME, Dubai

Restaurant review: Shanghai ME, Dubai

Shanghai Me, unlike its name might suggest, doesn’t do traditional Chinese, either by way of its vibe or its food

Shanghai ME Dubai

The Bulldozer Group has consistently created culinary hits in Dubai. Standing in the courtyard of The Exchange Building in DIFC, you can view three of them. There’s the chef Izu Ani-led Gaia that serves up Greek-Mediterranean food and also Italian specialist Cipriani a few doors down that has lifted the beef carpaccio to an art form.

Looking East, is the third and most recent restaurant to enter into the group’s portfolio – Shanghai Me – that has set up base on the ground floor of The Exchange Building.

Shanghai Me, unlike its name might suggest, doesn’t do traditional Chinese, either by way of its vibe or its food.

Don’t expect sedate interiors and muted strains from plucked and bowed instruments playing discreetly in the background. Instead, you’ll find pulsating music and even a large colourful artwork of a smiling Chairman Mao looking down on diners.

If the weather permits, sit outside in the bamboo and bougainvillaea-filled terrace.

The menu (thankfully) isn’t extensive. The appetizers are broken down into small-bites, dim sums, salads and soup. As we quickly find out, it is the sauces served alongside the appetizers that make all the difference.

Shanghai ME restaurant Dubai
Shanghai ME is located in the courtyard of The Exchange Building in DIFC

We start with the crispy fried duck salad served with pine nuts, cress and grapes. The magic though is the plum sauce that really takes the salad to the next level. Next, the chicken and scallops with coriander dim sums were served with three sauces, each of which added a contemporary twist on an otherwise staple Cantonese offering: a chilli oil sauce with anchovies, a black vinegar with ginger sauce and a garlic chilli sauce.

For more seafood starters, opt for the sesame prawn on toast that is served with a sweet chilli sauce.

The mains have options across seafood, meat and poultry categories. The staff are likely to recommend you have one of their signature main course offerings: mushroom and truffle clay pot rice. Take their advice. The rice and vegetables are steamed along with herbs and lime, resulting in a preparation that is in equal parts comforting as it is aromatic. You’d do well to accompany that with the straightforward kung pao chicken that doesn’t try to be unnecessarily inventive and risk ruining a classic.

It’s hard to imagine ending a meal at an Asian restaurant without seeking some sort of advice delivered to you by way of a fortune cookie. Our giant fortune cookie said: “Nature, time and patience are the three great physicians.”

After a meal at Shanghai Me, we’re tempted to recommend a fourth physician: contemporary Asian food.

Shanghai ME, Podium Level, Gate Village 11, Dubai. Daily noon-2am. Tel: (04) 564 0505

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